It’s a special holiday Monday throughout much of North America and we here at The Sports Geek return with another winner to start your week off on the right foot. Sunday night wasn’t that great for us, as the Dallas Stars blew a late lead to fall to the Flames. Our featured picks enter the day 15-6 on the season, and we’ll look for that to continue throughout the day. Our featured selection for today is a matinee affair, with puck drop going at 1:00 EST.
Philadelphia Flyers (-110) @ New York Islanders (-110)
It’s safe to assume the Phialdelphia Flyers haven’t gotten the start they were looking for. Losing Scott Hartnell to injury early in the season has really derailed this group, but they’re still too deep and too talented to be listed at a pick’em price against the lowly Islanders. The Flyers remain a valid Cup contender, and should dispose of teams like the Islanders with relative ease. If they are to start stringing some victories together and work toward solidifying a playoff position, these are the teams they’ll need to beat. And after the Isles began their season very well, they’ve reverted to their old habits of the past, and should comfortably settle into a bottom-feeding position in the Eastern Conference.
One stat that simply cannot be overlooked is the recent history between these two teams. The Flyers are 28-3-1 since the start of the 2007-2008 season against the Islanders, and have won six straight on Long Island. A match-up against this team could be exactly what Philly needs to end this slump they’re mired in. Philadelphia turned in a brutal Saturday night performance in Montreal, and were called out by team captain Claude Giroux after the game. Giroux questioned the compete level and work ethic of his teammates, and look for a hungry Flyers group to respond Monday afternoon.
One bright spot for the Flyers this season has been the rebound performance of much-maligned goaltender, Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryzgalov has kept his team in a ton of games this season, and he should get the stat Monday afternoon. Though they’re taking on the lowly Islanders, the Flyers know every point counts right now. After being called out publicly, this team is too good not to respond. Expect a dominant Flyers effort, en route to a convincing victory over the Islanders.
PICK = Philadelphia (-110)
Just one bonus pick for you today on your holiday Monday. These have struggled of late, but we remain above the .500 mark. Keep in mind the early start times for today!
Bonus Pick #1: Nashville (-120) *Early Start – 3:00 P.M. EST* Another matinee affair takes place in the Mile High City, as the surging Predators take on a brutal Colorado team. The Avs have battled injuries and distractions all year, and haven’t been able to get anything going. Losing team captain Gabriel Landeskog and first-line forward Steve Downie has proven difficult. Add in the fact star centre Ryan O’Reilly remains out due to a contract dispute, and their depth is getting quite the test. They blew a huge lead Saturday to the Oilers, and now return home to deal with a Nashville squad that simply finds ways to get wins. The Preds are winners of their last 2 of 3, and play particularly well on the road, winning 3 of their last 4. Look for them to ride the red-hot goaltending of Pekka Riine en route to a comfortable victory over the fading Avs.