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NHL Picks for Jan 2nd

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  • NHL Picks for Jan 2nd

    First time posting on this NHL subforum!

    NHL: New York Islanders At Calgary Flames

    Both of tonight's sides enter this game with good momentum. The Islanders, one of the league's most improved teams, have won 6 of 8 games. The Flames are doing well themselves, having won four straight. Earlier in the year I harped on about the improved defense that the Islanders have at their disposal this season. Well, all of that is still true, but it seems that they have not developed a great understanding with everyone healthy. Simply, they just aren't playing as defensively solid as they can. That'll come though, and the Islanders could be a threat with the acquisition of some more offensive depth. Halak, the Islanders starting netminder, had a great start to the season. He has slowed down a little of late, but he is still putting up respectable numbers. He is just not on the same vezina caliber pace that he was earlier. In their last four, the Islanders have leaked 2,3,4, and 3 goals respectively. That's a problem, but not a massive one, when you can outscore the opposition. Still, it's a bit of a testament to the lull in goaltending that they have experienced. Tonight, they are taking on the Flames who are surprisingly solid this year. They have some skill, but not even the most diehard Flames fan would say that they are amongst the top teams in the league. What they do have, however, is great work ethic. They never stop skating and seemingly find ways to get back into games even if down by a couple goals. In their last four games, they have scored 4,2,4, and 4 goals respectively. Some of that has been on the back of Johnny Hockey, but the offensive opportunities have been generated. Three of the last four games between the two sides have gone over the total, and I think tonight's game will be of a similar vein. The Islanders can score in bunches, and have not been as defensively solid as they can be. The Flames are in a good run of goal scoring form right now, and frankly, Hiller has let in a few softies of late. All signs point to it, and I'm taking it - **My Pick of The Day is Over 5.5 Goals @ 2.07**

    NHL: Philadelphia Flyers At Carolina Hurricanes

    Things are starting to get dire in Philadelphia. While not expected to be amongst the league's elite, many thought the Flyers would contend for a playoff spot. Their current form, however, leaves much to be desired. They played quite well in their 4-3 loss last game to Colorado, but Mason has not played as well as he had previously in his last two games. It should be noted that he suffered a back injury in practice, and these were his first two games back. Hopefully, he has gotten his timing back in time for tonights outing. Helpfully, the Hurricanes are one of the leagues worst offensive sides. They only average 1.95 goals per game, have lost 11 of 13 games, and have only scored 16 goals through those 13 outings. The Flyers have lost their last three games, but those losses could have been expected. Nashville is playing great hockey of late, the Coyotes found some form in their victory over the Ducks, and the Avalanche play such an inconsistent game that they can beat or lose to any team on any given night. The Flyers will need continued contribution from Voracek, Giroux, and Simmonds if they are going to get back into the playoff picture, and I think that starts tonight. They will have to beat Cam Ward, however, who is putting forth a great effort to overcome the historically low scoring output by his team. Ward is posting a 2.39 GAA, which would be the best of his career. The Flyers have the personnel to beat the 'Canes, and should be plenty desperate. I saw enough positives against Colorado to make me believe. **I'm going to take the Philadelphia Flyers to win @ 1.95**

    NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning At Pittsburgh Penguins

    At full strength, this would be a potential Eastern Conference Final matchup. That, however, is far from the reality. The Penguins are going through a horrific injury stretch that has decimated both their defensive and offensive corps. The star players, such as Malkin, Crosby, and Letang are all still present, however. Crosby did have the mumps, and it is a bit of a lingering disease, so he may not yet be at full strength. It seems that Thomas Greiss will be in goal for the Pens tonight, but that should not instill fear for the Penguins faithful as he is one of the league's more solid backups. There is some worry in that tonight will only be his 8th start, and he is making it against one of the league's more potent offences. The Lightning have their own worries in goal, however, as Ben Bishop is returning from a lower body injury. He only missed one game, but it throws a little doubt onto my confidence in his performance tonight. He is a big body and has been good this year, so I'm hopeful he will be back to normal. The Lightning are looking for their fifth straight victory tonight, but they will have to overcome a bad string of performances on the road against the Pens. The Lightning have not won in 9 straight away games against Pittsburgh. I do have hope, however. I don't care who it was, but the Lightning managed to limit an NHL team to only 11 shots in a full game. Sure, there may be some debate regarding whether or not the Sabres are really an NHL team, but it's still impressive. The Pens have lost four of five, with their only victory coming in their last game, against the lowly Hurricanes. It's gotta be tough contending with all of these absences. Personally, I really like that the Lightning were so focused against the Sabres and that gives me confidence. They would have won that game anyways, but a 5-3 victory with lackadaisical defense could have been expected. Instead, they barely let them enter their zone. I think they have enough in them to take advantage of a depleted Penguins side. **I'm going to take the Tampa Bay Lightning to win @ 2.16 AND Under 5.5 @ 1.85**

    My record can be found and verified on FansUnite. My username on there is TMussolani
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  • #2
    Nice analysis!