Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:45 AM EST.
10:35 PM EST. Regulation only. While we are not usually in favor of spotting road pucks, we’ll make an exception here, as there are so many variables working in the Ducks favor and we’ll start with their horrible performance last game out against the Jets. Anaheim lost that game 3-2 in OT but it had to be perhaps the most misleading score of the year, as the Jets dominated from start to finish. It was as lopsided a game as one will ever see and if not for John Gibson’s brilliant performance (Ducks were outshot 42-18), Anaheim would have lost by six goals or more. Francois Beauchemin said it was the best game he has ever seen John Gibson play. Cam Fowler said his goalie kept them in a game they didn’t deserve to be in. Even Ducks coach Randy Carlyle couldn’t deny what he saw was special. Gibson delivered a performance for the Ducks that was spectacular and the Ducks earned a valuable point for it. The Jets’ Corsi for percentage – a metric that measures possession at even strength – was an astounding 75.7 percent according to naturalstattrick.com What follows a terrible performance by a quality team in which they were bailed out by their goaltender is something much stronger in support of him and that’s what figures to happen here. Incidentally, Ryan Getzlaf was a late scratch on Friday with a flu bug but it looks (unofficially) like he’ll be good to go today. The Ducks are in a fight for their playoff lives and we know for sure that Edmonton played last night and therefore the Ducks figure to have a massive edge in goal because of it.
Cam Talbot played last night, which leaves castoff Al Montoya in goal for the Oilers. Edmonton is Montoya’s seventh team since he first appeared in an NHL game nine years ago. There is a reason that he’s a career backup that nobody wants. The Oilers will also play their second back game after a four-game trip after returning home and playing the Kings last night. Edmonton beat L.A., 3-2 but that’s only because Cam Talbot was better than Jonathan Quick. L.A. out-Corsied Edmonton, 57-42, outshot them and had more scoring chances. The Oilers will now play their third game in four days and tail end of back-to-backs after returnimng from a trip and it’ll also be their fifth game since last Sunday when they played in Tampa Bay. No excuses here for the Ducks, as they cannot and will not be as lethargic as they were in Winnipeg. In the unlikely event that the Ducks get outplayed, the goaltending mismatch in Anaheim’s favor more than compensates.
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Anaheim -½ +126 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.52)