Yesterday’s Results: 1-4. I went 1-4 during the exhibition games. There are 5 games today. So your job is to pick which one of the bets below I’ll actually get right, and to fade the rest. Best of luck to you.
The Rangers offense disappointed, the Blackhawks dictated pace, the goaltending decided to show up in the Panthers/Islanders series, and Montreal was opportunistic. At least I was right about Matthew Tkachuk stirring up some shit. Early in the first period, Jets alternate captain Mark Scheifele spun out of a Tkachuk hit after a routine dump in, and then seemingly catching Tkachuk’s skate blade on the back of his own leg. Scheifele would not return to the game and his status for the rest of the series is in doubt. Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice believes Tkachuk purposefully kicked the back of Scheifele’s leg, noting that it is more evident on the blue line camera feed that I have yet to see. It looks fairly innocent to me, but Jet’s captain Blake Wheeler obviously agreed and dropped the mitts with Tkachuk shortly thereafter. Scheifele’s status, and that of fellow Jets forward Patrik Laine (wrist), is definitely something to keep an eye on as the qualifying round progresses.
Coyotes v. Predators: USA Network, 2:00 p.m. ET
I would avoid betting on this game if I wasn’t a neutral observer and a degenerate. My head says Nashville but my heart says Arizona. I’m not confident in this one, so I’m going to go with the three way money line favorite, hoping Nashville gets it done in regulation. PICK: Preds 3 way money line (+110)
Flyers v. Bruins: NBC, 3:00 p.m. ET
I thought the Bruins would be on their A game during the exhibition and yikes was I wrong (sensing a trend?). But of the round robin teams, they have the most to lose. The Presidents Trophy winners can drop down to 4th in the Conference (god the NHL is dumb…sensing another trend?) if they don’t find their game quickly. I think the Flyers will be dangerous in this tournament, but I’m liking the favored Bruins in this one. PICK: Bruins -1.5 (+185)
Blues v. Avalanche: NBCSN, 6:30 p.m. ET
This should be an exciting matchup against two of the league’s best. I’m interested to see how the style of play in these round robin games compare to that of the qualifying series. I hope these squads put on a show. PICK: Over 5.5 (-105)
Blue Jackets v. Maple Leafs: NBCSN, 9:00 p.m. ET
As I said in the series preview, the Leafs need to win the qualifying round so they can then lose in the first round. Also, their style of play is significantly more entertaining than Columbus’s, so let’s cheer for that. PICK: Leafs -1.5 (+165)
Wild v. Canucks: NBCSN, 10:30 p.m. ET
I think this series is a complete toss up. I have no confidence in it, so proceed with caution, but I’m going to put a small bet on this one going to overtime. It would be fitting that the late Sunday game would go to extra sessions. PICK: 3 way money line draw (+285)