The Phoenix Coyotes started the season with just two wins in their first eight games but have since turned it around. When they visit Edmonton on Saturday, they’ll enter as winners of six of their last eight games.
Record: 53-59 (-570)
The Phoenix Coyotes can win because…
The Oilers simply aren’t scoring goals these days. Edmonton has scored two goals or less in eight of their last 10 games. It’s no surprise that they’ve lost each of those eight games two. The Coyotes bread and butter is defense and goaltending, and if they’re hot as they are right now, it means those two facets of their game are working.
Goaltender Mike Smith has a 2.04 GAA in his last nine starts and posted a 1.72 GAA against the Oilers in four meetings last season. The Coyotes should be able to hold the Oilers down, which means they’ll only need a couple of goals to win this contest.
The Edmonton Oilers can win because…
Phoenix is not a great road team. The Coyotes have won just two of six road games this season and the fact that this is a 3:30 PM ET start (1:30 Phoenix time) probably won’t help their cause. We’ve seen teams like the Arizona Cardinals struggle when they have to travel to the Eastern time zone and Phoenix could as well.
Although the Oilers have struggled recently, don’t put the blame on goaltender Devan Dubnyk. The 26-year-old has given up just 2.3 goals per game over his last 10 outings. The Coyotes are not a high scoring team, so Dubnyk should be able to keep the Oilers in it.
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Outlook & Pick
It’s hard to bet on Edmonton in any capacity right now. They have lost eight of 10 and what sucks for them is that six of their last eight games have been played at home. Throw in the fact that the team’s co-leader in scoring, Taylor Hall, is suspended for this contest, and you’ve got a play on the Coyotes.
On top of that, we’ll take the under too for our hockey picks. This looks like it will be a low-scoring affair.
NHL Picks: Coyotes -104 & Under 5 at Pinnacle