The FREE NHL picks format will be changed, I’m sorry but I am going to be devoting much of my time to graduate school and taking exams for graduate school. Not fun but it’s what needs to be done, therefore the major NHL nights free picks will be out. More than likely we are looking at three to four nights of free NHL picks.
Calgary Flames(11-8-0) vs Washington Capitals(11-9-1)
Saw something the other day about Johnny Gaudreau’s point streak, I believe it is something like 16 points in his last nine games. Absolutely ridiculous and this team would be nothing with Johnny hockey this year. He leads the team with 29 points and third in the NHL, just four points behind Nikita Kucherov. The Flames need to see some better performances out of Mike Smith, last week Smith struggled mightily and it resulted in the Flames having to score four-plus goals. The Capitals offense is deep and versatile, their power play is coming in at 20.8 percent and the Flames are a 20.6 percent. It all comes down to goaltending tonight. Braden Holtby vs Mike Smith who steps up and helps their team win. I got Washington, 4-2.
Winnipeg Jets(12-4-3) vs Nashville Predators(11-6-2)
Probably game of the night and the NHL should figure it out with television rights, how can you not air this game. Two top teams in the NHL right now, the red-hot Jets and the former cup contenders squaring off in Nashville. This game will be a great one, Connor Helleybuck able to hold off Nashville to two or fewer goals, Jets able to slot three or more on this Predators offense. This game comes down to those two factors. Helleybukc has been on a Cinderella story and riding high and the Jets have rallied around Helleybuck’s stellar start. Predators depth on offense and defense make them a scary team, and at home they are unstoppable, but Jets are the underdogs here and I like the sound of that. Slam it Jets, 5-3.
New Jersey Devils(11-5-3) vs Minnesota Wild(9-8-2)
The first of two meetings between the Wild and Devils kick off tonight on MSG plus. The Devils have dropped four of their last six games. And coming into a hot Minnesota team will not be an easy matchup. Jason Zucker’s red-hot streak looks to continue tonight and it will for sure, but the Devils need to get some confidence back and take a game and get back in the win column. The Devils offense has been filled with new players stepping up all season which is great but concerning at the same time, does it mean they are streaky or what. The Devils are a time that everyone is unsure of right now and we will know who this team really is come Christmas time. Tonight, I’m going Minnesota, 4-2.
Anaheim Ducks(9-7-3) vs San Jose Sharks(10-8-0)
The Ducks are coming off a win that probably should not have won as John Gibson turned away 50 of Florida’s 52 shots last night. The Ducks got outshot, 52 to 28 and they get ready for a mediocre San Jose team. The Sharks have dropped three of their last five games and the biggest concern has to be Brent Burn’s zero goals and awful start. Luckily the Sharks go up against a team that is hurting badly and sporting two centers in the top six, that do not belong there. We will need to see some key players for both teams step up but Anaheim’s defense will need to help Ryan Miller as he expected to get the nod after Gibson’s grueling start last night. I like Anaheim here in overtime, 3-2.
The two other games tonight are Columbus vs Buffalo, figure that one out on your own. I don’t care if Buffalo is home, you can do this one yourself, people. And even better Coyotes vs Leafs with Auston Mattews back. Yeah, we know how that is going to go.