NHL Playoffs - Game 2
N.Y. Rangers +155 over Carolina

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Eastern Conference Quarterfinal

Game 2

New York Rangers +155 over Carolina

8:00 PM EST. Much has been made about the dominance of the Hurricanes on their home ice in  Raleigh thus far in these playoffs. In five of the five games played in the great state of North Carolina, the ‘Canes are 5-0, while also outscoring their opposition 20-7. That includes Carolina’s 2-1 overtime win over the Rangers on Wednesday night.

Lost in the excitement of the ‘Canes taking a 1-0 series lead is that they were not the better team for most of that  game. The Rangers outshot and outchanced the Canes for the first 40 minutes, but pulled up lame in the third. The Hurricanes would tie the game and force overtime, which is always a coin flip.

It’s after much consideration, especially when these games are being played so tightly, that we must re-evaluate our approach in this series. When it comes to “in-game variance” or “lucky bounces,” the NHL is the toughest to predict and often the best team does not always get the best result. Just look at the NBA by comparison. Almost every night is a boat race that leaves one team so far behind that it’s almost comical. Last Sunday was a hell of a knee slapper.  Billed as a day of Game 7s, with two in the NBA and two in the NHL, last Sunday was to be an epic sports day. How could it not be? Well, how did those winner take all clashes shake out? Both NHL games (Penguins/Rangers and Dallas/Calgary) went to overtime. There’s nothing better. The NBA? The Celtics whacked the Bucks by 38, while the Mavericks waffled the Suns by 33. Not exactly compelling television, but we hope it helps to prove our point. In the NBA, there are so many possessions that the best three point shooting team on any given night has a great chance to win. In the NHL, any team can get stymied by a hot goaltender. Just as the Flames, who skated circles around Dallas, did and just squeaked by.

It is with all that said that we are going to take a different approach in this series. While all things are not equal, we saw a big bounce back by the Blues in Game 2 of its series, as did the Panthers despite not getting rewarded for their effort. Again.

We do not know which team is going to start fast or who is going to fade late. Which goalie ate some spicy broccoli or which power play is going to be the one to capitalize on its opportunities. What we do know is that the Rangers have a great chance to win. We don’t have to worry about empty nets or overtime. We don’t have to sweat spotting a big price on a favorite. We just have to take back this inflated price and go with the best of it.

Our Pick

N.Y. Rangers +155 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.10)

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