NHL picks: 4 best bets for Thursday
Andrew Berkshire picks out his four best bets for Thursday, including a potentially historic player prop.
Something spectacular can happen on Thursday evening as the Colorado Avalanche visit the Carolina Hurricanes. Something that’s never happened in the history of the NHL, something no defenceman has been able to accomplish, not even Bobby Orr. I’ll give you all the details, just read on…
Calgary Flames to beat Tampa Bay Lightning
The Flames are finally winning again, and they head to Florida to face off against the team that beat them for the Stanley Cup in 2004. A lot has changed since then, mostly in favour of Tampa, but the Lightning haven’t been great this year.
Both teams have won their last two, but the Flames had that long losing streak before that, so you have to think they’re still working off that awful stretch and are hungry to win more.
Cale Makar (Colorado Avalanche) to score 2+ points vs Carolina Hurricanes
Before Makar, the fastest defenceman to 200 career points was Sergei Zubov with 207 games played. Bobby Orr, who started his career at 18, took 216 games. Makar currently needs two points for 200 regular season points in his career, and he’s played just 192 games. Over his last five games, he’s averaged two points per game.
I’m thinking at the very first opportunity, Makar takes this record and puts it behind him as he continues building what already might be a Hall of Fame level career. Yes, he’s several years older than Orr was when scored his first 200, but he also plays in an era where one goal fewer is scored per game, an era when 18-year-old defencemen rarely play in the NHL, and frankly no one believes he’s better than Orr. What does seem apparent, though, is that he has the potential to be an all-time great.
Cole Caufield (Montreal Canadiens) to score anytime vs Columbus Blue Jackets
With just two goals in his last seven games, Caufield is on a bit of a cold streak based on what we’re used to. However, during those seven games he’s put up 30 shots on goal, 19 of them scoring chances, and fired a team-leading 46 shot attempts on net.
In his last game Caufield was kept to just one shot on goal against the New Jersey Devils, and the last time he was held below four shots on goal in a game he responded with one goal and six shots the following game.
San Jose Sharks to beat Detroit Red Wings
San Jose has found themselves on a little bit of a heater, and they welcome a Red Wings team to town that has punched above their weight class for most of the season so far.
The Red Wings actually have the fifth-worst expected goals for percentage in the NHL at 5-vs-5 this season, while the Sharks are in the middle tier and surprisingly a hair over 50 per cent. With Erik Karlsson’s amazing comeback season, the Sharks should have a very good chance of knocking down a favoured team in this one.