Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:00 PM EST.
9:05 PM EST. Minnesota lost three in a row before defeating the Canucks on Tuesday but it’s worth pointing out that they dominated the Maple Leafs the game prior in a 5-3 loss. Minnesota outshot Toronto 41-23. The Wild have wins this year against Winnipeg, Tampa and Colorado among others and they are outstanding on defense, having allowed the third fewest High Danger Scoring Chances Against. During five-on-five play, they also rank second in High Danger Scoring Chances For so clearly they are capable of defeating any team. However, this wager is more about fading the Flames in a very difficult spot and when their stock is soaring.
We like the Flames a lot. We like their coach, their depth and their abundance of talent and speed throughout the lineup but they are not going to win every game and again, this is great spot to fade them in. Calgary is sizzling hot --that is the noun being used to describe them after they scored nine goals on Columbus on Tuesday night to run its winning streak to three games and their record to 17-9-2. Those last three wins came against Chicago (losers in 16 of their 19 games), L.A. (worst team in the league) and the aforementioned 9-6 win over Columbus. Calgary scored 9 times on 28 shots, thus they could have easily lost 6-0 instead of winning 9-6. We also like that the Flames were all laughs and smiles heading home and that their brief, two game trip to Chicago and Columbus was the annual “Dad’s trip”, so the players have had their dad’s around for a few days so they were on an emotional high. David Rittich was yanked in the Columbus game after Calgary fell behind quickly, 4-1. Mike Smith came on in relief and picked up the victory so we’re pretty sure that Smith will be given the chance to steal back the #1 job. We like that too, as Smith is a massive risk and now he and his teammates are in a vulnerable spot after scoring nine goals in Columbus and thinking that was a good game.t over time and in that regard, Nashville’s unsustainable shooting and save percentages are starting to so exactly that. For the first six weeks of the season, Nashville’s PDO (shooting % + save %) ranked 3rd in the NHL but over the past three weeks, it ranks 26th. Finally, the Preds have won two in a row but are still without Viktor Arvidsson, P.K. Subban, Kyle Turris and Filip Forsberg. That quartet counts for 30% of all Nashville’s offense this season and without them, they are very beatable and cannot be priced in this range.
Remember when the Canucks were the talk of the NHL after the first month of the year? Well, since then, Vancouver has done a complete 180° and now there isn’t a team in the NHL whose stock is lower. That makes us instant buyers on the Canucks over their next few games or until their stock rises again. Vancouver has now ,ost four in a row and 11 of 12. Just like they were not good enough to keep winning at the pace they started out on, they are not weak enough to keep losing at this pace. The massive funk that started about a month ago coincided with the loss of several key pieces that included Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi among others but aside from the Baertschi, the Canucks are healthy again. Furthermore, the pickup of former Leaf Josh Leivo was such a good pick-up because he’ll can play, he’ll add energy and scoring depth and would probably be a top-six forward on at least 50% of the teams in this league. The Canucks are on the verge of snapping out of it and we promise that they’ll put forth a strong effort tonight and will not be shaking in their blue suede skates to play this depleted invader. Instead, they’ll be chomping at the bit.
OT included - Minnesota +122 for 1 unit.
Regulation only -Minnesota -½ +200 for 1 unit.
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Minnesota -½ +200 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 4.00)