NHL picks

NHL PICKS OF THE NIGHT: Vegas hits the road, Coyotes worst NHL start

Vegas Golden Knights(8-1-0) vs New York Islanders(6-4-1)

Vegas is coming off a seven-game homestand as they hit the road for a six-game road trip. This will be a test for Vegas to see how they handle road trips and back-to-back games. The Islanders John Tavares ranks third in the league with his second hattrick in one week and nine goals on the season, it is always a positive sign for the Islanders to see captain Johnny T doing his part. For Vegas, Oscar Dansk gets yet another start after coming off a 32-save shutout vs Colorado. Vegas keeps proving all doubters and fans wrong with their hot start but there comes a time when a team hits a wall and a six-game road trip sounds like it is time for Vegas to come back down to earth. Islanders, 4-3.

Arizona Coyotes(0-10-1) vs Philadelphia Flyers(6-5-0)

This is set to be a historic game and all for the wrong reasons as the Coyotes are on the brink of making NHL history for the worst start by a franchise. If the Coyotes lose tonight, they will be off to the worst start since the 1943 New York Rangers. Coming into Philadelphia vs a team who just lost their best defenseman Shane Ghostisbere, and have a top point go-er in the league, it will not be an easy matchup for Arizona. As it appears Antti Raanta will get the nod and Brian Eliott will be the other netminder. Arizona has a ton of talent and young weapons but against an experienced, high powered offense like this, they don’t stand a chance. Flyers, 3-1.

Boston Bruins(4-3-2) vs Columbus Blue Jackets(7-4-0)

The Bruins really lucked out Saturday night after losing a heartbreaking overtime game vs the Kings, where Tyler Toffoli scored with .4 seconds left off an unbelievable faceoff play.  The Bruins now with their number one goalie back, Tuukka Rask, will pay dividends into their overall game and confidence of the players. Against a projected to be top team in the Eastern Conference it will be no easy feat for the Bruins on the road at Nationwide Arena. There is no word on David Krejci yet but it appears he is out for another game which hurts this teams center depth. The aspect both teams have going for them is their penalty kill as they are both ranked in the top ten, Bruins with an 83.3 percent and Columbus with an 89.3 percent, so neither power play will be efficient tonight. Still, Blue Jackets, 3-2.

Montreal Canadiens(3-7-1) vs Ottawa Senators(5-1-5)

For some odd reason, it amazes me this Ottawa team has only one loss and five overtime loses, the Senators could easily be an undefeated team or a borderline .500 team, which concerns me. But with production like Mark Stone and Derek Brassard as of late the Senators find ways to score goals and win games. While the Canadiens are coming off a much-needed win vs the New York Rangers, but still have ways to go. A positive sign in Montreal is that Jonathan Drouin despite this team’s poor record, does have 8 points leading the team. Montreal does not concern me especially with the performance of Carey Price lately and against an Ottawa offense that can score goals, it will be a nightmare for Montreal’s defense and Price. Ottawa, 4-2.

Tampa Bay Lightning(9-2-1) vs Florida Panthers(4-5-1)

Tampa Bay had their four-game win streak and Steven Stamkos/Nikita Kucherov point streaks snapped with their loss to Anaheim Saturday night. The Lightning will face Florida for the third time this season already and the last time until March, 6. Florida will have their hands full tonight and better hope they stay out of the box as the Lightning have the second best power play in the league and the Panthers have the third worst penalty kill in the league. Stamkos and Kucherov will be back on the board tonight but Panthers top guys like Vincent Trocheck and Evgeny Dadonov will be looked upon to match the Lightning’s top-duo. Tampa Bay, 3-2.


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