Monday NHL Quick PicksBy Daniel J.
The NHL is offering a solid six-game slate today, which includes some key early-season match-ups. Several teams who’ve gotten off to slow starts are in action today and many of them, including the defending Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings, will need to start building a little momentum, as we are nearly at the quarter mark of this lockout shortened season. Who will win the day on the ice? Check out our quick picks to find out.
Philadelphia Flyers +1.5 at Toronto Maple Leafs -1.5
After a dismal start, the Flyers have rebounded nicely and are now sitting at 5-6-1 on the season after a 3-0-1 home stand. However, today they’ll have a massive challenge on their hands as they take on one of the hottest teams in the league in Toronto and they will be on the road, where they have only won one game so far this season.
Look for the Maple Leafs to extend their win streak to four games by covering -1.5 today.
Carolina Hurricanes +1.5 at New York Islanders -1.5
While the Hurricanes have started to find a groove, the Islanders have gone in the opposite direction, losing their last four games. However, they will be at home today and they do have a four-game win streak against the Hurricanes dating back to last season.
The Hurricanes have struggled defensively, but they average more shots per game than the Islanders coming into this match-up. Look for Carolina to tighten up its defense and cover +1.5 today.
San Jose Sharks -1.5 at Columbus Blue Jackets +1.5
After a 7-0-0 start, the Sharks have gone 0-2-2, but they’ll still be a goal and a half favorite over a struggling Blue Jackets team today, even on the road.
The Jackets are getting outscored by well over a goal per game and against a high-scoring team like the Sharks, that doesn’t bode well for the home squad. Look for San Jose to come in and get a much needed win today, covering -1.5.
Los Angeles Kings +1.5 at St. Louis Blues -1.5
Things have not gone according to plan for the Kings so far in their title defense, as they’ve limped out of the gate to a 3-5-2 start. Meanwhile, the Blues have entered a downward spiral of their own, dropping their last four games after a solid start.
Scoring certainly hasn’t been the problem for the Blues, who are averaging 3.36 goals per game, but defense has been, as they have allowed more goals than any other team in the West other than the last place Blue Jackets. Look for the Kings to pick up a much needed win today with some nice goaltending from last year’s Finals MVP Jonathan Quick and some timely scoring as they cover +1.5 on the road.
Phoenix Coyotes +1.5 at Colorado Avalanche -1.5
After a rough start, the Coyotes have won three of their last four contests behind superb goaltending from one of the best in the business – Mike Smith. Meanwhile, the Avs have struggled mightily on the offensive end, putting up just 2.1 goals per game so far this season. That combination should benefit the Coyotes heavily in this one. Look for Phoenix to cover +1.5 and pick up the win on the road.
Minnesota Wild +1.5 at Calgary Flames -1.5
The Wild haven’t lived up to the high expectations put upon them before the beginning of the season, but they’ll have a chance to get things headed in the right direction against the struggling Flames.
The high-profile offseason acquisitions of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter haven’t translated to any road wins yet this year, but that talent will pay off for them in the long run and you should expect that tide to start turning today. Look for the Wild to cover +1.5 on the road and end their drought away from home.