Let’s get a streak going here heading into playoffs.
Washington Capitals v. New York Rangers (@Verizon Center; Washington, D.C.)
With 3 games left on the schedule for each team and playoffs on the horizon the Caps see themselves in a very familiar situation they were last year. Caps get the chance to Clinch the President’s Trophy tonight at home for a second year in a row. Vigneault’s recent announcement that the Rags will be resting players to fix some health issues heading into the post-season leaves the New York side without McDonagh, Nash, Zuccarello, Fast and “other defensemen”. The Caps being the best team in the NHL, captained by Ovechkin (who I would consider the most competitive minded player in the NHL) see blood here. Lundqvist will start tonight and has been (1-1-2) since his hip injury. Caps are (8-1-1) in their last 10 comparing to the Rags abysmal (3-3-4). Look for a strong minded and incredibly talented Capitals team backed by last years’ Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby to clinch tonight.
PICK: Washington Capitals to win in regulation. (-120)
Lets start Monday strong.
Chelsea v. Manchester United (@Stamford Bridge; Fulham, London)
Let’s not get caught up on names in this one, Chelsea is a far better side and has proven so over this past year as they lead the EPL table while Man U. sits in a dismal 6th place. Chelsea has had the whole week to prepare while Man U. will be traveling back from their competition in Russia on the 9th against FC Rostov in the Europa. The interesting part about this match-up is it seems that this United side will have no set striker. Martial and Rooney are both injured, Ibrahimovic is suspended due to red card AND their last hope Marcus Rashford is listed as ill and did not make the trip with the team. With the big ? at the striker spot for a team that’s been in poor form (drawing 1-1 in their last 2 competitions to far worse sides), this seems like a real scary situation for Man U. here especially when the contest takes place at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea has been undefeated in their last 11 v. Man U. and the last time these two faced at the Bridge, Chelsea motored to a 4-0 victory. A well rested and fully healthy Blues side should assert dominance in this one.
PICK: Chelsea to Win. (-135)
New York Islanders v. Carolina Hurricanes (@Barclays Center; Brooklyn, NY)
Nothing too fancy here, just a solid line for what should be an easy win. The Hurricanes just plain old suck away from home. Their home record is a solid (19-10-3) while their away record is a trash (8-17-8), in their last 10 they’ve been (3-4-3) and one of those 3 wins they were lucky to run into a Rangers team that was playing their 3rd game in 4 days. As far as the Isles go, the season has turned around for them, they are in serious contention for the second wild card spot (1 point out behind Toronto) and they’re killers at Barclays. They have been (19-10-3) at home and (6-3-1) in last 10, love targeting this team at home because they play like a different team when in Brooklyn (away record of 12-16-5). A -150 money line isn’t a high asking price for such a match-up.
PICK: Islanders to Win. (-125)
I should’ve really done a write up for the Champions League yesterday, Barca at -1 and Dortmund at -1.5 was way too good to pass up. Well lets get into it.
New York Rangers v. Carolina Hurricanes (@PNC Arena; Raleigh, NC)
Again we get the Rangers with a great line against another shit team. As long as these lines keep coming in I will continue to throw on the Rags and reiterate how incredible they are on the road. They are (24-8-0) which is not only 5 more wins than any other team in hockey on the road, but it is the third best Home/Away split record in all of hockey (second to only Pitt and Washington’s home records). The rangers are getting their form back and are only 2 points away from getting out of the wild card spot (although Columbus and Pitt still have 2 games in hand on them). The Rangers are 6-3-1 in their last 10 while Carolina has been a leagues worst 2-5-3 in their last 10. The last 6 games Carolina has played they have only totaled 3 goals ONE TIME, and that is scary going into a game against the second highest scoring team in the NHL. After a short struggle the Rangers unleashed on Florida Tuesday night putting up 5 goals on only 28 shots. With Raanta in net coming off a sick performance against Tampa in his last game (38 save shutout), and Cam Ward in net for Carolina (currently riding a 6 game losing streak where his save percent is .883% and GAA is 3.21) this is a really nice spot for the NYR.
PICK: New York Rangers to win. (-125)
Chicago Blackhawks v. Anaheim Ducks (@United Center; Chicago, Illinois)
Why not ride the hot hand of the Hawks’ here? Chicago has been unstoppable as of late going 9-1-0 in their last 10 (currently on a 7 game win streak) and they get a great match-up here against an Anaheim side who is MUCH BETTER at home. Anaheim is 5-5-0 in their last 10 and are (13-14-7) on the road – a shitty 38.2% win percentage. With the Blackhawks facing the change here to hop into first in the Central Division they will come out flying and bury the Ducks with ease. The Ducks can not stop Patty Kane and Panarin on home ice.
PICK: Chicago Blackhawks to win. (-165)