Saturday NHL Picks: March 5, 2016

by Coretti on March 5, 2016

Look for Logan Couture and the Sharks to take care of business against the Canucks once again.

Great slate of games tonight including a showdown between the Ducks and Kings. I look at six games and here they are.

Record: 44 – 35

Minnesota @ Buffalo (1pm ET)

The Wild continue to battle for a birth into the post-season as the Avalanche remain hot on their trail. Minnesota take on the Sabres this afternoon in what should be a routine win. However, the Sabres have played admirably as of late with a 5-3-2 record in their last 10 games. In their last game the Sabres cruised to a 6-3 victory versus the Flames at home on Thursday night. The Wild would be wise to proceed with caution in this matinee affair as the Sabres have proven that they could be tricky to play against. Minnesota come into this game on a three-game winning streak and over their last 10 games they have seven wins. The last time these teams met was in January and the Sabres won 3-2 at home. Prior to that the Wild gave the Sabres a spanking earlier on in the season at home to a score line of 6-1. So what's it going to be for this afternoon? Give me the Wild as they know dropping points here would be ludicrous, especially against a bottom dweller team in the Sabres. Additionally, the Wild seem to be returning to their old stingy ways as they have only allowed five goals in their last three games.

Key Stat: Wild are 6-1 in their last 7 meetings in Buffalo.

Pick: Minnesota – Visitor Team Win – V

Calgary @ Pittsburgh (3pm ET)

The Penguins have really seemed to turn a corner ever since acquiring new Head Coach Mike Sullivan. However, even with their dramatically improved play the Pens still sit in a Wild Card spot and are at risk of missing the post-season. The Penguins are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and come into this one having beaten the Rangers 4-1 in a convincing manner on Thursday night. The Flames on the other hand are currently on a seven-game losing streak and their last game saw them give up six goals against the Sabres… yes the Sabres. The Pens are healthy for the first time in a while and that does not bode well for the Flames or any team for that matter. Give me the Penguins in what should be a two or three goal win.

Key Stat: Flames are 1-9 in the last 10 meetings.

Pick: Pittsburgh – Home Team Win – H+

Nashville @ Colorado (3pm ET)

The Avalanche continue to chase down the final Wild Card spot as the season draws to a close. Colorado takes on the Predators this afternoon in what should be an entertaining game. The Predators have made some ground in the playoff picture as they currently sit six points ahead of the Avalanche with a game in hand. Nashville is 7-0-3 in their last 10 games and much of their recent turnaround has been due to the solid play of Pekka Rinne who is reminding us of how elite he can be. The Avalanche are 6-4 in their last 10 games and a win in this one would really help their chances of making the post-season. The addition of Mikkel Boedker could be a factor here as he's looked solid alongside Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon. Rinne although outstanding over his last few weeks did get lit up by the Devils in his last game allowing five goals. The Avalanche also seem to play the Predators well and especially at home. Give me the Avalanche as they should be able to get a few by Rinne who seemed off in his last start.  

Key Stat: Home team is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.

Pick: Colorado – Home Team Win – H

Carolina @ Tampa Bay (7pm ET)

The Bolts continue to roll as they are 8-2 in their last 10 games. Steven Stamkos seems to be hitting his stride and as a result the Bolts are looking very scary. Tampa Bay takes on a Carolina squad that is still somewhat in the playoff race but will most definitely fall off in the coming weeks. The Hurricanes had lost three straight until picking up a win against the Devils on Tuesday night. The Bolts on the other hand have won eight straight and by the end of the night it should be nine. Take Stammer and his Bolts by big.

Key Stat: Hurricanes are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Tampa Bay.  

Pick: Tampa Bay – Home Team Win – H+               

Montreal @ Winnipeg (7pm ET)

Both of these teams have slipped out of the playoff picture since the turn of the New Year. Both of these teams have been atrocious as of late. The Canadiens are 3-5-2 while the Jets are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games played. But the Jets are in a whole world of hurt as they have lost Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, Mark Stuart, and now Nikolaj Ehlers. This game is the battle of the rejects and I will side with the Canadiens mainly because the Jets are practically missing their entire top line. Give me the Canadiens.

Key Stat: Canadiens are 35-17-3 in the last 55 meetings.

Pick: Montreal – Visitor Team Win – V

Vancouver @ San Jose (10pm ET)

These two played two nights ago in Vancouver and the Sharks won 3-2. San Jose has been on a tear as of late with a 7-2-1 record in their last 10 games. Much of their recent form has been due to their explosive offense that has scored 13 goals in the last three games. With Logan Couture back and healthy the Sharks look primed for a strong finish to the regular season. As for the Canucks, well pretty much the same old story. Vancouver is on the outside looking in and the future does not look bright. The Sharks are clearly the better team and they are playing much better as of late. I don’t think the Canucks can keep up with the Sharks and their explosive offense. Give me the Sharks.

Key Stat: Canucks are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings. 

Pick: San Jose – Home Team Win – H