Claude Giroux and the Flyers are primed for a win against the Devils on Saturday. Who else should win?
Great slate of games tonight including a banger between the Capitals and Stars. I look at six games and here they are.
Record: 41 – 31
The Devils head into Philadelphia this afternoon for what should be an entertaining affair. Both of these teams are on the outside looking in as the post-season push begins. The Devils are 6-2-2 over their last 10 games but haven't fared well as of late dropping four of their last six games. The Flyers on the other hand are 4-5-1 over their last 10 games, however, they have made up a ton of ground in the East since their horrid start to the season. Much of their recent turnaround has been due to the stellar play of Claude Giroux and most notably Jakub Voracek who has been on fire. Much of the Devils success this season cannot be attributed to solely one player but if there had to be one it would be Corey Schneider who has been lights out. This game will be tight as both teams are battling for a Wild Card spot but I have to side with the Flyers here as they are usually solid at home. Give me the Flyers.
Key Stat: Flyers are 1-5 in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference.
Pick: Philadelphia – Home Team Win – H
The Wild continue to spiral out of control as they have now lost seven straight and are 1-7-2 in their last 10 games. Part of the reason for their recent collapse is the poor play of Devan Dubnyk. Nothing could really excuse a losing streak of that magnitude, however, the Wild have played many elite teams over that seven-game span (e.g. Capitals, Stars, Blues, and Rangers). The Bruins head into Minny on a high as they trampled the Jets 6-2 on Thursday night. Boston currently occupies a spot in the post-season and with a 6-3-1 record in their last 10 games they look poised for a solid finish. An interesting thing to note regarding the Bruins is there ridiculous home and away split. At home the Bruins are 12-14-3 whereas on the road they are 17-5-3. Not much bodes well for the Wild in this one but I will still take them to snap out of this funk at home tonight. Give me the Wild.
Key Stat: Bruins are 5-12 in the last 17 meetings.
Pick: Minnesota – Visitor Team Win – H
I really don't even recognize half of the players left on the Leafs current roster nor do I care. The Leafs have done some good work over the past few seasons by eliminating dead weight and most especially useless contracts (e.g. refer to David Clarkson). This aforementioned good work continued this past week as the Leafs sent Dion Phaneuf packing to the nation’s capital. Now as much as I dislike Phaneuf he still put up a lot of minutes for the Leafs and did a decent job on a paper thin blue line. Needless to say losing Phaneuf will definitely hurt the Leafs in the short term and that doesn't bother the Canucks one bit as they can really use a win right now trailing the Predators by three points for the final wild card spot. The Canucks are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games and a win tonight is huge for them to stay within striking distance of a playoff spot. As bad as both teams are the Canucks are less bad and they need this game a whole lot more and they are at home. Give me the Canucks in the battle of the scum.
Key Stat: Maple Leafs are 0-7 in the last 7 meetings in Vancouver.
Pick: Vancouver – Home Team Win – H
This is most definitely the game that I will be tuning into tonight while everyone else freezes outside in -30 degree weather. Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom… the list goes on as this game is loaded with elite talent. With all this firepower one would expect fireworks and a high scoring affair, however, I feel like this game will be tighter than expected. The Capitals have been picture perfect this entire season as they currently lead the Eastern Conference by a whopping 14 points. Braden Holtby is making a strong case for a Vezina and the Great 8 continues to remind us he is the best goal scorer in the league by putting up a hat-trick in his last game against the Wild on Thursday night. On the other hand the Stars have had mediocre goaltending but their goal scoring has been scary good. John Klingberg continues to play like Karlsson 2.0 and the PP is clicking at a deadly rate. Both of these teams boast filthy PP units but if this game remains even strength I expect a low scoring affair and a Capitals victory as they are simply better on the blue line and more importantly in the crease. Give me the Capitals.
Key Stat: Stars are 0-6 in the last 6 Saturday games.
Pick: Washington – Visitor Team Win – V
McJesus is back and boy are the Oilers ever happy. One Oiler who definitely loves having Connor McDavid back in the lineup is Jordan Eberle who destroyed the Leafs last game with a hat-trick and one apple. The Oilers are probably too far behind to sneak into the post-season but nothing is impossible when you have McDavid on your side. One thing is for sure, the Jets are poo and McDavid could have a huge night this evening. McDavid for the win… Give me the Oilers.
Key Stat: Home team is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
Pick: Edmonton – Home Team Win – H
The Sharks coach made a booboo last game by resting Martin Jones as Alex Stalock got lit up like a Christmas tree against the Flames 6-5 in a shootout. Aside from allowing four goals in the first period the Sharks showed some real positive signs. For one, their PP has look menacing as it currently sits fourth in the league connecting at 23.1%. Second, Logan Couture seems to be rounding into form as he had a monster performance putting up four points last game. Last, Joe Thornton looks like he's in his twenties again as he continues to impress with 13 points in his last ten games. The Yotes continue to snag wins and I really don't know how. I mean their roster is mediocre at best and they are missing their number one goaltender in Mike Smith. The Sharks should get the win here at home against a team that should be tired being on the tail end of a back-to-back. Give me the Sharks.
Key Stat: Coyotes are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings.
Pick: San Jose – Home Team Win – H
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