NHL Picks: Recent History Adds Value to Rangers -129 vs. Coyotes

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, November 7, 2015 6:12 PM UTC

Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015 6:12 PM UTC

The Rangers are rolling 4 consecutive victories, while the Coyotes look to build a streak of their own after defeating the Avalanche. Let's see what the NHL odds have on this showdown in the desert.

New York Rangers (9-4 SU, +2.8 units)
When you have the luxury of trotting out one of the best goaltenders on the planet on a nightly basis it comes as no surprise that your team would be ranked tops in the league in goals allowed. Henrik Lundqvist is 7-2-2 with a 1.80 goals against and a stellar .945 save percentage. Yet he is not the only netminder contributing because his understudy Antti Raanta has backstopped to near perfection with a 2-0 record and a micro 0.50 GAA to complement a sizzling .978 save percentage.

Right winger Mats Zuccarello has led the scoring parade with seven tallies and 11 points on the season. New York is currently ranked 7th in the league in scoring and 6th on the penalty kill dousing 87.5 percent of the man-advantage situations. If there is one chink in the offensive armor it would fall to the team's power play unit that is connecting on only 16.1 percent of their opportunities. Other than that the team is leading the Metropolitan division and could extend that advantage tonight with a win over the Coyotes.


Arizona Coyotes (6-6 SU, +3.0 units)
The Coyotes took a sound beating in Boston when they were drubbed 6-0 by the Bruins and then returned to the desert to host the Canucks who beat them 4-3. However they stopped the mini-skid with a 4-2 victory over the Avalanche on Thursday night with a surprising two goal performance by stay-at-home defenseman Nicklas Grossmann as well as lamplighters by Tobias Rieder and Jordan Martinook. Perhaps the biggest relief for the club was the return to form by veteran goalie Mike Smith who turned aside 26 of 28 shots, shaking off a pair of pitiful outings.

Arizona clocks in with the 11th ranked offense scoring 2.8 goals per game while their defense is allowing the same but is 19th on the list of 30 teams. Conversely, and a bit ironically, the Coyotes penalty killing unit is among the league's best stopping 84.8 percent of the man-advantage possessions yet their power play has been impotent ranking dead last, scoring on only 10.1 percent of their chances. Mike Smith will get the nod between the pipes tonight for Arizona.

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NHL Pick
Over the course of the last three seasons the Rangers have won four of five against the Coyotes and unless they have jet lag coming from Denver after last night's 2-1 win over the Avs, I suspect this streak will continue. The opposing goalie tonight is Mike Smith and is yet another version of the monstrous 6'4" and above netminders who simply eat up space in the net but oftentimes don't have the blazing reflexes or goaltending acumen of their shorter counterparts. That pretty much describes Smith who no doubt has a tall task backstopping a team that's not great to begin with but is more of a highly competent backup than a showstopper vis a vis Henrik Lundqvist.

All we have to do is look at recent history to conclude that the NHL Odds makers have this one right by making the Rangers road favorites tonight. The line would most assuredly be even higher had they not played last evening but that will not deter us in backing them in our NHL Picks for tonight.

NHL Picks: Play the New York Rangers -129 at Pinnacle

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