FREE NHL PLAYOFF Picks: April 16, 2018

Boston Bruins vs Toronto Maple Leafs

The Bruins head into Toronto up 2-0 and outscoring the Leafs 12 to 4, no one saw this coming. Not even Boston. David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand have combined for 20 points over the first two games, as Pastrnak is coming off a 6 point night, and leading the Bruins with 9 points. The Leafs have struggled greatly against Boston, and it seems the whole Frederick Anderson owns Boston is no more now. The Leafs luckily get two at home here, but this will not be any different than the first two games. The Leafs have come out to slow starts in both games and have allowed 4 power play goals, giving Boston a 40 percent rate right now. It’s pretty evident what we can expect from this Toronto team, they are going to need to come out and get the first goal here and get off to a much better start. There top guys like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner are going to need to be relevant out there. With Nazem Kadri out still due to a suspension, the Leafs will be using Leo Komarov a bit more to match up against top lines. This Bruins team is extremely deep, for some reason, people had Toronto to take this series which I am not sure why but it is clear the Bruins are showing everyone why they deserve to be a Stanley Cup team. Going Leafs tonight though, Bruins in game four.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs New Jersey Devils

This series is going exactly how everyone expected it too. Well most of us, those who are not blinded by reality. The Devils yes are going to put up a fight for a majority of the game but the Lightning are the better team and know what needs to be done this time of year. Production from guys like Brayden Point and Alex Killron have helped the Lightning take some pressure off the top guns, but still, with a line up with Stamkos and Kucherov as well, it is hard to slow these guys down. The Devils did throw 50 plus shots on net last game which is a good sign, but Andrei Vasalevskiy has stood tall for a majority of this season while Keith Kinkaid, for the most part, has not, as he has allowed 10 goals in two games. Which may open up the conversation about starting Corey Schneider possibly. The Devils run the possibility of dropping this game here tonight and facing elimination during game four. I think the Devils understand how important this game is and will for sure play a very desperate game. Going home to the “Rock” in front of home fans will help the Devils out here tonight. Going Devils here.

Nashville Predators vs Colorado Avalanche

The Predators have faced a much tougher Colorado team then they expected. Colorado has not gone down easy and each game has been neck and neck until the end. The shots are 63 to 58 in favor of Nashville and a team we expected to see very little production on the front end have scored four-plus goals in both games. The Avalanche are a hungry team for sure, and a team that is happy to be here, but the Predators are just a much deeper, all around better team. For any of those who expected Nashville to not take this series in five games or even lose the series, may want to reconsider their hockey knowledge. This series is going can one of two ways, the Avalanche rally behind the home fans at the Pepsi Center and take two here or they make it a little easier for Nashville and split the next two games with the chance of elimination in Nashville for game five. I think Nashville takes this one tonight, Colorado takes game four, then Nashville finishes business in game five on home ice. Going Nashville tonight.

Anaheim Ducks vs San Jose Sharks

No one expected this series to go how it is right now. San Jose is only the second team this playoff run to go home with a 2-0 advantage(Columbus). The Sharks did the unspeakable and took two games in Anaheim. The first was Evander Kane’s first career playoff game in which he, of course, scored two goals. Game two was a little different as the game was very tight and back and forth all game, but Martin Jones stood tall and shut the door on Anaheim’s late third period chances. The Ducks are now a game away from hitting the panic button. The Ducks drop this one tonight and stay in San Jose for game four, it could be a sweep for the Sharks. Luckily I do not see that happening, I think Anaheim’s veterans and core guys, step up big here tonight, rally the troops and take one in San Jose tonight. The Ducks veterans like Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Adam Henrique will need to be chipping in and doing whatever is necessary to get this team focused. The Ducks cannot afford to drop one here tonight, it is a do or die game for them and that is why I see a very desperate, physical Ducks team coming out tonight. Going Ducks here.



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