2014 NHL Playoff Record (7-11, -3.35 units)
I would rather be flat out wrong than get edged by a bad call which results in a bad beat or have my team dominate only to lose by a bad carom of the puck and a few fluky goals. Last night, I was more off target than a blind man shooting a tennis ball from 50 yards away. The Rangers were waxed by the Flyers 5-2 and it sets the stage for a Game 7 at MSG tonight. Let’s try to cash a trifecta in our NHL picks tonight and slowly crawl out from under.
We bet against Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason in Game 4 and it cost us, but then the NY Rangers got to him in Game 5. Last night, Mason stymied the Rangers until he allowed two third period goals, but by then the outcome was a fait accompli. Wayne Simmonds made sure of that with a hat trick that sent the Flyers fans into a frenzy.
Tonight the Rangers go home to New York, and you can bet that Wayne Simmonds won’t be allowed to post up in the crease as he did with impunity last night. The Rangers were flat while the Flyers were frenetic. Mason is 0-2-1 with a bloated 3.85 GAA in four career games at Madison Square Garden, and that will tell the tale. If Mason morphs into his evil twin Brick and builds a wall around the crease as he has done two of three times in this series then it will be a tough road to hoe for the Rangers. We don’t see that happening, though. Henrik Lundqvist will prove who the world class goalie is in this one as New York advances.
NHL Picks: Play the Rangers in your NHL picks at Bet365.com.
Wild vs. Avalanche
The series is tied at three apiece (as we predicted), and the venue shifts to the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. All six games have been won by the home team, and that streak will continue tonight. Colorado center iceman Matt Duchesne has one game under his belt, and should be more comfortable in this one. Semyon Varlamov will rise to the occasion, and prove that he is indeed a Vezina Trophy finalist by blanking, yes I say blanking, the Wild and moving on to the next round.
Don’t overthink this one, folks. The Avs are one of the best teams in the NHL, but have run up against a dirty, physical group that has given them all they can handle. If they get through this game against Minnesota, I see a Stanley Cup Final in their future.
NHL Picks: Play the Avalanche -140 at WilliamHill.com in your NHL picks.
Kings vs. Sharks
Momentum is everything and the LA Kings have it in spades. They haven’t just eked their way by the Sharks over the last three games: they’ve bayoneted them. Jonathan Quick has finally emerged from his early series slumber. and awakened to stone the Sharks offense, and put his team back into the position of winning games.
Offensively, the Kings have outshot the San Jose Sharks over the past two games, and riddled Sharks goalie Annti Niemi so badly that Sharks head coach Todd McLellan made a switch, inserting rookie Alex Stalock for the pivotal Game 6. It made no difference as the Kings wound up on the winning side of a 4-1 decision, forcing this Game 7 in San Jose tonight. Look for the Kings to win as road dogs in NHL odds and advance to the next round.
NHL Picks: Play the Kings +120 at Bet365.com.