NHL picks: 4 best bets for Saturday
Chris Peters makes four money line picks for Saturday night's NHL action.
Senators to beat Flyers
As will be the case with every NHL game for the next few weeks, everything is a little touch and go on the COVID-19 front. There are several games already postponed for Saturday and there are concerns there could be more. This is one game where you might want to wait until everything is confirmed before placing your bet.
With wins in five of their last seven games, suddenly the Ottawa Senators are finding their footing. They’ve taken out some of the league’s most talented teams in this recent stretch of success, too. Brady Tkachuk has been among the players driving the recent winning ways with eight goals in his last eight games. The Sens have also gotten adequate goaltending from Anton Forsberg and Filip Gustavsson, which makes a huge difference.
The Flyers, meanwhile, are coming off of playing in an empty stadium in Montreal and losing in a shootout to the lowly Canadiens. They had been on a three-game winning streak before that. There’s a chance Philly will be a few players short as there have been some COVID protocol issues since they’ve returned from Canada. They also aren’t terribly far removed from that epic 10-game losing streak that cost their head coach his job.
Additionally, Carter Hart is unavailable for Saturday night’s game, which does not help the Flyers chances.
The Senators are playing a little bit better at the moment and I have a little more faith in their roster at the moment in this particular matchup for a possible value play.
Maple Leafs to beat Canucks
The Canucks have been unbeatable under Bruce Boudreau to date, winning all six games with him at the helm. They’ll be running into a Maple Leafs squad that is playing pretty well, however, and these winning streaks won’t last forever. Though the Canucks are playing better, I think the Maple Leafs have a little more firepower at their disposal at the moment, even without Mitch Marner.
The Leafs have scored no fewer than three goals in each of their last 11 games, including at least five goals in three of their last five games. Vancouver has done a good job of holding opposing teams’ scoring attacks down during their current winning streak, but with Toronto’s skilled group, that should prove tougher.
Auston Matthews has already surpassed the 20-goal mark in just 27 games. He’s scored 13 of those goals over the last 10 games he’s played. When Matthews gets rolling, he’s really tough to slow down.
The Canucks and Boudreau have been a great story over the last week, but I think this might be the end of this particular winning streak.
Red Wings to beat Devils
The Devils have been sliding backwards, losing eight of their last nine games. The Red Wings haven’t looked a ton better, with four losses over their last five games, but they have had a pretty challenging schedule over that same span.
In this matchup between a pair of the league’s middling teams, I’m going to lean with the home team. The Red Wings have gotten major contributions from rookies Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider. Being on home ice does allow the Red Wings coaches to get them into more favorable positions with the last line change to play the best matchups for the youngsters.
Detroit is missing a few players due to COVID protocol, however, but the Devils are as well. It’s the nature of the NHL at the moment that each team will be down a few players.
With the Red Wings at home, I think they have just enough advantages and are playing a bit better at the moment to have the chance to earn the win.
Oilers to beat Kraken
With losses in five of their last seven, the Kraken have really struggled of late. Goalie Philipp Grubauer was a Vezina finalist last season and has been among the league’s worst starters this season. Now he may be in net to take on Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl who recently lost their lead on the NHL’s scoring title race.
That’s the one positive for the Kraken. The Oilers haven’t looked great lately, either. Edmonton just halted a six-game losing streak that began with their 4-3 loss to the Kraken on the road. The Oilers are 1-1-0 against the NHL’s newest team and clearly the more offensively gifted team. They just haven’t been as sharp lately.
With the Oilers getting off the slide against Columbus Thursday, they scored five goals in that contest. That might have helped open the flood gates for one of the league’s better offensive teams after their long slide.
With the Kraken struggling, look for the Oilers to keep things moving in a positive direction and picking up another important road win.