FREE NHL PLAYOFF Picks: April 13, 2018

Philadelphia Flyers(0-1-0) vs Pittsburgh Penguins(1-0-0)

The Penguins rolled the Flyers on home ice in game one on Wednesday and with no lineup and or goalie changes, the Penguins are favorites to do it once again. The Flyers came out and played a game to try and match the Penguins speed and talent, which is not how they will win. The Penguins may even get Derek Brassard back tonight, which is going to make this Pittsburgh team even deeper and more skilled. Brassard is a veteran forward and has a load of experience┬ácome this time of year. The Flyers will go with Brian Elliott for game two as well since Dave Hakstol has said he is their guy, not sure if Flyers fans agree with this. But a veteran goalie with 40 games played in the playoffs should bounce back for game two. By no means will the Penguins shackle the Flyers 7-0 again, this one is going to be much closer and intense than last game. The Penguins came out hot, scored early and put the Flyers on their heels. Key to Flyers win, is a pushback, when the Penguins push, they match with physicality. Flyers need to throw everything on net early and often, Murray is proved to be a playoff goalie but he is still young. We’ll see a much different Flyers team for sure, still going Penguins for game two.

Minnesota Wild(0-1-0) vs Winnipeg Jets(1-0-0)

This series is going to be a lot better than most fans believe it to be, the Wild held the Jets to a one-goal win without their two of their top four defensemen. We should see Jared Spurgeon on the ice today but right now he is a game-time decision. The Jets last game out powered the Wild outshooting them to 2-to-1, the Jets offense will not slow down, therefore the Wild have to all five guys on the ice playing defense and coming back, to do their part. Wild minimize turnovers in grey areas and make as little mistakes as possible, we could see a Wild win tonight. The Wild gave the Jets breathing room and with the turnover in the neutral zone to Patrik Laine, which led to a Laine goal, you basically are giving the Jets the game. The Wild need to throw more pucks on net, Hellebyuck proved to be a reliable starter in the regular season but as we know in past with great regular season goalies does not mean good postseason goalies, Hellebyuck is young and inexperienced, we should see more pucks on net from Minnesota. Still a whiteout in Winnipeg on a Friday night, I would be SHOCKED to see a Wild win. Going Jets.

Los Angeles Kings(0-1-0) vs Vegas Golden Knights(1-0-0)

The Kings were definitely pushed back by the Golden Knights quick start and pregame antics. The Golden Knights came out flying from the start and in a way shocked the Knights. Vegas scored early and that was they needed from that point on. The Knights will be tough to play especially on home ice but in order for the Kings to take this series like 50 percent of fans think will happen, they need to take one in Vegas. The Kings were right in that game as the game went on and Vegas settled down a little the Kings played their game a little better but the crutch to this game is that the Kings will be without Drew Doughty for this game after he got suspended for his hit on Will Carrier during game one. The Kings are not out because Doughty is out, they have a deep backend, but it’s the playoffs and next man up scenario. The key for Kings is to get on the board early and score that first one, once Vegas gets one and gets comfortable and in rhythm, they seem to be impossible to play against. Kings will rely on Quick to step up in this game as Fluery recorded a game one shutout, that was the key for Vegas Fluery outperform Quick, he did it and Vegas is up one now. This game, I see Kings taking it, don’t know why but I see it.


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