Flip Livingstone’s picks
With the NHL's hectic trade-deadline day now firmly in the rearview, the next major destination on this season’s journey is the postseason. Playoff hockey is just over a month away and since teams across the league have now made their moves in preparation of a big postseason push, you can expect most games down the stretch to be action-packed, full of playoff anticipation.
Aside from the Central Division, which is currently Colorado's via a 17-point first-place cushion, the other three division races for first are within seven points. That leaves a lot of jockeying for position over the last four-to-five weeks while teams scramble to finish the year strong.
A full slate of games awaits with 12 total matchups to ponder today, including a juicy Battle of Alberta out west featuring the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, and another classic showdown in the east between Original Six rivals in the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.
Not too many regular-season Saturdays left to get this loot, so let's lock in and make some bank. Good luck!
2021-22 Saturday Record Breakdown (Complete Record Tracked/Posted @Flips_Picks)
Side bets: 18-19
Total Saturday Record: 38-38-0
Connor McDavid (Player Points OVER 1.5) +120
When you consider the season Connor McDavid is having, his 95 points to pace the league might seem like nothing more than McJesus doing McJesus things. But when you take in the fact that No. 97 has been held pointless in 13 of 64 games this campaign, his 30 goals and 65 assists in 51 games become that much more impressive.
Bottom line: the Oilers will only go as far as McDavid carries them. Case in point, over those 13 games where he was held off the scoresheet, Edmonton posted a 2-11-0 record. Thankfully for the Oilers, McDavid has been red-hot over his last eight while registering six goals and 10 assists over that span.
Despite only managing one goal against the Calgary Flames in the most-recent iteration of the Battle of Alberta, I expect a much better offensive performance from an Edmonton group who will be looking to avenge the ugly loss from earlier in the month. One last thing to consider here for backing a big night from McDavid? How about the man's track record in regular-season games against the Flames: in 33 meetings against Calgary, No. 97 has 26 goals and 19 assists for 45 points – that includes nine game-winning tallies.
The Flames are on the second night of a back-to-back facing a hungry Edmonton team playing much better hockey over the past two weeks, basically turning it around since its wakeup call against this same Calgary team March 7. Expect a big night from McDavid and take his point total OVER 1.5 for my Gold Pick.
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Minnesota Wild – Pick: Wild (ML) -235
Let's keep this one super simple. Columbus is coming off two tough road losses to the Pittsburgh Penguins and just last night to the Winnipeg Jets in what was clearly an emotional game for the Blue Jackets' best pla