Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:10 PM EST.
7:05 PM EST. OT included. The Flyers have won seven in a row and have outscored the opposition 28-16 over that time. Prior to its seven game winning streak, the Flyers were 16-23-6 and had one of the worst records in the league. What changed? Two things changed. First, the Flyers called up a rookie by the name of Carter Hart and the kid has caught fire. Secondly, the Flyers power-play has caught fire and there you have it. Two luck driven stats that has the Flyers stock way higher than it should be.
The Flyers are not playing better now than they were when they were losing frequently. Over the past month, Philadelphia ranks 24th in Corsi For % during five-on-five play and 21st in High Danger Scoring Chances Against. As for Carter Hart, his charmed life is going to end soon also, as he’s not as good as advertised. Hart ranks 30th in High Danger Save % and 28th in Goals Saved Above Average. That puts him in the Martin Jones/Linus Ullmark range, both of whom are having awful seasons. As for the Flyers PP, it scored four goals against Edmonton otherwise the Flyers would’ve gotten buried. In the game prior, said PP scored twice against Boston (in two tries), thus making the Flyers PP successful on six of its last seven PP opportunities. Prior to that, Philadelphia had 1 power-play goal in its last 24 opportunities. Power-play and penalty killing percentages might just be the most luck-driven stat in all of sports and right now, that plus some of the other luck-driven stats are all working in Philadelphia’s favor but it’s also unsustainable. The Flyers remain beatable on their best day while the Canucks could be in for a big stretch run.
The Canucks are healthy, determined, well-coached and their modest success is all legit. Vancouver has no luck-driven numbers and if anything, they have been on the wrong side of puck-luck most of the year. The Canucks are coming off a 5-1 win in Colorado. Jacob Markstrom is having a great year too and the numbers suggest, his great year is legit after he paid his dues for a number of years prior. If you’re waiting for that other skate to drop — for Jacob Markstrom to revert to that guy who gave up early goals and let it get to him — don’t hold your breath. Whether it’s maturity, working in concert with goalie coach Ian Clark, or finding understanding what it takes physically and mentally to be a top goalie in this league, he’s figured it out. Balanced and loaded with talent up front, don’t sleep on the Canucks the rest of the way, especially when prices like this are offered when the opponent is an inferior one.
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Vancouver +145 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.90)