Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 5:35 PM EST
N.Y. Islanders -½ +210 over NASHVILLE
8:05 PM EST. Regulation only. We’ll take our chances with the Islanders here not because they are the better team but because the Isles want it more. Here’s a simple question:
If two NHLers go into the corner at the same time, which player will emerge with the puck? The answer is the player that wants it more and that’s why the Islanders are playable here.
The Predators are on the fence right now, and they need all the points they can get in order to stay in the hunt for the playoffs. Coach Hynes benched his stars on Monday evening against Vancouver and it’s not the first time. The numbers since John Hynes has been hired are, quite frankly, embarrassing for Hynes. The Hynes era in Nashville is only 13 games old but we got some clear indications about how he’s going to use his forwards. In those games, Rocco Grimaldi and Nick Bonino both played over a minute more per game than Filip Forsberg at 5-on-5. They also played about 20 seconds more per game at 5-on-5 than Viktor Arvidsson. Ryan Johansen, meanwhile, is playing nearly the same minutes per game at 5-on-5 (11:31) as Colin Blackwell (11:30), a 26-year old career minor leaguer with 22 NHL games to his name. It’s worth noting that everyone’s ice time is declining; the Nashville forward with the most minutes in Hynes’ 13 games is Mikael Granlund, and he’s not even playing 17:30 per game. The entire roster is being treated as though they’re all second liners and the players' response is negative.
Barry Trotz doesn’t need to let his players know that this game means something to him. The players love Trotz because they win so figure them to dig down a little deeper to get their bench boss a win at his old stomping grounds. The Islanders remain the luckiest team in hockey by a wide margin, as they are constantly getting outplayed and winning but this is actually a game where they have a great chance to outplay the Predators. Either way, this ticket is a cashable one.
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N.Y. Islanders -½ +210 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 4.20)