Ride Price and the Canadiens, plus other winners for Saturday's NHL slate.
Not a bad start to the regular season as I managed to almost go perfect if it weren’t for the Blue Jackets. This weekend brings an interesting slate of games including two major rivalry games. I plan to look at one of those games as the Battle of Pennsylvania is just too tough to call. Without further ado here are your game picks.
Record: 5 – 1
The Montreal Canadiens currently sit atop of the NHL having not lost yet in regulation. With a healthy Carey Price the Canadiens have a chance to win each and every night. Additionally, the recent additions of Shea Weber and Alexander Radulov seems to have paid dividends. More specifically, Weber has been an absolute beast posting nine points in eight games with an incredible plus-12 rating. The Toronto Maple Laughs are coming off a 3-2 home win against the Florida Panthers. With a 2-2-3 record the Leafs are not exactly tearing it up, however, that record could have been much different if it weren’t for several late game collapses. In all fairness the Leafs have been rather entertaining as the young guns are on fire to start the season. With all the talk surrounding Auston Matthews, it is William Nylander who has really caught my attention with nine points in seven games with five of those coming on the man advantage. In the crease Frederik Andersen has been a BUST thus far posting a 3.92 GAA and .866 SV%. I think this game maybe closer than expected, however, there is no way I can bet against the Habs as they will continue to roll.
Key Stat: Maple Leafs are 0-6 in the last 6 meetings.
Pick: Montreal – Home Team Win – H
Don’t look now but the Detroit Red Wings are off to a blazing start having won six straight games heading into tonight’s matchup with the Bees. Is this run sustainable? No. Similar to the Vancouver Canucks and their run to start the season, I fully expect the Red Wings to return to reality soon enough. That return may begin tonight as they play a team that has had their number for quite some time now. The Boston Bruins have had an unfortunate run of injuries in the crease and that has led them to lose three straight allowing 14 goals over that span. Tuukka Rask may return for the Bruins tonight and if so I really like their chances at a W. I simply don’t think the Red Wings are that good and the Bruins should get a win against a familiar foe.
Key Stat: Bruins are 7-1 in the last 8 meetings.
Pick: Boston – Visitor Team Win – V
The Dallas Stars have had a rough go to start the regular season. Actually saying rough maybe an understatement as Jason Spezza, Cody Eakin, Jiri Hudler, Patrick Sharp, and Ales Hemsky are all on the shelf with injuries. Add in the fact that Captain Jamie Benn has yet to regain his form after offseason core surgery and you have a big dilemma in the Big D. The Minnesota Wild on the other hand have played some solid hockey as they currently sit near the top of the Western Conference. A big reason for that is the play of Devan Dubnyk who is scorching hot as of late posting back-to-back shutouts stopping a whopping 65 shots over that span. This is a tough spot for the Stars and especially on one day’s rest. Playing on the road, with mounting injuries, suspect goaltending and little rest… give me the Wild to capitalize on a hurting Stars squad.
Key Stat: Stars are 0-5 in their last 5 games playing on 1 days’ rest.
Pick: Minnesota – Home Team Win – H
Life without Jonathan Quick has not been all that bad as the Kings come into this matchup on a four-game winning streak. However, Peter Budaj is definitely not the answer and sooner or later the Kings will hit a rut. Budaj currently has a .901 SV% and something tells me after this game that will drop south of .900 in a hurry. The Blues have been anemic on offense having scored 10 goals in their last five games. However, six of the goals came in their game against the Flames therefore inflating that number. I think Budaj is a perfect way to get that Blues offense kick started again. Vladimir Tarasenko should be in for a big night and the Blues should be a solid play in DFS. The Kings will have to score a minimum of three goals to win this game and I really don’t see that happening at the Scottrade Center. Give me the Blues.
Key Stat: Home team is 11-4 in the last 15 meetings.
Pick: St. Louis – Home Team Win – H
BOOOOOOOM! You hear that sound? That’s the sound of the Canucks coming back down to earth. Vancouver comes into this matchup riding a three-game losing streak and at the stroke of midnight it should be four. There really isn’t anything exciting to write about the Canucks as they are in rebuild mode… or are they? I guess that’s a discussion for another time. The Loui Eriksson project has been somewhat of a BUST so far as the Swede is still looking to light the lamp this season. Coming off a 30-goal campaign the Canucks have high hopes for Eriksson and only time will tell if he will deliver. The Capitals have started the season off rather meh if I had to describe it. They are clearly struggling at the moment as they have lost two straight heading into this game. For me the Capitals have always been a team that really builds momentum off the man advantage. Their PP is currently running at 10.5% which is near the bottom of the league and we all know that is bound to go up considerably in the near future. Once the PP gets back on track the Capitals should catapult back up to the top of the Eastern Conference. John Carlson owners should STAND PAT and relax. Although he has only one assist in six games this season, one night could fix his stat line in a hurry… and tonight maybe that night. Give me the Caps in a bounce back game.
Key Stat: Over is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings.
Pick: Washington – Visitor Team Win – V
Before the regular season began I noticed a lot of peeps viewing Pekka Rinne as a top tier goalie. To be honest I was confused as the Rinne I know has deteriorated as a goalie over the last few years and I feel his hip surgery/issues is a big reason for that. Nonetheless, here we are and the Nashville Predators currently sit near the bottom of the NHL with a measly five points. Life without Shea has been abysmal to say the least as the Predators are desperate for a win right now. Goals have been tough to come by for the Preds and James Neal is case in point as he yet to record a goal on the season. The Sharks come into this matchup having won two straight as they currently sit in a familiar spot near the top of the Western Conference. Pekka Rinne is projected to start this game and I think he will be in tough against a Sharks squad that will pepper him with shots all night long. I will continue to fade the Predators until their offense comes alive. Give me the Sharks at home.
Key Stat: Predators are 7-23 in the last 30 meetings in San Jose.
Pick: San Jose – Home Team Win – H
Also, check out Chris Wassel's picks for Saturday's Daily Fantasy slate.
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