October 17th 2013 Free NHL Picks

Our selections on the Flames came close last night as they were handed their first regulation loss (3-2) against the Ducks. We had to take a chance on them as the odds were just too good to pass up. They only lost by 1 goal and paid almost double money to win the game. You expect to see odds like that in a “blowout” scenario but last night was far from a blowout. Tonight we have 3 picks, 2 of them paying more than even money.

Vancouver Canucks @ Buffalo Sabres: Under 5 Goals 2.11

Ryan Miller will face Roberto Luongo tonight in Buffalo (both goaltenders are confirmed to start). Miller has faced 197 shots this season and has allowed only 12 goals, for a 2.39 GAA and a .939 SV%. Miller is the reason Buffalo has had a fighting chance, because if you can’t score goals you have to at least stop them. Miller has faced over 40 shots in 3 of his 5 games already this season. Buffalo as a team are allowing a slightly higher 2.62 Goals/Game. As you probably know by now, Buffalo hasn’t had much of an offense so far. The Sabres offense are only managing to score 1.25 goals/game which won’t win many hockey games. We have a similar story here with the Vancouver Canucks, who in their last 3 games have averaged just 1.66 Goals For/Game. John Tortorella (Vancouver head coach) had actually placed Henrik and Daniel on separate lines midway through the 3rd against the Flyers to see if anything could happen offensively. It will be interesting to see if they are separated again tonight. If we compare both teams Special Teams, The Canucks have a mere 10.0% success rate on the powerplay, and the Sabres have a slightly higher 10.3%. Both teams have a good Penalty Kill also, at 91.3% for Vancouver and 84.6% for the Sabres. This is another indicator that there shouldn’t be many goals scored as both teams aren’t excelling on the powerplay but are also doing a good job on the Penalty Kill. Also note both teams have a low Penalty Minutes/game which means each squad hopefully won’t take many penalities, and if they do- they probably won’t convert. The way things are going as of late point to the UNDER here in Buffalo, and we will certainly take it for plus money.

Boston Bruins @ Florida Panthers: Bruins in Regulation 1.95

Tim Thomas (confirmed to start in goal) is back from his groin injury just in time to face his former team, the Boston Bruins tonight at home in Florida. Thomas has done awful in his 3 games played this season, going 1-2-0 and allowing 9 goals on 60 shots for a 5.05 GAA (.850 SV%) and has since been sidelined with his groin injury. The Panthers (2-5-0) as a team aren’t stopping many goals either. They have been allowing an average of 4.00 goals/game, and only scoring an average of 2.29 goals. The Bruins (3-2-0) have been doing a much better job with their defense, allowing only 1.60 goals/game. We have Tuukka Rask as the probable starter tonight. Rask has gone 3-2-0 with an excellent 1.41 GAA and a .951 SV%. He has allowed only 7 goals on 142 shots against. Boston have been averaging 33.4 shots/game and Florida have 26.9. Last season these teams met 3 times, and Boston won every game and outscored the Panthers 11-2. Rask received a shutout in their last meeting, in April of last year. We will stick with the Bruins to win in regulation tonight for a good price.

St.Louis Blues @ Chicago Blackhawks: Blues 2.28

These two teams have met once this season already, with the Blues winning 3-2. We have two teams here with almost identical records. The Blues are 4-1-0 and the Hawks are 4-1-1. The Blackhawks have secured 3 of their wins at home and 1 on the road. The Blues have yet to play a game on the road and will get their first opportunity tonight in Chicago. The Blues offense have been doing alright for themselves, scoring an average of 4.20 goals/game. St.Louis’ first loss of the season came against the Sharks on Tuesday, where they were beaten 6-2. Even with the 6-2 loss on the board against the Sharks, the Blues are managing to allow an average of 2.60 goals/game. The Blackhawks have not been scoring nearly as many goals as the Blues, as they sit at 2.80 G/G. The Blackhawks defense are allowing slightly fewer goals than the Blues, at 2.33 (but keep in mind that 6-2 blowout is included in the Blues average). The Blues have been more successful on the powerplay, at a 30% success rate, compared to a 21.7% PP for the Blackhawks. The two teams share a similar penalty kill %, at 72% Blues and 72.2% Hawks. Jaroslav Halak is confirmed in goal tonight for St.Louis, and he currently sits 4-1-0 with a 2.36  GAA and .917 SV%. Corey Crawford will get the nod for the Blackhawks tonight, Corey is 3-1-1 with a 2.33 GAA and a .917 SV%. Both of these goaltenders have the exact same save percentage and almost the same goals against average. Both teams are pretty evenly matched; lets go with the St. Louis Blues tonight for a nice price of 2.28 (+128)