NHL picks: 4 best bets for Tuesday night
Andrew Berkshire provides his best NHL picks and predictions for Tuesday night's action, including a couple of player props.
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The Calgary Flames are the most recent team to have their games postponed due to COVID. The continual presence of the pandemic has brought a new level of uncertainty to the season, with 17 per cent of the league having spent time on the NHL’s COVID protocol, so you never know which team is going to run into a losing streak driven by illness more than play.
The Boston Bruins are the second-best even-strength team in the NHL this season, trailing only the Florida Panthers, and only by a tenth of a percent. Including special teams, they fall a little bit, to the fifth-best team in the league. Despite the incredible underlying numbers, the Bruins haven’t really had a run this season where they’ve established themselves in the win column as one of the league’s elite teams.
Enter the Vegas Golden Knights, who won games by the skin of their teeth in the first month or so of the season despite playing terrible hockey with all the injuries they were dealing with. Now that they’re getting healthy, the Golden Knights have been on an absolute tear. Their rolling average share of expected goals looks like a 45-degree line from the basement to the ceiling, but Boston is no easy out.
I expect this one to be an incredible game from start to finish, and we’ll need extra time to decide a winner.
Speaking of being on a tear, Max Pacioretty has been incredible this season after missing over a month due to injury. Since returning to the lineup for Vegas, he hasn’t gone a single game without registering a point, and has scored in six straight games.
On top of being scorching hot offensively, Pacioretty came into the league with the Montreal Canadiens, and has a great respect for the rivalry with the Bruins. There’s no doubt he’ll be motivated to score.
If you want to double down on Pacioretty, betting the over on shots on goal would be smart too. He’s failed to register four or more shots on goal in just one game this season, and is averaging nearly six.
With Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point out for the Lightning, Tampa Bay has been looking to Steven Stamkos to lead the way offensively, and he hasn’t disappointed.
Stamkos leads the Lightning in goals and points with 13 and 32 in 26 games respectively, and he just saw a nine-game point streak come to an end against the Ottawa Senators.
Expect Stammer to get right back on the horse against the Los Angeles Kings, as the Lightning continue to not skip a beat with two of their best players in the press box nursing injuries.
Two of the strongest Canadian teams this season face off against each other, but the teams are on very different trajectories. The Leafs are tearing it up at even strength and are the league’s top team in expected goal differential in all situations, while the Oilers are floundering at evens and held up by the league’s best special teams.
With the two best overall centres in the game facing off though, this one is must-see-TV. Expect huge games from both Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid, with McDavid looking to break a four-game goalless drought, and Matthews looking to create another goal streak after scoring against Chicago in the Leafs’ latest game.