January 20 2014 Expert NHL Picks

January 20 2014 Expert NHL Picks

The Lightning had no problem beating Carolina yesterday cashing a nice underdog winner for us.

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Phoenix Coyotes: MAPLE LEAFS 2.39

The Toronto Maple Leafs have won 4 in a row, their longest winning streak this season to date. The Toronto club is now 25-20-5 on the season, and 8-10-4 on the road. In those 4 wins the Leafs managed to score an average of 4 goals per game which includes a 4-3 win over Boston, the Leagues 2nd best defensive team right now (2.17 goals against per game), a 3-2 win over New Jersey, currently ranked 4th with 2.30 GA/G, a 5-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens, the NHL’s 7th best defense (2.39 GA/G). The Coyotes defense is ranked 23rd overall as they allow 2.94 goals against per game. The Leafs defense isn’t great either, as they allow 2.96 goals against per game, however the Leafs offense has been exceptionally active recently. Over their last 10 games the Leafs have averaged 2.80 goals per game while the Coyotes scoring has decreased to 2.30 goals per game. The Coyotes are 23-16-9 overall, 14-7-3 at Home. The Toronto club continues to get out-shot, as they were out-shot in 3 of their last 4 wins but their offense continues to put goals on the board. Jonathan Bernier is probable against Phoenix and has done wonders for the Leafs as he was in goal for 3 of the 4 recent wins and received a .947 SV% against New Jersey, a .927 SV% against Boston and a .909 SV% in the 5-3 win over Montreal. Bernier has a 2.59 GAA overall, and the League’s 9th best save percentage (.926 SV%). Mike Smith will likely get the start for Phoenix. Mike has a 2.83 GAA (37th), a .912 SV% (31st) and a record of 17-13-8. The Leafs are red hot right now winning four in a row, and at this price they provide exceptional value for bettors.

Calgary Flames @ San Jose Sharks: SHARKS -1.5  2.06

Nothing is going right for the Calgary Flames. They’ve lost another 3 games in a row and 8 of their last 10. Scoring is a rare commodity for the Calgary club as they’ve scored just 1.40 goals per game over their last 10 games and overall the Flames rank 2nd worst for scoring with a mere 2.16 goals per game. The Flames defense is the 3rd worst in the NHL with 3.12 goals against per game, and over their last 10 games the Flames have allowed an average of 3.30 goals against per game, and an average of 4 goals against per game in each of their last 3 losses. Things are quite the opposite for the San Jose Sharks, as they are scoring 3.06 goals per game overall (5th), while their defense remains one of the best in the NHL allowing just 2.37 goals against per game overall. The Sharks have won 3 in a row, outscoring their opponents 10-5, and have progressed to 31-12-6 on the season , and are 16-2-3 at Home. The Flames are the 3rd worst team in the NHL right now with 39 points. Scoring won’t come any easier for the Flames now that they have lost Mike Cammalleri who has 13 goals and 8 assists, currently tied for 2nd in points for the Flames. Cammalleri is out with a concussion. The Flames are taking an average of 12.9 penalty minutes per game and are just 80.2% on the penalty kill overall (18th), and have gone just 74.3% on the penalty kill over their last 10 games. The Sharks are more disciplined than the Flames, taking 9.3 PIM/G, and have gone 84.6% on the penalty kill over their last 10 games, and are 82.8% on the penalty kill overall (12th). If the Flames do get a few power plays, they are not likely to convert as they are just 13.8% on the power play (27th overall) and have had an 11.1% success rate on the power play over their last 10 games. The San Jose power play has gone 21.4% over their last 10 games. The Calgary Flames are absolutely terrible right now with no signs of improvement in the near future. The Flames can’t score and are having a hard time keeping pucks out of their own net, things won’t get any better without Cammalleri. The Sharks should have no problem covering the puck line against Calgary.