FREE NHL Playoff Picks: April 21, 2018

It seems as if the away teams have been winning a decent amount this playoff run, with San Jose taking two in Anaheim, Vegas two in L.A., Flyers taking two in Pittsburgh, Colorado taking one in Nashville, Nashville one in Colorado, Winnipeg one in Minnesota, Tampa Bay one in New Jersey the Capitals and Blue Jackets winning both their games on the road, Boston last win in Toronto. A LOT of road winning and it is making this picking stuff difficult. Who the hell saw the Avalanche beating Nashville in Nasvhille, cmon! 

New Jersey Devils vs Tampa Bay Lightning

I really don’t know any more after Colorado beating Nashville in Nashville I cannot say Tampa is going to take this one easily. Especially not since the Devils have been playing Tampa well this series and the Lightning have faced a lot of penalty trouble. Also with the way last game ended with Sergachev and Boyle, this will make for a fun possible elimination game for New Jersey. Obviously I am thinking Lighting here, clearly the better team they have a healthy roster and have had plenty of days to rest and get ready. The Lightning head back home where they took the first two of this playoff series, but the Devils have been lucky enough to find a way to this Lightning team. In the first two games they gave the Lightning’s speed and skill too much room, the Devils have definitely adjusted their game to be more physical, in your face way of play. They are playing a tough style to play against which we saw in games three and four have led Tampa to the box. Home ice advantage may be in the Lightning’s favor perhaps the refs do not call as much but we will see. Really anything is possible. two road teams won Friday night and one of them the goalie stood on his head. Which is what I think we will need to see from Corey Schneider here today. Elimination on the line, Lightning with a chance to end it and rest as Boston could possibly be doing the same thing if they win tonight. Going Lightning.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs Washington Capitals

It is TOUGH to win three in a row especially in this series. This series, in particular, has been something no one thought could happen, both teams winning their games on the road and three of the four going to overtime. The Blue Jackets came out flying in the first two games and looked to be the hungrier team, Washington caught a lucky bounce in game three, found life and came out flying in game four. The beauty of a little hope in a team, the Capitals are running on it right now. The Blue Jackets know what they will be walking into, the Capitals home ice advantage has not been so much of an advantage per say. This series is shaping up to be the best first-round series. If the Blue Jackets win here tonight, I think they end it in game six, but who knows anymore with the way this first round has gone. I really cannot say for sure Blue Jackets will take it. If I had to look at both teams, the play of Seth Jones and Zach Werenski has been great, these two are driving the offense for the Jackets and if we see some life out of Cam Atkinson and Nick Foligno this game could be Columbus’s. Then again the Capitals have Ovechkin and Carlson two players you do not want winding up in front of you, along with Kuznetsov and Backstrom, it is going to be a burner. If Holtby can outplay Bobrovsky for one more game this is the Capitals series. But tonight I am going Columbus.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins 

The Leafs are dead. Not sure why anyone had the Leafs in this series but the Bruins are just horses. Top to bottom, this team is a horse, they cannot lose it seems. The line of Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak has been a thing of beauty, to supplement it will DeBrusk, Nash, Krejci, Heinen, Nash, Backes then that defense is just unstoppable. With Torey Krug producing and chiming in the way he is, is huge for the Bruins. The Bruins are clearly the better team. Maple Leafs do welcome back Nazem Kadri to the lineup today although it will make zero difference. The Leafs need to come out from the start and get the first one and get it early, get the Bruins on their heels and shake up the series and momentum a bit. The Bruins are not worried one bit, they dropped one game in Toronto and have pumped the Leafs the other three times. Leafs need to come out and play a physical game too, stop giving Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak all the time and space in the world. Make it difficult, play tough, make a series out of this Toronto. Either way Boston on home ice in the TD Garden arena, Boston locals, and fans on their back. Bruins know what to do and know the circumstances of what they are walking into. Going B’s tonight.


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