I don’t know if Henrik Lundqvist was just rusty last night, or the Rangers are going to have to take a hard look at riding Raanta in the playoffs. The fact of the matter, though, is that Henrik has not been playing at a capable level this season. He made his first start in a few weeks, coming back from injury against the Ducks in Anaheim. All he did is let in 5 goals in a losing effort. And all it took was one substandard performance for Rangers’ fans to clamor for Raanta back in net.
Sorry to disappoint Rangers’ fans, but Raanta is most likely going in the expansion draft to the Vegas Golden Knights. I will give Lundqvist the rest of the season and next year to redeem himself, but at the moment, it’s certainly looking like he’s over the hill and stuck in a downward pattern in his career.
There is nothing that can be taken away from the guy, though, the Rangers would not have been as good as they were for several years without his talents. He didn’t help us out in any way last night, giving us a losing pick on Sunday night, unfortunately.
Tonight we head to Calgary where the hopeless Colorado Avalanche count down the days to the end of the season. It’s going to be regroup mode for them rather shortly, as they try and pick up the pieces on what has been an otherwise awful year for them.
It felt like yesterday Patrick Roy had the Avalanche on top of the world. And now, they’re looking at a top pick in the draft. Then you have the Flames, who were useless last season, but playing like a playoff team in 2016-17. While the NBA is way too predictable, the NHL is filled with plenty of twists and turns. Go below to check out our NHL pick for Monday night.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Calgary Flames Pick
The idea was for the Avs to get something of worth for Matt Duchene at the trade deadline. That never materialized, and he’s still in Colorado. Duchene is a good player, don’t get me wrong, but something isn’t gelling with him this season. I can note that he certainly misses Paul Stastny as his sidekick. They provided such a nice 1-2 punch at the centre position. Meanwhile, Gabriel Landeskog has been nothing short of putrid with the Avs, in a year he was set to take over as a franchise player.
The Avalanche have been lost on defence, allowing 3.35 goals per game this season, last in the league. They’ve allowed 26 goals in their last five games, for an average of 5.2 goals allowed. Yikes.
The Flames’ offence keeps on ticking and getting better. In their last ten games they’ve averaged 3.20 goals per game. It’s steadily gotten better as the season has progressed, which hopefully translate in the playoffs for them as well. Just making the playoffs is a success story for them this season, but they’ve played at such a level that there are going to be expectations. A first-round bounce would be tough to digest. By all means, this game should fly over the total. As such, the pick for Monday night is on the OVER in Calgary.
PICK: OVER 5.5 GOALS (-110)