NHL picks: 4 best bets for Tuesday
Andrew Berkshire picks out his four best NHL bets for Tuesday.
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Love is in the air on Valentine’s Day in the NHL. Or maybe the opposite.
After being unceremoniously traded, Kirby Dach welcomes the Chicago Blackhawks to his new home after scoring the game-deciding shootout goal on his first trip back to Chicago.
Johnny Gaudreau welcomes the team he spurned in the summer to Columbus in the Devils, and the Stanley Cup finalists from last season face off again after the Lightning trounced the Avs last week. Will sparks fly on the day of romance? We’ll find out.
Kirby Dach to score anytime vs Chicago Blackhawks
After doing all the little things on the Montreal Canadiens’ top line this season, Dach got shuffled from the wing back to the centre position to give the Canadiens some depth down the middle, and the results have been pretty great. Playing behind Nick Suzuki, Dach has looked incredible, flashing his stellar puck protection and forechecking skills alongside a more aggressive style through the middle of the ice, and a bit more selfishness in his tendency to shoot.
The result has been a big uptick in goals in the new year, including four in his last six contests. You know he’ll be hungry to pot another one against his former team, and he’ll get plenty of chances as he’s playing over 20 minutes per night.
Chicago Blackhawks to beat Montreal Canadiens
Coming out of the All-Star break unusually strong, the Canadiens won back-to-back games over teams fighting for playoff spots after 10 days off, but three wins in a row has been an elusive target for the team over the last two seasons.
On the other side of the ice, the Chicago Blackhawks are an even worse team than the Canadiens this season, but have been similarly strong over their last 10 games, both teams going 5-4-1. The Blackhawks limp into Montreal without Jonathan Toews, but the Canadiens still have half a lineup on the injured reserve.
Johnny Gaudreau to score 1+ points vs New Jersey Devils
It isn’t the season season he imagined, and certainly isn’t close to the swansong season he put on in his final year as a Calgary Flame, but somehow Johnny Gaudreau is still flirting with a point per game on the injury-plagued, downright awful Columbus Blue Jackets.
He’s barely on pace for half the goals he scored last season, but Gaudreau is factoring into 37.3 per cent of all the goals the Blue Jackets have scored this season, as the second-worst offensive team in the league. After Devils fans were so vitriolic that he didn’t sign there that he deactivated his socials for a bit, I’m sure rubbing salt in the wound would feel nice for him.
Colorado Avalanche to beat Tampa Bay Lightning
Without Cale Makar, things get difficult for the Avalanche, but they’ve got an extra chip on their shoulder once again as the team that’s missed the most prospective points to injury this season in the NHL.
Last meeting, the Lightning were amped to shake off the rust that they showed in their first two games back from the All-Star break, and they ran roughshod over the Avalanche. This time around, I expect a much tighter game to be played, and with the odds being even, you may as well go with the home team.