FREE NHL Picks: March 21, 2018

Arizona Coyotes(24-37-11) vs Buffalo Sabres(23-37-12)

So both these teams are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs(nerds) and I guess once a team hears their season is over they play better? Because right now in Buffalo’s last ten games they are above .500 (5-4-1) and Arizona is 6-3-1 coming off a smack down on Calgary. Over the last month and a half of play, Arizona has played some of it’s best hockey though losing 10 games of their last 23 games, making them 13-10 in their last month and a half of play. They played like this all year they could have been a playoff team, alright maybe not but still. Same goes for Buffalo as their season progressively got worse and the playoffs quickly were out of sights they have been playing a tad better as well. This game literally means nothing, whoever wins essentially kind of hurts themselves because they are the two favorites for the first overall pick right now and have almost identical records. The winner just loses some chances of drafting Rasmus Dahlin, so basically you want to lose. I’m going with Arizona here tonight, the better team I think and playing better as of late. Go Yotes.

Montreal Canadiens(26-35-12) vs Pittsburgh Penguins(41-27-5)

I believe the Canadiens are eliminated from the playoff contention as well, not a shocker there though, I think around game 25 they were done. The Canadiens did have Carey Price back on the ice during practice recently and is said to be a starter for tonight. This will be Prices first start in net since being sidelined February 20th. Not a Vezina year for the all-star goalie but, due to health issues Price has not been the same all season. On the road especially is where he struggles, posting a 4-15-1 record with a 3.36 GAA and .897 SV %. Plus with Pittsburgh coming off a bad loss Tuesday night, and at home, Price will have a tough time tonight. The Penguins come into this game in a playoff spot and 100% making the playoffs, they are 5-4-1 in their last ten, with a 26-8-1 home record. Penguins need to win tonight as the Blue Jackets are slowly inching up on them now, to secure a decent first-round opponent the Penguins want first in the Metro, going Penguins tonight for sure.

Boston Bruins(45-17-9) vs St. Louis Blues(39-28-5)

Whoever schedules these games on NBCSN must really like the Blues, I want to say this is their third time on NBCSN in like the last month. Anyways the Blues come into this game three points out of a playoff spot and on a two-game win streak, coming off a win vs Chicago and the Rangers, so there last two wins were nothing great. The Bruins, well are the Bruins, they have been one of the most consistent and dominant teams in the NHL all year. They are 5 points away from the Lightning for the first spot in the Atlantic, and also 7-2-1 in their last ten games. The Bruins will more than likely be going with Tuukka Rask tonight who is 30-11-5, 2.35 GAA and .916 save percentage this season. The Blues have confirmed they will be going with Jake Allen, at one point Allen was their back up but has been seeing more time as of late. Allen is 23-21-2, 2.79 GAA and .905 SV % on the year. In Allen’s last six starts he has allowed 15 goals, collecting 4 wins. He has been playing a tad better lately but coming off a four-goal game vs Chicago to now vs Boston is not going to be easy for Allen. The Bruins are definitely the better team here but, with the playoffs around the corner and the Blues trying to steal a spot, anything can happen. Anyways, I’m going Boston tonight.

Anaheim Ducks(37-24-12) vs Calgary Flames(35-29-10)

The Ducks come into this game on a three-game win streak and two-day rest, and also against a team that has been struggling immensely, who just recently lost Monday night to the Coyotes on home ice. The Flames that is. The Flames have plummented out of a playoff spot with a 3-6-1 record in their last ten and a three-game losing streak. Even being at home the Flames do not play well with a 15-17-4 record, they have been very inconsistent and at this time in the season as they sit 6 points out, we can rule the Flames out right now. The Ducks need these two points to create some seperation for a playoff spot. No confrimed goalie for tonight but we would have to assume Mike Smith and John Gibson for both clubs as that is their starter. Tonight is a easy chocie for me going Ducks.


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