Phantom Picks NHL – February 25, 2012
While the entire hockey world holds their breath in anticipation for trade deadline day, some very meaning full hockey is still being played. Playoff spots are changing hands the way jerseys will be on Monday, and this weekend is no exception. The games start early again this Saturday, so make sure you get your picks in on time if you want to enjoy the early afternoon action. There are eleven games on the docket today; lets take a look at the combatants.
Tampa Bay @ Pittsburgh
Tampa is surging and looking to get into the playoff picture, while Pittsburgh is jockeying for position within the top eight. Despite Tampa’s best efforts I think they are in tough today taking on the Penguins at home. The Pens also tend to fair well in afternoon contests. Pittsburgh at 1.70.
St. Louis @ Winnipeg
The Jets have been a force at home this season, and now find themselves sitting in third place in the East. Are the Atlanta Thrashers really in third? Anyway, they do have a tough opponent today in the Blues, who have the ability to shutdown, and frustrate teams. I can’t believe St. Louis comes into this tilt as the underdog. I’m sure after this game they won’t be underestimated this way again. St. Louis at 1.85.
Phoenix @ Edmonton
Nobody wants to disappoint at home, but Edmonton really shouldn’t be winning hockey games. They are in a lottery pick spot right now, which is their last chance at another top prospect before their young stars start tearing up the league. But I digress, nobody should throw games, and Edmonton will probably lose anyway to the NHL’s new hottest team. The Desert Dogs are 9-0-1 in their last 10. Phoenix at 1.70.
Washington @ Toronto
Toronto is a huge favorite in this one? I don’t see it… I do think they will win this matchup, but not the way the odds suggest. Washington is getting 2 to 1, which I think is a little much considering these teams are tied in the standings, and have the same record over their last ten games respectively. I do still like the Buds to win though. Toronto at 1.55.
Boston @ Ottawa
To me, this is the game of the night. Boston is on a slide, and the door is wide open for Ottawa. If Ottawa beats Boston, not only will it be their 5th straight win, but they will have potentially leapfrogged into 4th place. It would also put them just 1 point behind Boston for the division lead. Boston really needs this game… and under normal circumstances I wouldn’t think they could do it. Watching them in Buffalo last night leads me to believe they will come out flat-footed, and give up the first few goals. But Unfortunately for the Sens, their starting goalie is out, and backup Alex Auld will be tending the net. So look for The Bruins to recover from their slow start, and find the back of the net one more time than Ottawa. Boston at 1.50.
Buffalo @ New York Rangers
Buffalo pulled off a nice win to cap off a hard fought game last night. I don’t see them doing it back-to-back. New York at 1.40.
Florida @ Carolina
With the division title still in play for all five South East teams, there will be no easy games. Florida is the favorite here, but I actually like Carolina with the upset. Don’t write them off, they want it too. Carolina at 1.80.
Colorado @ Detroit
Well, Detroit’s home win streak is over. Does that mean their going to start losing games? Not at all. They love playing at home, and in that city I don’t blame them. Detroit at 1.30.
Chicago @ Los Angeles
L.A pulled the first big fish out of the water this week, and with their struggling offense I think it was a good move for them. However, if it doesn’t work, they could be regretting it for the next ten years. Anyway, I think he will have an impact, but not this weekend. Chicago at 1.50.
San Jose @ Nashville
San Jose has been very disappointing lately, and if they continue to fall will be out of the playoff picture in no time. Nashville is a strong team, and also really good at home, but I see this one as a bit of a toss-up. I’ll give Nashville the edge but I do see the Sharks turning things around soon. Nashville at 1.65.
Philadelphia @ Calgary
This is another tough game. Calgary is one win from tying Dallas for 8th, and Philly needs to get back on track in a hurry. Both teams could really use the win. I’ll give the edge to Philly based on their talent, and the way they perform on the road, but it should be a close matchup. It should also be an entertaining game given the brand of hockey both teams play. Philadelphia at 1.65.
New York Rangers
OWC (Odds Worth Considering)
That’s it for this week. Look for more Phantom picks coming next week. And as always, good luck, and let me know how you did!