Don’t look now, people, but your boy is finally starting to heat up. Last week’s 4-1-1 showing pushes my overall record into the positive percentages for the first time all year. Now, the Penguins squeaked one out in the shootout for my Gold Pick in a game that could have easily gone either way, so I’m not exactly ready to retire quite yet, but I will take what I can get – as always.
Onto this week where 13 games await, including two big Eastern Conference showdowns featuring the Lightning visiting the league-leading Capitals (see breakdown below for a pick in that one) and the red-hot Hurricanes hosting the Panthers.
Let’s keep this loot train rolling with another big week. Good luck and enjoy the games.
Side bets: 13-12
Overall total record: 25-23-1
Chicago Blackhawks @ Colorado Avalanche – Pick: Avalanche
Here is another scenario, much like last week, where betting on my Gold Pick straight up won’t bring much profit, as the Avalanche are a heavy home favorite against a weak Blackhawks squad. So make sure your throwing the Avs onto a nice parlay to increase your value. Now, with that said, this is a very favorable spot for Colorado.
Not only are the Hawks a weak road team, just 6-13 in their last 19 games, but they also struggle against the Avs, losing seven of their last 10 contests. The recent glory days in Chi-Town seem like decades ago now, and with the team’s current roster and cap situation, it could be a very long time until the franchise is relevant once again. Chicago has only six road wins on the season and are only two points up on the last-place Ducks, whereas the Avalanche are the real deal with points in eight of their last 10 and sitting in second in the Central Division – I hope you’re pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down here.
Colorado steamrolls in this one by at least two goals, so don’t be shy about dabbling on the puckline, as well.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Washington Capitals (Over/Under 6.5) – Pick: Over
These two high-powered offenses link up for what should be yet another high-scoring contest between two clubs that feature some of the best in the business when it comes to putting up points. From Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie for the Caps to Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point for the Bolts, this matchup has no shortage of talented superstars that make me want to hammer an Over bet.
After doing some digging into this one, I want to even more, as the last five meetings between Washington and Tampa have all gone Over the number with a whopping combined total of 40 goals being scored. These two clubs also sit in the top 10 in scoring this season, with the Caps leading the league at 128 goals scored and Tampa sitting in eighth with a very respectable 117. The bottom line is that both clubs can light the lamp.
Looks like an Over. Smells like an Over. And the recent matchups have been complete shootouts. Let’s not overthink this one, shall we? Hammer the Over, good for my Silver play of the week.
Detroit Red Wings @ Toronto Maple Leafs – Pick: Maple Leafs
Toronto netminder Frederik Andersen got his league-leading 18th win of the season Friday night, so you can expect the winless goalie Michael Hutchinson to be in net tonight for the Maple Leafs, so buyer beware. However, this is an excellent spot for the lefty ‘tender to nab his first W of the year, and with the lowly Red Wings in town and the Buds clicking offensively (six goals last night against the Rangers), you can bet the Leafs will be fired up to get Hutchinson his first victory of the season.
Oh, did I mention how bad Detroit is? I mean, really freakin’ bad. The Wings are in dead-last in the standings, have scored the least goals in the league this season (only 79 in 36 games!) and have allowed the most (140). Kind of impressive, but in a super sad way.
The Leafs’ 7-1-2 record in their last 10 games versus the Red Wings and overall solid play since Mike Babcock’s firing, (9-4 record) coupled with Detroit’s futility this season, have Toronto as serious home favourites here. So much like my Gold Pick, throw this one on a parlay with a decent-sized wager and thank me later. Leafs keep rolling, my Bronze Pick of the week.
Florida Panthers @ Carolina Hurricanes – Pick: Hurricanes
Philadelphia Flyers @ Ottawa Senators – Pick: Flyers
St. Louis Blues @ San Jose Sharks – Pick: Blues
Flip Livingstone is a former NHL writer for theScore with past experience at such outlets as Narcity Media, Postmedia, and Hockey Night in Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @FlipLivingstone and @Flips_Picks