Swinger's 2014 NHL Playoff Record (15-14, +0.70 units)
We did the splits last night as the Penguins copped a 2-0 victory at -110 in NHL odds and we cashed a ticket because of it. Unfortunately we were not so lucky in the second leg of this NHL doubleheader as the Ducks were crowned by the Kings 3-1 and now must take to the highway down 2-0 in the series.
All in all, it was a 1-1 kind of evening and we lost 0.30 units in the process. Let’s get a sweep tonight and move in front…for good!
Bruins vs. Canadiens
Round 3 is slated for tonight and the Canadiens must feel fortunate to have gained a split in Boston even though they were dominated in the third period of Game 2. As you may recall, the Habs were cruising along with a two goal lead until they were thunderstruck as the Bruins roared back from a 3-1 deficit with under 10 minutes left to play. It was a veritable must-win for the B’s who understood that a split in Montreal would leave them down 3-1 in the series once they returned to Boston.
But that’s all ancient history as the series shifts north. So far the teams have been about as close to even as one would expect. The pre-series hype has come to fruition as the more physical Bruins have imposed their will in and around the crease while the speedier Canadiens have taken advantage of Bruins miscues to swarm the offensive zone whenever there’s a turnover at center ice.
Montreal won the regular season series 3-1 but the lone win for Boston came at the Bell Centre on March 12th when the Bruins skated away with a 4-1 victory. But this series has been so tight it’s impossible for me to feel comfortable choosing one over the other. In terms of value in NHL odds I suppose a case could be made for the home underdogs as the Canadiens are getting back +120 at WilliamHill.com. But is twenty-cents enough for me to throw a dart? Value means nothing but a losing ticket if your team doesn’t win.
So what do we do? We play the total and I’ll tell you why. Two of the very best goalies on the planet have been victimized by a disproportionate number of redirects, deflections and funky bounces. Very few of the goals in this series have been clean and I believe that a tight checking game is in store for Game 3 with a regression to the mean in terms of those crazy, weird bounces that have resulted in goals.
NHL Pick: Under 5 (-105)
Blackhawks vs. Wild
The Wild may be back home but they are down 2-0 after a grueling seven-game series against the Avalanche. Meanwhile the defending Stanley Cup winners are rolling, having won their last six postseason contests including 5-2 and 4-1 victories in the first two games of this best of seven set.
The Wild took two of three at home during the regular season series between these two clubs but that was then and this is now. The Hawks have too much firepower and Corey Crawford has put a stranglehold on the Minnesota offense. Don’t overthink this one. Chicago is the better team whether they’re playing the Wild at home, away or on Mars.
NHL Pick: Chicago -130 at WilliamHill.com.