Saturday’s NHL Picks: December 17, 2016
Look for the Stars to snap the Flyers' win streak and other winners for Saturday's action.
Record: 33 – 15
The Flyers are literally crapping on teams as they are currently on a 10-game winning streak. Steve Mason has turned his abysmal start to the season completely around over this ridiculous stretch of 10 games. The Stars on the other hand have had a really rocky season as they currently sit 11th in the Western Conference. In their last 10 games played the Stars are 3-6-1 and their current homestand is a vital one as Coach Lindy Ruff believes it could determine the rest of their season. Jamie Benn has not been his usual self and many are wondering if he can turn things around after having major core muscle surgery in the offseason. I like the Stars here and this may sound ludicrous with the way the Flyers have been rolling. However, I think the Stars will push the tempo this afternoon and pepper Mason who I am not completely sold on yet. Now would be a perfect time for Benn to bust out with a big game performance. Give me the Stars.
Key Stat: Stars are 7-3 in their last 10 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Pick: Dallas – Home Team Win – H
The Minnesota Wild currently sit third in the Western Conference. That being said I think nobody can argue that without Devan Dubnyk they could be way lower in the standings. How low? I’d say probably out of a playoff spot. So when I hear that Darcy Kuemper is set to start, I automatically knock the Wild down a few pegs. Arizona are heavy underdogs in this one and there really isn’t much to like about this Yotes squad. However, they have won three of their last four games and they did beat the Wild twice in their last two meetings. Call me crazy but I’m going to go with Arizona here for the value in what I think could be a big upset. No Dubnyk, no party. Give me the Yotes.
Key Stat: Wild are 0-4 in their last 4 Saturday games.
Pick: Arizona – Visitor Team Win – V
The Penguins had a seven-game winning streak snapped last night against the Kings at home. I actually watched the game and to be honest Peter Budaj put on one heck of a performance and practically stole the game for the Kings. The Pens were all over the Kings for most of the game but couldn’t find the back of the net. Pittsburgh had a plethora of opportunities on the man advantage including a 5-on-3 but they failed to convert. The absence of Kris Letang is sure to hurt the Pens in the coming weeks and perhaps first signs of this was last night on the PP. I still like the Penguins in this matchup and even on the tail end of a back-to-back. Pittsburgh has dominated the Leafs over the past few seasons as they have only lost once over their last nine games with the Leafs. Give me the Pens.
Key Stat: Penguins are 8-1 in the last 9 meetings.
Pick: Pittsburgh – Visitor Team Win – V
The San Jose Sharks did what practically no team has been able to do all this season and that is make Carey Price look bad. Price was pulled last night in the Canadiens 4-2 loss to the Sharks after allowing four goals on 18 shots. When coming off the ice, Price gave the Habs bench a really awkward stare down. After the game Coach Therrien announced that Carey would indeed start tonight against the Capitals. I find this kind of weird because when looking at Price and his history against the Capitals, it’s not good. In his career Cary is 5-9-4 against the Capitals with a 3.08 GAA and .898 SV%. Add in the fact that the Capitals are starting to roll as they are currently on a five-game winning streak, give me the Capitals.
Key Stat: Capitals are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. Eastern Conference.
Pick: Washington – Home Team Win – H
Henrik Lundqvist posted a shutout in his last game reminding the hockey world that he indeed is still the King. The question is however, can Lundqvist string together two solid games? Antti Raanta has been stellar this season and Lundqvist is feeling the heat for the first time in a while. I really like the Rangers this season and the depth they have all over the ice. I think Henrik will show up for this game and post another solid performance. On the other end are the Predators who I really don’t care for mainly because I am not a big fan of Pekka Rinne. I think Rinne is a bit overrated and if I had to choose between Lundqvist or Rinne, I am going Henrik all day. Give me the Rangers.
Key Stat: Predators are 2-10 in their last 12 Saturday games.
Pick: New York – Visitor Team Win – V
The banged up Bolts head into Edmonton to take on Connor McDavid and company. Tampa Bay lost 4-2 last night against the kaka Canucks in Vancouver. The Bolts are hurting real bad right now as Steven Stamkos, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov are all sidelined with injuries. Subsequently, the Bolts have only won twice over their last 10 games played. The Lightning now head into Edmonton on the tail end of a back-to-back to play one of the most dangerous players in the league, Zack Kassian. Just kidding, McDavid is likely licking his chops to play these Bolts as they have allowed 16 goals in their last four games played. Give me the Oilers.
Key Stat: Home team is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings.
Pick: Edmonton – Home Team Win – H
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