Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 5:15 PM EST.
7:05 PM EST. OT included. One has to wonder if the Canucks are going to get caught napping a bit here, as they continue their current six-game trip after games already in Edmonton, Calgary and most recently in New Jersey on Tuesday. After this game, the Canucks will play in Montreal on Saturday and then close out their trip in Toronto on Monday. Surely, games in Montreal and Toronto have more meat on the bones than this one does. Aside from that, the Canucks are not good enough yet to be priced in this range on the road. They’ve won two of three of this current trip and they have also won six of 10 but it’s not because they are outplaying the opposition, it’s because Jacob Markstrom is the hottest goaltender in the game right now. Markstrom had an outstanding December, going 8-1-0 with a 1.66 GAA and .943 SV% in nine games but the Canucks only mustered 29, 27 and 25 shots on net respectively over their last three games during this trip.
We’re counting on some regression from Markstrom because he’s never shown the ability to steal games and it’s not uncommon for average goaltenders to run hot for a few games. Markstrom has ranked middle of the pack or lower in GSAA his entire career and even this year after that hot streak, he still only ranks 31st out of 65 qualified goaltenders.
Ottawa is losing a lot of games these days but they are still very competitive most nights and especially competitive in its own barn, where they are 11-7-3. Outside of defenseman, Thomas Chabot, (and goaltender Craig Anderson) the Sens are healthy and offensively. they’re a dangerous squad with the ability to score in bunches. Rookie Marcus Hogberg gets this start in net again after allowing four goals on 36 shots in the Senators loss in Columbus on Monday. Hogberg will start his third straight game, having gone 0-2-0 with a 3.56 GAA and .883 SV% in his first two appearances but again, that was against Washington and Columbus and the kid has not looked out of place. The Sens are going to win some more games this year and this is certainly a winnable one.
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OTTAWA +115 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.30)