Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:30 PM EST.
10:05 PM EST. OT included. We like the Canucks work ethic and we also like the direction the team is going but one would be better served to get behind them when they’re taking back a tag as oppose to be spotting one. We get a price on the Isles here because they have dropped six in a row while scoring just 13 goals in those six games.
Remember when the Isles were the highest scoring team in the NHL? Well, nothing has changed in terms of scoring chances. The difference between then and now is that now the puck isn’t going in as often. We have consistently stressed that goal scoring is often a result of good puck luck. A shot from the point pinballs off two legs and goes in the net in one game and hits a stick and goes into the crowd in another. Very rarely are goals scored in this league when the goaltender has a good view of the puck. Most goals are scored on screen shots, deflections or rebounds and rebounds are another luck driven event. Every coach puts an emphasis on driving to the net or getting to the net for a chance at those inevitable rebounds. In one game, a rebound lands on a players stick just off to the side and he buries it into the open net while in another game, a player off to the side would have the same open net to bury the puck into but the rebound doesn’t land on his stick or it bounces over it. Right now the Isles are not getting that luck around the net but when you create so many chances, it will return at some point and against Vancouver’s shaky goaltending, we could see it here. Take out the Isles last game against the Penguins and prior, they allowed just 25, 26, 33, 31 and 32 shots on net in five straight games respectively. That includes games against both the speedy Maple Leafs and speedy Devils. Lastly, this is the second game of a four-game trip for the Islanders and these next three games are going to be a big part of their fate. This is the first game of said three on the Canadian West Coast and the Islanders have no excuses not to bring it hard.
The Canucks are coming off an OT loss to Nashville so anyone that bet against the Canucks on Saturday night (and a ton of people did) got spooked off fading the Canucks again. Anyone that bet the Preds in regulation lost too. Prior to that, the Canucks picked up another point in a 6-5 OT loss to the Rags but it’s well documented that they fired away 55 shots on net in that game. The point is that the Canucks’ stock is higher than it should be. Last week, winger Loui Eriksson suffered a fractured rib and is out for the season while winger Sven Baertschi separated his shoulder and he is also done for the year. The Canucks are not deep enough to compensate for key injuries and we also see this as a letdown spot after an intense and exciting game on CBC’s late game on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday. Vancouver’s weak goaltending tandem also increases its risk, as Jacob Markstrom’s save percentage of .909 is exactly the same as Joroskav Halak’s and they’re almost dead even in GSAA also. Give us the Isles in a better spot with a more dangerous offense and throw in a small tag and you can pencil us in.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
N.Y. Islanders +106 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.12)