NHL picks: 4 best bets for Tuesday night
Andrew Berkshire provides his best NHL picks and predictions for Tuesday night's action.
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There’s a bit of separation at the top, but there’s lots of jockeying for position among the playoff teams in the Eastern Conference, with pretty much zero chance of anyone falling out of it.
The West is truly wild, where the Winnipeg Jets have pushed themselves into playoff contention suddenly. Evgenii Dadonov has been ironically red-hot for the Golden Knights after having his trade rescinded, keeping them in the picture too. Every night right now has intrigue.
Two teams with a lot of history and identical records face off in Boston, and while the Maple Leafs have been playing solid hockey in front of questionable goaltending, the Bruins have seen a season of solid play without many hot streaks come together right before the playoffs.
The Bruins are 8-1-1 over their last 10, including a four-game winning streak coming into this one, but after Jake Allen stole a game from the Leafs while making 49 saves on 51 shots, the Leafs turned around and dismantled the Florida Panthers the very next day.
The Bruins are slightly better than the Leafs at even strength, while the Leafs are slightly better in all situations combined. It’s a matchup that’s almost too close to call, but I like the Leafs in this one.
In the midst of a 10-game goal drought, you wouldn’t expect to hear that Mike Hoffman is playing well, but he’s more engaged than he’s been all season long and is getting tons of chances.
He made a miscue against the Devils on Sunday where he thought he scored and didn’t bother knocking home a rebound on an open net after hitting both posts, but after yet another disappointing moment where he couldn’t find the goal, he sniped one in the shootout.
The relief on Hoffman’s face after he finally saw a shot go in was so clear, you have to think he might go on a little run now. All it takes is a little belief.
The Hurricanes are on the second-half of a back-to-back, but they’re playing really, really strong hockey of late. Their record may look inconsistent, but it doesn’t do justice to how good they’ve been.
The Lightning meanwhile are in arguably their worst stretch of the season, and lost to the Hurricanes just one week ago. These two teams are both so excellent that nothing is guaranteed, but the Hurricanes have easily been playing better hockey heading into this one, and the back-to-back situation while visiting Tampa gives the opportunity for a better return on investment.
In some shocking and sad news, the Ottawa Senators announced Monday evening that team owner Eugene Melnyk passed away after a fight with an unnamed illness.
The Predators are a Wild Card playoff team at the moment, and they’re way better than the Senators overall, but something about this unfortunate situation tells me that the Senators are not going to be capable of losing today.