Yesterday’s results: 4-2
The Rangers and Canes continued the postseason trend of victorious unders to start the day. The Pit went with the Flames puck line after Schiefele was ruled unfit to play, but the Jets had what everyone with a media credential is describing as a “gutsy win” and the fade appeared to be back in play. When the Capitals couldn’t convert on an overtime breakaway and squandered an opening round shooutout lead, the moneyline died it appeared to be just another day of L’s. Luckily the late games were all winners, including a +125 Over and two puck lines.
The final puck line was highlighted by Connor McDavid’s hat trick against the Blackhawks, the best of which was his second tally. The fact that he is able to exhibit that kind of hand eye control, edge work, and precision back hand shooting, all at speeds that make look professional athletes look like traffic cones, is unbelievable. I know #HockeyTwitter is gushing over it, but the degree of difficulty on this goal is absolutely insane.
Apologies if you continued to fade yesterday. Did I need a few games to get back into rhythm? Did the law of averages dictate that I couldn’t be THAT horrendous at betting on a random, chaotic sport? I don’t have answers, but I do have picks. All games are “on” NBCSN, until they switch to whatever other game they want to show, in which case you need to scramble for the remote and switch to the NHL Network.
Panthers v Islanders – Noon, Islanders lead series 1-0
I picked the over in game 1, so of course it was a 2-1 goaltending battle. I don’t know what to think about this series yet, so I’m not too confident in the pick. I predicted the Islanders in 5 and will need a couple of Panthers wins to make that accurate. The math checks out. PICK: Panthers money line (even)
Coyotes v. Predators – 2:30 ET, Coyotes lead series 1-0
The Pit was on the Nashville puck line in game 1 which was nearly immediately a loser after a quick 3 goal rally from Arizona. The Predators seemed to find their game, or something resembling it, in the later stages of the game, but it was too little, too late. I’m banking on a full 60 minutes (and no more) from the Preds in game 2. PICK: Predators puck line -1.5 (+190)
Blue Jackets v. Maple Leafs – 4:00 ET, Blue Jackets lead series 1-0
Everyone knew this series had teams with completely different styles: the smothering team defense of the Jackets versus the high powered offense of the Leafs. Torts and the Jackets certainly played to their strengths in game 1. I’m betting on the Toronto offense bringing some desperation in game 2. PICK: Leafs puck line -1.5 (+170).
Flames v. Jets – 6:30 ET, Series tied 1-1
Let’s check the injury report for game 3:
Can the Jets put together another “gutsy” win? My guess is no. PICK: Flames puck line -1.5 (+175)
Hurricanes v. Rangers – 8:00 ET, Hurricanes lead series 2-0
As I mentioned in the series preview, the Hurricanes have a very impressive top line. Svechnikov tallied the franchise’s first postseason hat trick yesterday (but unlike McDavid, didn’t get any hats thrown) and Sebastian Aho is finally getting some of the recognition he deserves. Panarin got on the board yesterday and Mika Zibanejad has looked like a man possessed. Lundqvist on the other hand, seems to give up a goal in the first 3 minutes of every period. PICK: Over 5.5 (Even)
Wild v. Canucks – 10:30 ET, Wild lead series 1-0
Another series of clashing styles where the defensive team took control of game 1. Maybe the age old saying is true and defense really does win qualifying postseason rounds. I’ll bet the Wild can do it again (plus I’ll probably be asleep and I don’t want to miss a lot of action). PICK: Under 5.5 (-140)