Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 4:10 PM EST.
7:05 PM EST. OT included. One could spot a half puck here with the Islanders and take back a quarter or thereabouts but we’re going for the kill here for so many reasons. First off, the Islanders continue to win play great defense and win games, which has allowed both Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss to thrive (Greiss starts).
This wager, however, has more to do with fading the Devils, who rank dead last in Corsi For % during five-on-five play over the past six weeks. The Devils are 2-2 out the break both both wins were a fluke after they allowed 39 and 40 shots against to Pittsburgh and Montreal respectively. The writing is on the wall for management that this team is selling and now they’re waving the proverbial towel by showcasing Corey Schneider in hopes that he gets hot and some desperate team offers something up for him.
Schneider will be making his first NHL appearance since December 14th and comes in having gone 0-5-1 with a 4.66 GAA and .852 SV% in nine appearances this season. During his time with the Binghamton Devils (AHL), Schneider wasn’t much better, posting a 3.24 GAA and .881 SV% across eight games. He has simply lost the form that once made him one of the best goalies in the league. Dude has lost it forever but the Devils will play him because they’re paying him and because there is a franchise player (Jack Hughes) available in the 2019 lottery. The Devils made the playoffs last year, so admitting the need to go full scorched earth a year later would have to sting a little. Still, Ray Shero seems like a guy with a long-range plan, and with the Devils a mile out of the playoff hunt, he’s got a chance to get back in that lottery winner’s ring. The Devils have six UFA’s ready to go. On a side note, somebody might want to take this MacKenzie Blackwood kid aside and explain things to him.
So, what we have here is a truly determined visitor going up against the league’s worst goaltender that is not even minor league worthy anymore. We also have a team with great defense that brings it for 60 minutes every game against the league’s worst defense. Can this one go any other way? We think not and it’s an absolute steal of a price at both -½ +130 or -1½ +205. We’ll play the latter.
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N.Y. Islanders -1½ +210 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 4.20)