FREE NHL Picks; February 5, 2018

Anaheim Ducks(25-18-10) vs Toronto Maple Leafs(30-19-5)

The Ducks are not securely in a playoff spot but they have worked their way to a point out of a playoff spot. The Ducks are coming off a tough loss to one of the leagues worst Montreal. As of right now John Gibson is day to day and Ryan Miller will get the call tonight. On the year Miller is 6-3-5 with a 2.39 GAA, .922 save percentage and 2 shutouts. Miller’s last start came against Montreal in which he allowed 3 goals on 7 shots, picking up the loss. The Ducks as a whole have been playing better though picking up a point or more in seven of their last ten games, but still battle with the ability to stay consistent and go on a streak here towards the end of the year. Toronto on the other hand are coming off a loss to the leagues best, Boston. Prior to that though Toronto managed to score nine goals in two games, and just hit a very hot Boston team, nothing to worry about. The Leafs are securely in a playoff spot as the Atlantic is not the best, they currently sit 5 points behind Boston and third in the division. In the Leafs last ten they are 5-3-2 and on home ice they post a 14-8-2 record. An offense that has been surged by Auston Matthews ¬†and company they will look to get back to their scoring ways tonight. The good news for Toronto is that they add another piece of their battered blue line tonight, as Roman Polak returns to the lineup after an illness. Now with Polak back, Reilly, Gardiner and Zaistev the Leafs back end looks a tad better. Tonight is a tough one due to the Ducks tough loss and battling for a playoff spot, the Ducks struggle on the road as the Leafs see more success at home. Seems like a road team night though, but tonight I am going Leafs.

Nashville Predators(31-12-7) vs New York Islanders(26-22-5)

Nashville is coming into this game guns a-blazing, winning 8 of their last ten and picking up a point in nine of those games. They currently sit two points behind Winnipeg for the divisional lead and are coming off a big home win over the Rangers, 5-2. The Predators depth on the front and back end has led this team to another hopeful Stanley Cup trip. And now they head into New York against a team that has struggled lately. The Islanders are 5-4-1 in their last ten, luckily coming off a win vs the Blue Jackets, but post a 14-8-3 record at home. The Islanders offense matches up well with the Predators but two things the Preds have over the Islanders is a blue line and a solid goaltender. The Predators are 13-7-4 on the road this year too, they see just as much success on the road as they do at home. Being the Islanders are struggling right now and are not an amazing home team, we could easily see a Predators win and in which I think they will win tonight. Although the last time these two played the Islanders went to Nashville and beat the Predators 6-2 on home, I think revenge is in store for the Predators tonight. We’ll see Pekka Rinne in net for Nashville and Jaroslav Halak in net for New York. Tonight I am going Predators.

Tampa Bay Lightning(36-13-3) vs Edmonton Oilers(22-24-4)

The Lightning head to Edmonton to face off against one of the worst teams in the NHL, the only thing Edmonton has going for them is Connor McDavid. I don’t think we really need to go into depth about this matchup. Don’t really care if Edmonton is home they are 11-13-2 on home ice and 5-4-1 in their last ten. Lightning are the best team in the NHL at the moment and have an offense that Edmonton’s blue line cannot handle nor can Edmonton even matchup with the Lightning’s offense. The Lighting are 6-4-0 in their last ten coming into this game on a two game winning streak and I don’t think they drop another game to Edmonton tonight. This is the first time they are meeting but I don’t know it’s pretty obvious to me. Lightning tonight.


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