Free NHL Picks For Today 4/4/2022
Calgary at Los Angeles NHL Pick Prediction 4/4/2022
Flames: Although already a participant for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Calgary’s span in the postseason was dealt a major blow on Saturday,
Centre Sean Monahan busted his knee (officially, the team called it a hip injury, but observers, including Calgary’s own radio crew thought otherwise) on a play when the Flames scored a goal in a home loss to St. Louis.
Monahan ranks sixth on the club in power play goals and also is on the penalty kill.
The Flames are already in a mini-slump with three straight losses, including a shootout loss to L.A., going 4-4-2 SU (4-6 AYS) in L10.
Kings: L.A. smells blood in the water. While the Flames’ grasp on first place is narrowing, the Kings could pull to within two points of first-place Calgary with a win here.
Sure, Calgary has games in-hand, but the way L.A. has played since so many injured defensemen have been returning, switching to a lineup of 11 forwards and seven blue-liners has proven effective.
L.A. lost to Calgary once, but that was just after American Thanksgiving, when L.A. was in a really bad place, while Calgary was suring. Now, the tables have turned.
Prediction: The Flames need to end its slump fast, but after a poor homestand and now traveling cross-country (vertically), the CHOICE PICK is the KINGS.
Boston at Columbus NHL Pick Prediction 4/4/2022
Bruins: We gave you Boston because of an amazing 16-1 record on Saturdays this season. Although Columbus has been the league’s best come-from-behind team this season, they couldn’t come close to touching the Bruins and the teams switch to Ohio for the second game in a home-and-home series.
With one minor exception, the entire Bruins roster is healthy, so there have been some unhappy skaters sitting out games. This only enhances the team’s playoff chances, as they seek second place and a first-round home-ice advantage while also avoiding Florida or Carolina, too.
After starting the season at 27-17-4 SU, Boston is at 16-3-1 in the most recent quarter-of-a-season — the best mark in the National League Foligno.
Against Columbus, former CBJ captain Nick Foligano was honored for his 1,000th NHL appearance — is that a handicapping angle? Foligano will be honored again on Monday.
Foligano is now at 1,007 games, becoming the second father-son tandem to reach the milestone. Father Mike played in 1,018 games; the record are the Hull family (Hall of Fame father Bobby “The Golden Jet ” in 1,007; son Brett, 1063).
Blue Jackets: A problem with a team, such as Columbus, which failed to reach the playoffs in the previous season: they’re notused to playing so many extra games and thus fade away as the season game total hits the mid-60s.
This situation seems to have hit the Jackets, losers in six straight (0-4-2 SU). It definitely shows on defense, making an above-average goalie tandem look sub-par.
Prediction: Because Columbus plays quality third periods (except in Boston in game one of the series), we expect them to do better, thus a Puck Line on Boston is out of the question. Better to stick to the basics… BRUINS, with a strong lean to the Over.
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Arizona at St. Louis NHL Pick Prediction 4/4/2022
Coyotes: You stink at home, yet you are still an underdog to an Anaheim squad that’s lost 11 straight. You’re also the underdog… and you fall, 4-0. UGH!
But then you hit the road to get healthy, although you blow a third-period lead yet nip Chicago in overtime. A bad game (yet a win) against a bad opponent.
Now it’s a back-to-backer in St. Louis — the Blues are already counting the goals.
Blues: Problem: St. Louis isn’t scoring much and Arizona plays enough defense to keep it low-scoring.
The race for second place in the Central Division is “tightightight” as Wile E. & Co. come to town.
In an obvious trap situation, the Blues goalies are playing subpar, the defense looks tired, yet they can step up and beat a team like first-place Calgary.
Looks horrible against Philadelphia, yet won anyway — that’s what you’re supposed to do. And that’s the rub.
St. Louis should be an obvious Puck Line play, but with a condensed schedule, they need to take a break somewhere along the line and this is one, for sure, is one. However, Torey Krug is now injured and there are few replacements available from the AHL.
Now, no one here is picking Arizona, so if the Coyotes do win, fans can at least cross town for the baseball season opener between the Cardinals and Washington Nationals.
Prediction: In the middle of the season, this could be an Upset Special. Not this late in the season, yet not the Puck Line, just lay the lumber on the… BLUES.
Toronto at Tampa Bay NHL Pick Prediction 4/4/2022
Maple Leafs: Someone in NHL Headquarters got cute by scheduling Toronto in Tampa, Fla., on baseball’s opening day just in case the Blue Jays needed to return to Florida because of the pandemic. Nice.
But are the Leafs playing for playoff position or not? No matter who)m) they face in the first round of Stanley Cup play, the opponent will be difficult, so resting players may be the priority. That would explain recent dusting from the lowly Philadelphia Flyers.
However, there is a motivation factor, too.
Rumors about future NHL expansion call for four cities to join at once — and a second National League team in greater Toronto is high on the consideration list.
Toronto can easily handle a second team, but Leafs officials for years gave balked, waiting to win the Cup before their “territory” gets invaded.
Well, after more than 50 years, league governors are sick and tired of waiting, so there is a sense of urgency hitting the club at all levels.
By the way, the others at the top of the expansion: Milwaukee and Omaha to the Central Division (moving Arizona back to the Pacific), the return of Quebec City (Atlantic), and the aforementioned Toronto (or Hamilton) to the Metropolitan.
Lightning: When is it too late — or too early 00 trying to manipulate playoff positioning? It’s not too early for Tampa Bay, but they also understand the need for rest as a two-time Cup champion.
Prediction Tampa Bay continues to rotate it lineup and seem to not care who they meet in the playoffs — anyone i the Atlantic will be difficult. Thus, the slight motivation edge (and the betting value edge) goes to the… MAPLE LEAFS.
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