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)
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)
After a nice 42′ minute goal by Sergio Aguero, we look to keep the streak alive with another soccer game this afternoon and touch on a good match-up with a great line for a little puck action later. First up –
Chelsea v. West Ham United (@London Stadium; London, U.K.)
In a 3pm EST game we have a strong and in great form Chelsea side (winners in 17 of their last 20 EPL matches). Chelsea had lost this game last year on the road to West Ham and I believe they will try to seek some revenge as their play has shown them to be a better team than the previous season. Hazard and Costa will look to exploit Jose Fonte on West Ham’s back line with Michail Antonio suspended for the match because of a red card. With Tottenham winning yesterday and cutting Chelsea’s lead to 7 points for the top spot in the EPL look at any games v. bottom 10 teams as “must wins” for Chelsea. Chelsea’s 19GF – 11GA away goal differential is well matched against West Ham’s 14GF – 22GA Home goal differential. Despite my love for home teams in soccer, West Ham has actually been a better team on the road, they rank 15th/20 in the EPL in home contests (5-3-5) while Chelsea is 2nd/20 in the EPL in away contests (8-3-2). I like Antonio Conte and The Blues to put this one away with a second half goal.
PICK: Chelsea to win full time (-180)
New York Rangers v. Tampa Bay Lightning (@Amalie Arena; Tampa, Florida)
As much as I’m not confident with the match-up, I just don’t see anything wrong with throwing down on the Rangers here with this great line. The Rags come into this competition as the #1 road team in the NHL (22-8-0 road record), which is actually better than their home record of (19-14-2). For some reason the Rangers just love playing on the road, they look sharper and seem to feel a lot less pressure away from MSG. As for this Tampa side they have actually been pretty good lately (6-2-2 in last 10) but when you dig a bit deeper, the strength of schedule for those last 10 has been shit. After the dealing of Bishop, there is nothing to be scared about facing Vasilevsky, and with Stamkos out for the year their offense has taken a hit. As the season is coming to an end the Rangers see themselves basically locked into the top wild card spot but looking to jump into the top 3 in the Metropolitan division (0nly 4 points out). The Rangers 2.30 GA/G on the road is a leagues best while their 3.20 GF/G on the road is second to only Montreal. Tampa is an average home team/ average team in general, I think their hot streak comes to an end tonight.
PICK: Rangers to win. (Pick’em)