After yet another big victory on a featured pick here at The Sports Geek, our record for these selections jumps to 26-13 on the year. We’ll look to keep our mini-streak rolling on Tuesday night as we feature two squads trending in the right direction, as the pesky Senators travel to Long Island to take on a surging Islanders team.
Ottawa Senators (+120) @ New York Islanders (-140)
What more can you possibly say about the Ottawa Senators? This team has simply been rolling for all of 2013, and despite their horrid rash of injuries, head coach Paul MacLean has this team primed to secure a play-off spot. While many considered losses to their best forward, best defenceman, and best goaltender simply crippling, the Senators have just kept on playing well. Through solid team play, great systems, and quality goaltending, Ottawa has a shot in every game and expect them to turn in a great road outing tonight.
No Spezza, no Karlsson, no Anderson, no problem seems to be the motto for this pesky Sens squad, but they’re not the only surprise in the East right now. After a big slump to start the year, the Isles have climbed back into play-off contention and enter the evening only three points removed from the 8th and final post-season position with games in hand. That said, despire their resurgence, it has mostly occurred on the road. For whatever reason, the Isles struggle on home ice, and expect Ottawa to keep their momentum going with yet another big victory away from home. The Sens have the type of grit, speed, and tenacity on the forecheck that will put great pressure on a brutal Islanders defense, and the fact that they’re sizable underdogs is a tad confusing.
Though many seem keen on still writing off the Sens, this team has found a way to get wins and stay in the hunt. Expect another gritty outing Thursday, and Ottawa represents great value tonight.
PICK = Ottawa (+120)
Though our bonus selections have gone a bit cold and currently sit at .500 on the year at 22-22, tonight there is some solid underdog value to consider on the NHL board.
Bonus Pick #1: N.Y. Rangers (+100) If Henrik Lundqvist is between the pipes for the Blueshirts, this wager would represent tremendous value. New York secured a big victory last night against Carolina, and will need to start rolling if they’re to make the play-offs. The Devils are the types of teams the Rags will need to knock off if they are going to finish in the top-8 and expect this stacked team to finally figure things out, and string some wins together. New Jersey has struggled without Martin Brodeur and that will continue until he returns.
Bonus Pick #2: St. Louis (+105) The Blues seemed to have finally figured it out, just as the Canucks continue spiraling out of control. Once considered locks in the Northwest Division, Vancouver seems lost in all facets of the game. They’ve been absolutely decimated by injuries, and tonight’s starter, Corey Schneider has not lived up to expectations. Tonight they’ll be without David Booth, Ryan Kesler, and Zack Kassian, and this tough back-to-back scenario won’t help matters. St. Louis has solidified their goaltending issues by settling on Jake Allen, and they’re getting healthy at the right time. Look for the Blues to pounce on a tired and vulnerable Canucks squad Tuesday night.