FREE NHL Picks: March 18, 2018

Calgary Flames(35-27-10) vs Vegas Golden Knights(45-21-5)

The Flames are coming into this game with 9 games remaining after today, they are four points out of a wild card spot and trail three teams for the last wild-card spot. The Flames have been a very inconsistent team as of late and the Mike Smith injury definitely did not help this team. In their last ten, they are 4-5-1, coming off a loss vs San Jose Friday. They continue their road play vs one of the best home teams in the league. Vegas has 10 games to play after today, and it seems like a playoff spot is essentially a lock at this point, their position, possibly not. With Vegas’s two-game losing streak and Sharks four-game win streak, Vegas now only leads San Jose by six points. This is a must-win for both teams and it is also third meeting between the two. Vegas took one in Calgary 2-months ago and Vegas took one in Vegas a month ago. They travel to Calgary for the final meeting, on one of the last days of regular season play. Vegas holds the advantage 2-0 here and blew out Calgary last meeting. Vegas is 4-5-1 in their last ten coming off a loss to Minnesota. On home ice, a hungry Vegas team rarely drops three straight, they’ve only done it three times this season out of the 71 games they’ve played. Going Vegas tonight.

Washington Capitals(41-23-7) vs Philadelphia Flyers(36-25-11)

The Capitals recent four-game win streak has propelled them six points ahead of Philly and two ahead of Pittsburgh. This is going to have a playoff atmosphere to it for sure, so past records or success will not matter much. The Capitals are also most likely without Evgeny Kuznetsov, after injuring himself last game vs the Islanders. The Capitals could not have got luckier with playing the Islanders back to back and running through them. They are 7-3-0 in their last ten and have been a very consistent, gritty team this year. A new Washington team it seems like. The Flyers, on the other hand, have been playing up and down hockey, they get hot for an extended period of time and then they fall off and we are seeing the downfall right now as they are 3-6-1 in their last ten, but are coming off a big win vs Carolina. The Flyers will be put to the test tonight if they want to be a playoff team they are going to need to play desperate hockey vs one of the best teams in their division. The Flyers and Capitals have met three times prior to this and this will be the final meeting of four. The series currently belongs to Philly, 2-1, but the Capitals took the most recent game January 31, 5-3. A lot of history behind these two teams, and it will be a nail-biter for sure. Tonight I am going Capitals.

St. Louis Blues(38-28-5) vs Chicago Blackhawks(30-34-8)

Totally ok, that one of the worst games of the night is going to be aired on NBCSN tonight. The Blues and Blackhawks have been some of the most inconsistent teams as of late, the Blues fell out of a wild card spot it seemed like after going on a terrible 7-game skid, but now only sit three points out as the Blackhawks also went on a long skid and couldn’t fight themselves out of a paper bag, they have certainly fallen out of a wild-card spot. The Blackhawks are 3-7-0 in their last ten coming into this game on a two-game losing streak, losing their most recent game to Buffalo. The Blues are 4-5-1 in their last ten coming off an overtime win vs the Rangers. Terrible news for the Blues though they are without Vladimir Tarasenko tonight as he left Saturday nights game with an apparent injury and did not return. The Blues going back to back, an injured Tarasenko and probably starting Carter Hutton, I do not feel too hot about the Blues tonight. The Blackhawks despite their terrible season are still a somewhat competitive team and against a division opponent and a team they share a lot of playoff history with, the Blackhawks will come out a little hungry tonight. The Blues and Blackhawks have met one time prior to this but still play each other three more times before the season ends in 12 games, crazy. The Blues took the first one in St. Louis, I am feeling an upset win Hawks over Blues, go Hawks tonight.

Dallas Stars(38-26-8) vs Winnipeg Jets(42-19-10)

This is probably one of the best games on tonight, the Stars and Jets always make for a solid match, due to their success this season and top players they are exciting teams to watch. The Stars and Jets have met three times prior to this and the Jets currently hold the season series 3-0, looking for the sweep here in Winnipeg tonight. The Stars are coming into this game barely in a playoff spot, tied with Anaheim who has a much easier opponent tonight. The Stars are 3-3-4 in their last ten coming off back to back overtime losses their most recent one vs Ottawa Friday night. The Jets come into this game well in a playoff spot and inches away from clinching their playoff berth for sure. The Jets are 6-3-1 in their last ten coming off a beat down on Chicago. The Jets are one of the best home teams too, with a 25-7-2 home record as the Stars are below .500 road team and a top 15 team for worst road play as they are 14-16-5. This is going to be an interesting game the Stars drop this and Ducks win, Ducks jump the Kings for the three spot in the Pacific and then the Stars stay tied for the last wild-card spot. With only 9 games remaining the Stars need every point they can get, but I am going Jets tonight.

New Jersey Devils(37-26-8) vs Anaheim Ducks(36-24-12)

The Devils tough road schedule continues but the good news is that out of their last three road games they have won all three, and have just four more until the season is over. The Devils are coming into this game on the road since March 10, and won’t get off the road until March 23. They are on a three-game win streak, 6-4-0 in their last ten. Their recent road play really helped them get some separation from Florida, but the Devils playoff berth is not secured just yet, the Panthers have a few games in hand, this will come down to the wire here. The Ducks as I mentioned above sit just tied for the last wild-card spot and Pacific division three spot a win tonight gives them some advantage and also a playoff spot, for now. The Ducks come into this game on a two-game win streak, 5-4-1 in their last ten, and also winning 6 of their last 7 home games. This is another playoff implication game, two teams that will probably be in the playoff hunt until the season ends so every point matters from here on out, the Ducks need this a little more than the Devils and the Devils hot road play cannot continue much longer, I see a desperate Ducks team come out tonight and take this one, going Ducks here.

Other games on tonight…

Red Wings vs Avalanche: Avalanche, although this will not be an easy game for the Av’s as the Wings always play them well and their only meeting this year went to overtime. 

Oilers vs Lightning: Again not an easy one as the Oilers are 5-4-1 in their last ten and playing a little better as the Lightning are with Petr Budaj in net probably and playing a little worse hockey on a two-game skid. Going Lightning though. 

Hurricanes vs Islanders: Zzzzzzzzz……. Islanders ? 



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