Saturday’s NHL Picks – February 2, 2019

by Flip Livingstone on February 2, 2019


Thankfully, the few days off with NHL All-Star break somewhat disguised my rough record of 2-4 from two weeks back. However, with teams across the league starting to distinguish themselves between Cup contenders and playoff pretenders, this is setting up to be a nice bounce-back spot to make some cash.

A completely stacked board of 13 matchups awaits us today, including two afternoon matinees, so let’s get right down to business and back on the winning train.

Good luck!

2018-19 Record

Gold: 6-4       

Silver: 8-2

Bronze: 3-7

Side Bets: 14-16

Overall combined: 31-29 (52%)

Gold

Tampa Bay Lightning @ New York Rangers – Pick: Lightning

Betting against the Rangers this season has usually been a good decision, as the Rangers are mired in a disappointing campaign that has seen the club hover near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings for most of the first half of the year. The Rangers do however hold a respectable 5-5-0 record over the last 10 and have been playing decent puck over their last few games.

Tampa, on the other hand, have been the toast of the league from the jump, pacing the entire NHL in points with a sensational 78 through 51 games. The Bolts have also been playing New York tough of late, winning four of the last five matchups and eight of their last 11 at MSG.

The Bolts are fresh off a shutout win against the Islanders, and I expect their New York trip to continue to go smoothly. Hammer the Lightning for my Gold play of the week.

Silver

Anaheim Ducks @ Winnipeg Jets – Pick: Jets

Jets superstar Patrik Laine might be struggling to put up points these days, but the same cannot be said for Winnipeg as a whole, as Paul Maurice’s men continue to flex their muscle as legitimate Cup contenders with points in eight of their last 10, including seven victories. Despite Laine’s inconsistencies, the Jets still find themselves atop the Western Conference and picking up steam.

As for the Ducks, not so rosy. Anaheim has been completely ravaged by injuries in 2018-19, with a majority of their top-six forward group spending significant time on IR, including Corey Perry, Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg. The Ducks have been sputtering over the last month, winning only two of their last 10 while sliding down the Pacific Division standings and right out of a playoff spot.

Winnipeg has built a reputation of being a very difficult city for opposing clubs to play in, and I see that continuing tonight for the lackluster Ducks. Jets win this one, easily.

Bronze

Arizona Coyotes @ San Jose Sharks – Pick: Sharks

Let’s not overthink this: San Jose is a stellar home team, with only four regulation losses this season. Arizona, in addition to having a carousel of netminders in the blue paint, is a very inconsistent club that struggles to put the puck in the net.

This is a great spot for the Sharks who also have only three losses in their last 10 games and hold a strong 16-7 record at home when playing the Coyotes. Like I said before, let’s not overthink what should be an easy W for a Sharks team that is looking to separate itself from the rest of the Pacific Division pack.

Lock San Jose in as my Bronze pick of the week.

Side Bets

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Toronto Maple Leafs – Pick: Maple Leafs

Dallas Stars @ Nashville Predators – Pick: Over 5.5

Vegas Golden Knights @ Florida Panthers – Pick: Panthers

Flip Livingstone is a former NHL writer for theScore with past experience at such outlets as Postmedia, Hockey Night in Canada, and the CBC. You can follow him on Twitter @FlipLivingstone.