Saturday NHL Picks: January 2, 2015

by Coretti on January 2, 2016

Why the Sharks will hold court at home and other NHL game picks for Saturday.

Welcome back everyone! I hope the Holidays were fantastic for all of you and I’m glad to be back. Before the holidays I was running cold and the break couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve always found the month of December to be the hardest for NHL wagering as teams are usually dealing with illnesses, holidays, and the middle of the season. Typically the first and last month of the season is the best time to wager. The beginning of the season provides a lot of value on sleeper teams and the end of the season is when the cream rises to the top as teams typically don’t take nights off. Regardless, I believe the hardest part of the season is behind us and now it’s time to start 2016 on the right foot and #GETTHATMONEY. Today I will give you all a treat as I will take a look at seven games rather than the usual six. My lock of the night is listed below and this week I really like the San Jose Sharks. I will actually place a wager of my own on the Sharks as it’s been over a month since I’ve sprinkled.

Record: 38 – 28

Detroit @ Buffalo (1pm ET)

The Red Wings were manhandled at home in their last game versus the Penguins. This to me is a perfect spot for Detroit to bounce back against a rather inconsistent Buffalo squad. The Red Wings are the better team in just about every department and they seem to have the Sabres number as noted in the key stat below. The Red Wings are clinging onto the final wild card spot in the Eastern conference whereas the Sabres are roaming near the bottom of the league. Both teams come into this matchup on a three-game losing streak but the Red Wings seem to be more equipped to snap out of their losing ways. Give me the Red Wings in what should be a low-scoring affair at the First Niagara Center.

Key Stat: Red Wings are 17-4 in the last 21 meetings.

Pick: Detroit – Home Team Win – H

Philadelphia @ Los Angeles (4pm ET)

How about those Kings? After a rather slow start to the season the Kings have catapulted themselves to the top of the Pacific Division. The Kings get it done with solid defense and goaltending as they have allowed only three goals in their last three games. Jonathan Quick has hushed the critics this year as he has a sparkling 21-9-1 record with a 2.16 GAA and .922 SV% on the season. However, what has a lot of teams shaking in their boots in the Western Conference is the offense of the Kings which has come to life as of late. Over their current four-game win streak the Kings have amassed 18 goals. On the other hand the Flyers have shown signs of life as some of their star players are starting to produce such as Jakub Voracek with nine points in his last seven games. But the reality still remains that the Flyers are 4-4-2 over their last 10 games and are currently on a two-game losing streak. I can’t really go with the Flyers against a hot Los Angeles team that is also playing at the Staples Center. The Kings have way more depth on offense than the Flyers and they have a huge edge in the crease with Quick going up against Steve Mason. Additionally, Quick loves to play the Flyers as he has a 1.88 GAA and .933 SV% in nine career games against them. Give me the Kings in what should be a routine win on home ice. 

Key Stat:  Kings are 8-2 in their last 10 Saturday games.

Pick: Los Angeles – Home Team Win – H

NY Rangers @ Florida (7pm ET)

The Panthers are flying high as they are currently on a seven-game win streak and sit only one point behind the Habs for first in the Atlantic Division with three games in hand. The Panthers have played some solid hockey and Roberto Luongo has led the way. Lu has put up elite numbers this season notching 16 wins with a 2.16 GAA and .926 SV% so far. The Rangers got off to a blazing start to the season but have dropped the ball in their last 10 games going 3-6-1. Prior to beating the Bolts in their last game which they won 5-2, the Rangers had dropped a surprising eight games straight on the road. All signs point to a Panthers win except I think the Rangers will get the W. Regardless of the Panthers recent form, the Rangers are a solid team and to be honest most of the Panthers wins have come against lower quality and slumping teams. Additionally, Luongo does not fare well against the Rangers in his career whereas King Henrik has strong numbers versus the Panthers. Give me the Rangers in what should be a tight contest.

Key Stat: Rangers are 16-5 in the last 21 meetings.   

Pick: NY Rangers – Home Team Win – H

Minnesota @ Tampa Bay (7pm ET)

This will be a fantastic game to watch tonight. Both teams are serious playoff contenders and it will be interesting to see how the Wild handle an offensive juggernaut such as the Bolts on the road. The Wild are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and are currently on a two-game win streak. Defensively the Wild have been solid as they have allowed only six goals in their last four games. However, the Wild are a different team on the road than at home where they are a sparkling 14-5-1. On the road the Wild are human and the Bolts have more than enough weapons to do damage tonight. Ondrej Palat is set to return for the Bolts tonight as Tampa Bay looks to be as healthy as ever. The same cannot be said for the Wild who will most likely be without star forward Zach Parise which is a big hit in a tough road game such as this. The Bolts are coming off a tough loss to the Rangers but I feel a bounce back here. Give me the Bolts.

Key Stat: Home team is 6-0 in the last 6 meetings.  

Pick: Tampa Bay – Home Team Win – H

Nashville @ Carolina (7pm ET)

I really don’t know how I can put my money on Pekka Rinne right now. I mean Rinne has been atrocious this year but when you take a deeper look at his numbers you really notice a huge trend. On the road this season Rinne has only three wins and with that a 3.07 GAA and .887 SV%. In his last three games Pekka has allowed 11 goals and he takes on a highly motivated Canes squad that has won three of their last four games. Two of those wins came against the high flying Blackhawks and Capitals. This game is very important to the Predators as they are starting to lose their grasp on a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. However, Rinne is just too volatile right now. I have to go with the Canes here as they have been the more consistent team as of late with the better goaltending. I never thought I would say the Canes have the edge in the crease over the Preds… but that’s how bad Rinne has been this season. Take the Canes for the upset win.

Key Stat: Home team is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.

Pick: Carolina – Home Team Win – H

Calgary @ Colorado (10pm ET)

This game has the potential to be high scoring as both teams boast youth and speed. I like the Avalanche here for the main reason that the Flames just stink on the road with only five wins which is a league’s worst. Additionally, the Avalanche have a clear edge on offense as the Flames have really leaned on Johnny Gaudreau all season long. In the crease I would give the slight edge to the Avalanche and on defense the Flames. I think the home advantage for the Avalanche will play a part here as Colorado will get the W.

Key Stat: Flames are 2-5 in the last 7 meetings in Colorado.     

Pick: Colorado – Home Team Win – H     

Winnipeg @ San Jose (10pm ET) – LOCK OF THE NIGHT

Both of these teams haven’t had the greatest seasons thus far. The Sharks are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games but have been horrendous at home with a 5-10 record. Despite their inconsistencies, the Sharks currently occupy a playoff spot whereas the Jets are on the outside looking in. The Jets are 4-6 in their last 10 games and they have been abysmal on the road losing six straight away from home. To make matters worse, they are without Mark Scheifele as he has gone down with a concussion. Scheifele plays a huge role for the Jets and his absence will definitely hurt Winnipeg in the coming weeks. In the last five games the Jets have only managed to score nine goals which won’t get it done. I think the Sharks are primed to go on a run as they look to be the healthiest they’ve been all season long. Most importantly the Sharks just got one of their top dogs back in Logan Couture who had an immediate impact upon his return leading the Sharks to a 4-2 win against the Flyers on Tuesday night. In that game the Sharks PP went 2 for 4 and Logan collected two apples on the man advantage. Give me the Sharks as Couture will lead the way.

Key Stat: Jets are 4-12-2 in the last 19 meetings.      

Pick: San Jose – Home Team Win – H