Saturday’s NHL Picks – December 22, 2018

Flip Livingstone

2018-12-22


Well, Santa came a little early this year, as my picks went a solid 5-1 last Saturday with the Toronto Maple Leafs’ overtime loss to the hopeless Florida Panthers tarnishing a perfect night.

Looking to keep this loot train moving this week, and as the NHL heads into its holiday break, there’s no shortage of sweet matchups on tap for this Saturday, including six afternoon games. You know the drill, stick to the following picks and let’s continue to make some bank.

Good luck and happy holidays! 

2018-19 Record

Gold: 4-3       
Silver: 5-2
Bronze: 2-5
Side Bets: 12-9

Overall combined: 23-19 (55%)

Gold

New York Rangers @ Toronto Maple Leafs – Pick: Maple Leafs

Toronto may have had the luxury of playing two less-than-stellar clubs over the past two contests in the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils, but the team’s 13 goals scored and only two allowed over that span cannot be ignored.

The Buds’ top-six forward group is absolutely cooking right now, as Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Mitch Marner have combined for a total of 14 points (eight goals, six assists) over the last 120 minutes.

It should be noted the Rangers have a solid record over recent matchups with the Leafs in Toronto, winning four of the last five games in the Big Smoke, but all of those wins came in the 2016-17 season or before, so that number is obviously a facade.

New York is caught between some kind of rebuild and I don’t know what, whereas the Leafs are surging. Toronto takes this one, and don’t be surprised if it’s by two or more goals.

Silver

Washington Capitals @ Ottawa Senators – Pick: Capitals

The Caps have been completely money for me all year long, and I really can’t see that changing tonight in Ottawa – for a few reasons.

I can’t deny that I haven’t been giving enough love to a young Sens’ group that’s played fairly well this season, all things considered. Ottawa also earned a big home win against a Cup-contending Nashville Predators squad on Monday. That being said, Washington has dominated Ottawa over the last-10 tilts, winning eight of those matchups, including four of the last six in the nation’s capital.

The second reason I like Ovi and the boys to take the two points here, is their solid road record overall at 10-5-1 this campaign, as the Capitals have proven to be a good road team over the last few seasons

Washington continues its dominance over Ottawa. Lock it in as my Silver play of the week.

Bronze

Anaheim Ducks @ Buffalo Sabres – Pick: Ducks

Interestingly enough, this Saturday night’s matchup in Buffalo features two of the biggest surprises in the NHL this season. Even more intriguing, is that interest is for positives reasons, as the Ducks and Sabres have each started the 2018-19 season strong.

Maybe it’s because Anaheim has made me some loot this year, or that I really like betting against Buffalo, but I can’t help but feel the Ducks matchup really wells against a smaller, less-experienced Sabres group.

Sprinkle a wager on Anaheim, Thank me later.

Side Bets

Winnipeg Jets @ Vancouver Canucks – Pick: Over 6.5

Montreal Canadiens @ Vegas Golden Knights – Pick: Golden Knights

Tampa Bay Lightning @ Edmonton Oilers – Pick: Lightning

Flip Livingstone is a former NHL writer for theScore with past experience at such outlets as Postmedia, Hockey Night in Canada, and the CBC. You can follow him on Twitter @FlipLivingstone.

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