I made a single free NHL pick last night but unfortunately took a loss.
I had the Kings as slight home favorites (-107) to knock off the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets, but it just didn’t happen.
The Kings led 1-0 after one period, but two second period Blue Jackets’ goals made it a 2-1 game heading into the third period and an early third-period marker for Columbus gave them a 3-1 lead they would not relinquish in an eventual 4-2 win.
There was a lot of things to like about the Kings’ chances in that one, but it just didn’t happen as we move onto this busy 12-game Tuesday night schedule!
Season Record: 67-57-1
Now let’s move onto this free NHL pick featuring the Bruins vs. Predators from Nashville!
Bruins vs. Predators Betting Odds
- Bruins (-117)
- Predators (+106)
- Bruins -1.5 (+208)
- Predators +1.5 (-248)
- Over 6 (+106)
- Under 6 (-117)
Bruins vs. Predators NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s have a look at each of these teams before getting into my final pick!
It looked as if the Bruins were going to run away for the Atlantic Division at one point, but the Maple Leafs and Lightning have since climbed into the race as the Bruins have scuffled for some time now.
Indeed, Boston enters this one riding a three-game losing streak and have now lost six of their last nine games while scoring just one goal in each of their last two contests.
While the offense has dried up on the whole, the defense has remained strong and is still the backbone of this team.
The Bruins are tied with the Islanders for second with 2.50 goals against per game on the road this season where their 81.3% mark on the penalty kill ranks 10th.
What’s interesting is that while Boston has struggled of late and been inconsistent for quite some time now, their special teams remain absolutely dominant.
It would appear then that the Bruins’ main issues at at 5v5 play considering they own the league’s seventh-ranked road power play and 10th-ranked road penalty kill.
The Bruins are pretty much in the middle of the pack in a handful of advanced possession metrics at 5v5 action, but there’s two areas that help explain how their offense and defense hold up over the long haul on the road.
Their 977% shooting percentage at 5v5 on the road is the fifth-best mark in the league while their 23.47% high-danger 5v5 shooting percentage ranks second.
In other words, they capitalize on their opportunities better than almost every other team in the NHL.
There’s also the fact that the Bruins have received a .933 Sv% from their goaltenders at 5v5 on the road, the fifth best mark in the NHL, while their .853 Sv% on high-danger chances ranks fifth as well.
An opportunistic offense and stout defense along with excellent goaltending is always a recipe for success in this league.
The Predators are the latest team to make a coaching change as Peter Laviolette is out in Nashville while former Devils bench boss John Hynes – also fired earlier this season – will take over beginning tonight on home ice.
Hynes was largely unsuccessful in his four-plus seasons with the Devils, but he’ll now be tasked with turning around the disappointing season the Predators have put forth here in 2019-20.
Nashville is just 19-15-7 on the season and 10-7-4 on home ice and sit five points back of the final Wild Card spot in the west entering this matchup tonight.
The issue isn’t on offense, however.
The Predators jumped out of the gate as the league’s top offense early on, but have since slipped into a share of 14th – with these Bruins interestingly – in home offense where they’ve averaged 3.24 goals per game.
Uncharacteristically, the Predators have struggled to prevent goals this season as they are tied for 21st with 3.10 goals against per game at home this season despite allowing a league-best 26.9 shots per game at Bridgestone Arena on the season.
They own an NHL-best +8.8 average shot differential at home this season which is the beginning of some excellent advanced metrics on home ice.
At 5v5 at home, the Predators rank second with a 56.32% Corsi For%, fifth with a 55.42% scoring chances for percentage and third with a 58.22% high-danger chances for percentage.
The problem has been their 27th-ranked .902 Sv% at 5v5 play at home between Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros.
It will be up to Rinne tonight to turn around what’s been a disastrous season for him on home ice.
He’ll enter this one with a 2.98 GAA and .896 Sv% in a career-worst season to this point, but has been torched to the tune of a 3.16 GAA and .883 Sv% across 15 starts on home ice.
Until Rinne can turn his game around, the struggles will continue in music city.
We’ve seen a boatload of coaching changes in the NHL to this point with varying results.
The Sharks continue to struggle after letting Peter DeBoer go, but the Maple Leafs rallied back heavily after Sheldon Keefe took over for Mike Babcock.
However, there hasn’t been much time for Hynes to speak with his club, and as just mentioned, it’s going to be tough for the Predators to climb back into the race if Rinne’s home ice struggles persist.
Tuukka Rask hasn’t had much trouble stopping pucks on the road with a 2.47 GAA and .919 S% away from home this season and owns a .931 Sv% over his last three.
To me, the Bruins are the better team here. They have the better defense, the better special teams and the better offense despite struggling in that department of late.
There’s also the fact that Ryan Ellis will be missing from the Predators lineup tonight and Dante Fabbro and Matt Duchene are both questionable.
The Bruins are healthier now with Charlie McAvoy and Torey Krug back in the lineup, and I think those players will help in steering the road side to a moneyline victory tonight.