Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:10 PM EST.
7:05 PM EST. OT included. The Oilers have won four of their past seven games and have picked up points in five of those games. In that stretch, they also lost 1-0 to the Flames so we could easily be discussing a team that had picked up points in six of its last seven. Edmonton is coming off two games in Florida against the Panthers are Bolts in which they split the pair. The Oilers have allowed just 12 goals against over their past six games and just one goal against in three of those. What that establishes is not that the defense is playing better but that Cam Talbot has found his game again after struggling for most of the year. Edmonton has allowed more shots on net this season than every team in the league besides the Rangers. They’ve allowed 40 shots or more in three straight and 32, 33 and 35 shots against prior. The results are better than the performance but it points out just how well Talbot has been playing lately. In fact, Talbot has posted save percentages of .952, .969, .970 and .968 in his last four games. Al Montoya played the other two games in the tail end of two back-to-backs recently. If Talbot comes up with anything close to that here, we’ll be cashing this ticket. If he does not, we still might cash this ticket.
Scott Darling is coming off a rare 4-3 win over the Islanders. Darling was shaky again, as he always is and remains the worst goaltender in the world that’s getting paid to play net. Of the 67 qualified goaltenders, Darling ranks 67th in Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA) with nobody even close to his brutal mark. We are not sure if Darling is the starter here but it’s not going to matter, as Cam Ward is only slightly more reliable, ranking 55th in GSAA. Again, we’re absolutely aware that the Oilers are going to get outplayed here but so what. Every night in the NHL there are teams that get outplayed and win. Hockey is a beautiful game but a frustrating at times game to wager on. Last night for instance, there were five games and the better team lost four of them. Columbus beat Boston because Joonas Korpisalo was better than Tuukka Rask, Nashville beat Buffalo only because Pekka Rinne was much better than Linus Ullmark, L.A. beat Minnesota because Quick was better than Dubnyk and Arizona beat Calgary because Antti Raanta was better than Mike Smith. Columbus, Nashville, Arizona and even L.A. to a lesser degree all deserved to lose but they all won. The team that gets better goaltending wins a very high percentage of games and as sure as we are that Edmonton gets outplayed here, we are just as sure that Talbot will be better than Ward or Darling. There is no reason that Connor McDavid and company can’t bury four goals or more on Scott Darling or Cam Ward and there is no reason that Edmonton can’t beat this weak goaltending like so many others this year.
Please note: We have leans posted daily on Twitter and you can follow us there for leans, possible late plays or any other info we might have to pass along.
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.
Edmonton +144 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.88)