Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
12:00 PM EST. Regulation only. The Rangers played yesterday afternoon and lost 6-3 to the Senators. Losing by three goals to Ottawa is not an easy thing to do. The Rags have lost by three or more goals in four of their past six games. One goal losses are bad luck, two goal losses that don’t include an empty netter is also bad luck but three goal losses that do not include any empty netters is a true measure of a weak team playing poorly and that describes the Rags. It only gets worse too. New York has four regular defensemen on the rack (McDonagh, Staal, Shattenkirk, Kampfer) and while McDonagh is questionable today, it really doesn’t matter because he adds very little to this team because he’s a slow skating, stay at home d-man on a team that needs quick, puck-moving d-men. Furthermore, the Rangers will return home from a four-game trip here to play their fourth game in six days and fifth game since last Sunday when they played in Winnipeg. The Rags have lost three straight and eight of 10 after posting one of the NHL’s most misleading records over the first half of the season. For those of you, like that idiot Pierre McGuire, that put no weight on analytics, the proof keeps showing up in the pudding but sometimes one has to wait a bit.
The Flyers have a confidence and swag going on right about now but what we really like is that the Rangers have beaten up on them for years and now is the perfect time for Philadelphia to push back. The Flyers have lost 27 of the past 38 meetings to the Rags including the only time they faced each other this season just one month ago in New York. The Rangers won that day 5-1 and it’s now been well over a calendar year since the last time the Flyers beat the Rags. Enough is enough. Philly is coming off a tremendous effort against the Jackets and have now picked up points in seven straight games. Going into that game in C-Bus, the Blue Jackets had the highest shots on goal per game in the NHL, and had fired had 50+ shots on goal in each of their three games prior to Friday night, but their shot volume was muted by the Flyers. The Flyers were able to keep Columbus to the outside, forcing low-danger shots, while generating some quality chances of their own. Columbus dominated the shot attempt battle at 5v5 to the tune of 64-39, but they barely out-chanced the Flyers 32-26, and the Flyers actually had more high-danger scoring chances (11-10). The Blue Jackets barely had an edge in expected goals for at 5v5 (2.68-2.45) despite having 25 more shot attempts and 15 more shots on goal. While it’s just one game, it illustrates Philadelphia’s attention to detail and the adjustments they’re buying into game by game. They had a similar game (and win) at Vegas last Sunday. After playing the likes of Vegas, Columbus and the Devils, the Flyers take a big step down in class against the Rangers, not only in talent but in all the mental aspects of the game too. Philadelphia does indeed have a score to settle with the Rangers and we’ll trust them to settle some of it here.
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Philadelphia -½ +134 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.68)