Swinger's 2014 NHL Playoff Record 3-1 (+2.75 units)
I took a crack at the opening games in the Eastern Conference and the results were pretty damn good if I do say so myself - and I will because you're sure as he'll not gonna utter a word ya bastahds. Yes we cashed in three of four including the Red Wings that I chose as a huge value play (+170 in NHL odds) over my beloved Boston Bruins and complemented by the Rangers and Canadiens (+105). The lone loser in all of this was the upstart Blue Jackets who blew a two goal lead as big underdogs and spoiled a clean sweep.
In case you missed it, my series articles predicted victories for the Bruins, Canadiens, Rangers and Blue Jackets. The way things stand as of this writing, I like my chances in all four. However, let's turn our attention to tonight's NHL action and add a few bucks to our burgeoning bankroll.
Penguins vs. Blue Jackets
This series is going pretty much the way I had envisioned. Columbus is a gritty, grindy and game opponent that makes life miserable for finesse teams like Pittsburgh. The Penguins have not been able to capitalize on power play opportunities and have even given up two short handed goals in as many games.
Perhaps the biggest toll this series has taken is the wear and tear on
Pittsburgh's silky smooth skaters. Columbus has doled out twice as many hits
thus far and over the course of a grueling seven game series that will
ultimately slow down this vaunted scoring juggernaut. Marc-Andre Fleury has not
been the bane of Pittsburgh's plight as he has done a reasonable job in net so
far but the Jackets' Bobinator can be sharper. Columbus's talented netminder
has made some gorgeous saves but has given up a few dicey goals as well. Not
tonight though as the Blue Jackets come home with a series split and an adoring
crowd waiting to greet them.
Columbus takes command tonight with a 3-1 victory.
Play Columbus +105 in NHL odds at Bet365.com
Avalanche vs. Wild
I'm not gonna bullshit you here - I'll do that someplace else - I love the Avs in the this series and I even have a vested interest in them winning the Stanley Cup as my ticket from Caesars Sports Book in Las Vegas will certainly attest. But this opening series isn't a walkover for the young Avalanche as the Wild should get a whole lot wilder as they come home down 2-0 in the series.
Minnesota has been playing musical chairs at goalie and the verdict is still
out on which netminder will be tending the twine this evening. In addition,
Minnesota will have the last change in lineups before each faceoff as the home
team. This should allow coach Mike Yeo the opportunity to put his thugs, namely
Matt Cooke, on Colorado's swift skating top line.
It doesn't matter really. New venue, same results. Avalanche win 4-2 just as they did the last time they met in Minnesota in mid January.
Play Colorado +110 at Bet365.com in your NHL picks.