Tonights NHL Picks- February 27 2014

Tonights NHL Picks- February 27 2014

Email/Website Troubles (Fixed)
We were experiencing some email server problems over the last couple of days, as the company we use for our emails experienced some serious technical difficulties, which contributed to some of our emails not being sent out, and our website slowing to a crawl (the site must load the email sign up boxes- which it couldn’t do because the email servers were down). It was an all around mess, but they have assured us everything is good now, and they don’t expect these problems in the future. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused.

We were just 53 seconds away from a 2-0, 4.20 unit last night when Matt Moulson scored on a wrist shot in front of the net which went past the glove of Johnson to tie the game up at 4 goals a piece, sending the game into overtime and ruining our play on the Bruins in regulation time. The Sabres penalty kill was successful just 50% of the time last night, while they went 1-5 on their own power play. They were also out-shot once again 33-26 and managed to win the game. On a positive note, our system play on the Detroit/Montreal under was an easy winner, we picked up 2.20 with that one, and took a small loss of .80 units on the night as we had 3 units on the Bruins.

Toronto Maple Leafs @ NY Islanders: LEAFS 1.93

This is a good price on the Leafs. Things are looking very bleak for the Islanders right now. They have lost six games in a row at Home (out-scored 27-15), 7 of their last 8 games overall, and have lost their point leader John Tavares (3rd in points overall in the NHL with 66 points), as he sustained an unfortunate knee injury while representing the gold medal champions Team Canada at the Olympics. The Maple Leafs put together a nice two game win streak before the Olympic break, defeating Vancouver 3-1 on February 8th, and Tampa Bay by a score of 4-1 two days prior. The Leafs offense has been quite impressive over their last 10 games, scoring an exceptional 3.70 goals per game, while the Islanders could score just 2.50 goals per game in the same duration. Overall, the Leafs are scoring an average of 2.82 goals per game (8th) while the Islanders are in the 17th spot for scoring with 2.63 G/G. Neither club is really driven toward defense, as both remain amongst the 5th worst defenses in the NHL, with the Leafs sitting 25th overall allowing 2.97 goals against per game, while the Islanders allow 3.27 GA/G, which is 2nd worst in the League, next to only the Edmonton Oilers (3.28 GA/G). The Maple Leafs have a definate advantage when it comes to goaltending tonight, they just need to do their part in making sure so many shots don’t reach the net. The Leafs are still allowing the most shots against per game of any team in the League with 36.2 shots against per game. Jonathan Bernier is probable for the Leafs tonight and is 22-16-5 on the season with a 2.55 GAA (22nd) and a .927 SV% (5th), while the Islanders will likely go with Evgeni Nabokov between the pipes. Nabokov has a record of 10-12-5, a 2.74 GAA (27th) and a .908 SV% (30th). Nabokov would probably be the best option for the Isles, as both Poulin and Nilsson have sub .900 save percentages. The Leafs are in the 4th place spot in the Atlantic Division as of today, and based on the new playoff structure they want to secure the 3rd place spot if they want to make it into the playoffs. The top 3 teams from each division will go to the playoffs, as well as the other 2 best teams in each conference (wild card), regardless of division (it would be possible for 5 teams to come from one division in a conference, while just 3 teams come from the other division). Now is not the time of the season to be giving away much needed victories; the Leafs will want to ensure they defeat the Islanders tonight to pickup another two points. We’ll take the Leafs at a generous price tonight against the struggling Islanders.

Washington Capitals @ Florida Panthers: CAPITALS 1.88

The Washington Capitals have won two in a row, outscoring their opponents 7-2 in those two contests, which included a 3-0 shut-out against the New Jersey Devils on the final day of hockey before the Olympic break, February 8th. The Capitals really need to start winning more games if they have any hope of making the playoffs, as they currently sit 5th in the Metropolitan Division, while the Panthers sit 7th in the Atlantic Division. The Washington offense is ranked 13th overall with 2.76 goals per game, and are expecting the return of forward Mikhail Grabovski (5th in points for Washington with 33 points, out since January 24th). The Panthers offense is the 2nd worst in the League right now, as they are scoring just 2.28 goals per game, and have scored just 1 goal per game in each of their last 2 games, and 3 of their last 4 overall. The Florida offense is not looking good, and their defense continues to struggle, as they are allowing 3.07 goals against per game, which is 27th overall. The Panthers have allowed 8 goals in their last two games, an average of 4.00 GA/G. The Florida Panthers have the worst special teams in the League. Their power play is actually the only power play in the NHL right now that is in the single digits, at 9%, giving them the worst power play in the League by quite a margin, as the second worst power play belongs to the Vancouver Canucks at 13.7%. The Washington penalty kill unit is successful 81.3% of the time overall (17th), and went an impressive 86.8% on the penalty kill over their last 10 games. The Panthers power play converted only 6.9% of the time over their L10 games, while their penalty kill was a dismal 77.1%. The Panthers are 77.2% on the penalty kill overall, giving them the worst penalty kill in the NHL. Braden Holtby is probable for the Capitals tonight and has had two great back to back games, receiving a shut-out on Feb.8th against the Devils, and stopped 34 of 36 shots against him on Feb.6th against Winnipeg, finishing the game with an impressive .944 SV%. Hopefully this is an indication of great things to come from Braden. He has had a mixed season, and is 17-13-2 with a 2.88 GAA and a .912 SV%. Tim Thomas had a rough go in his last outing, allowing 4 goals on just 14 shots against, finishing his time on the ice with a .714 SV% before Clemmensen relieved him. Tim Thomas is 15-18-3 on the season with a 2.80 GAA and a .910 SV%. The Capitals are clearly the better team tonight in all aspects, and have a potential easy victory here as long as they want to win. With the season winding down, the Capitals cannot afford to lose a game like this to the Florida Panthers. There are many tougher opponents out there that the Capitals will have to face in the final stretch of the season. Expect the Capitals to emerge victorious tonight in Florida.

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