FREE NHL Picks: January 23, 2017

New Jersey Devils(24-14-8) vs Boston Bruins(27-10-8)

Yikes, bad news for the Devils as they dropped their game Monday night to the Red Wings, not only lost but got shutout, only the fourth time this season. Now, the Devils go back to back and face off against the Bruins, one of the hottest teams in the NHL. The Devils have only three points separating them from being knocked out of a playoff spot by the Islanders, Rangers, Penguins and two points by the Flyers. This game is a major playoff implication game. The Bruins are chasing the Lightning right now and a win tonight makes them three points away from the lead. They are 7-0-3 in their last ten and 15-5-4 at home, while the Devils are 2-5-3 in their last ten and 11-7-5 on the road. The Bruins will not be an easy time for the Devils, there is no confirmed starter, but the Devils will have a tough time tonight. The Bruins will be without Charlie McAvoy though for at least two weeks. This is not good news for the Devils because I do not think they take this game and to make it worse they face off against Nashville next game as well, the Rangers play tonight, the Penguins play tonight and the Flyers play tonight, if all three win(which is possible) the Devils playoff hopes just got jeaporizied big time. . Tonight going Bruins.

Colorado Avalanche(27-16-3) vs Montreal Canadiens(19-22-6) 

Can the Avalanche go for 11 tonight? They won against the Maple Leafs, and now face against the Canadiens, one of the less successful teams in the league. Eleven looks to be something that could definitely happen. The Avalanche success has been that first goal to start the game, they did it last night and although they trailed at one point last night, they battle back and scored three unanswered goals. The Avalanche have been something special and something none of us saw coming. Not to sound like a broken record but Nathan McKinnon may have to be a hart favorite right now, just due to the fact of how valuable he is to his team right now. The Canadiens on the other hand, well are bad. They are quite the opposite of Colorado, no depth scoring, no defense and a goaltender who has been streaky at points. If it was not for Max Pacioretty recent ability to score goals this Canadiens team would struggle, they are 11-9-5 on home ice and 3-5-2 in their last ten. While the Avalanche are on a ten-game win streak, 9-9-2 on the road and well 10-0-0 in their last ten. Av’s continue the streak and push it to eleven, going Av’s tonight.

Philadelphia Flyers(23-16-8) vs Detroit Red Wings(19-20-7) 

The Red Wings are coming off a huge win vs New Jersey Monday night, a win in which Petr Mrazek made 37-saves for the shutout and traveled back home to Detroit now. The only problem here tonight is that the Red Wings had to travel from New Jersey to Detroit in one night, a back to back is never a good thing. The Flyers are coming into this game looking for blood, they win this game it puts them tied with the Devils for a top three spot in the Metropolitan division. In their last ten the Flyers are 8-2-0 and on a three-game win streak currently, they are 10-8-4 on the road and this will be their second time facing off against Detroit this season. Detroit is coming off a back to back and will be another gritty game for the young team, a back to back always means that one team is not as favored as the other and in this situation going up against a hot Flyers team, that wants to secure a playoff spot and gain some traction in the playoff race is not going to be easy even on home ice. Tonight I am going Flyers.

Tampa Bay Lightning(32-12-3) vs Nashville Predators(28-11-6) 

Two of the top teams in the NHL face off tonight and one team is going back to back while the other has had some time to rest now. The Lightning dropped to the two spot in the NHL after Vegas jumped them but that was short lived as a Tampa win last night pushes them back to first in the NHL. But, Vegas plays tonight and Tampa plays tonight, let’s see how this goes. The Lighting are 5-4-1 in their last ten and have a record of 15-7-2 on the road, they are without Ondrej Palat for 6-8 weeks now and have to find someone to fill the top six role. Not a problem with this Lighting forward group. The Predators though are one of the best teams in the NHL on home ice as they are 16-4-2, with a 7-2-1 record in their last ten coming into this game on a five-game win streak. A Predators win tonight puts them ahead of Winnipeg for the divisional lead(if Winnipeg losses tonight). I think I am sticking with the home team, going Nashville.

Winnipeg Jets(28-13-7) vs San Jose Sharks(26-14-6)

This a great matchup, two Western Conference teams, two teams that are respectively at the top of their division and have met now two times prior to this meeting. The season series is split at one apiece as the home team has taken both games. The Sharks took the first game back in November 4-0, while the Jets one the second game earlier this month on home ice 4-1. Now the Sharks welcome the Jets to the shark tank for the final meeting(maybe until playoffs?) of the season. The Jets are coming into this game with a record of 7-2-1 in their last ten, a two-game win streak and 11-10-6 on the road. While the Sharks are 6-2-2 in their last ten, a  two-game win streak and 14-6-2 on home ice. The Sharks have been much better hockey as of late, they are seeing a tremendous amount of depth scoring and seeing goal scorers like Joe Thornton come out of nowhere. While the Jets have a remained a top team in the league for a majority of this season, a ton of depth a hot goaltender and some solid four defensemen. Tonight though as the season series shows, I am going the home team. Sharks tonight.

Other games on tonight…

Hurricanes vs Penguins: Penguins 

Senators vs Blues: Blues

Panthers vs Stars: Stars 

Sabres vs Oilers: Uhhhh

Kings vs Canucks: Kings

Jackets vs Golden Knights: Golden Knights

Rangers vs Ducks: Preview, coming



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