There was only one game on the NHL schedule last night. A matchup which featured the San Jose Sharks visiting the Winnipeg Jets. Vlasic beat the clock with only 4.5 seconds left to give the Sharks a much needed win on the road. All of the attention wasn’t on the NHL last night, though. Rather the Gold Medal game between Russia and Canada in the WJC. This was a rematch of 2011, where Canada blew a 3 goal lead. They nearly outdid themselves last night, coming close to blowing a 5-1 lead. In the end Canada was able to hold on and win the Gold Medal in Toronto. The win ended Canada’s 6 year drought without a Gold in the tournament. We shift out attention back to the NHL tonight, as we have a fairly decent card to get ourselves acquainted with. I am particularly interested in the Hurricanes and Predators showdown in Nashville tonight. The Preds return home after a trip west to California. They split their two games against the Kings and Ducks, with both heading to overtime. The Preds got the better part of the Kings in that OT, but against the Ducks, Anaheim overcame a late deficit to tie it up and win in a shootout. The Predators return to Nashville where they are a dangerous team, heading into tonight with a record of 14-2-0-1. They will match-up with a Carolina team that has an abysmal record of 4-15-1-1 on the road.
Let’s look to add to a 3 game winning streak in the NHL for me with this game. We had the Ducks in that game against Nashville and were fortunate that they came back late to win it. All signs point to an easy Predators win in this game. What we have is the best home team in the NHL playing against the worst road team. However, after returning home from out west, this may be a good time for the Hurricanes to catch their opponents playing sloppy hockey. The odds are heavily in the Predators’ corner in this game, but the odds don’t always point to a winner. Let’s sift through the information afforded to us, and see if we can make it a fourth straight winning pick in the NHL.
Carolina Hurricanes @ Nashville Predators
The Hurricanes definitely have a tall task on their hands this evening. Not only are they terrible playing on the road, but they can’t score any goals either. The Preds have one of the best defenses in the league and best goaltenders, Pekka Rinne. The Finnish net-minder enters tonight’s matchup against the Hurricanes with a stellar record of 25-6-2. He also boasts a GAA of only 2.00 with a .929%. He didn’t have a great showing in California, but I would be shocked if he doesn’t have a lights out performance against the troubled Hurricane offense tonight at home. The Predators have long had one of the best defenses in the NHL, and Rinne playing the way he has only adds to the equation. Overall the Preds are 2nd in the league, letting in an average of 2.24 goals per game. The top 5 is where you will always see this team year after year and this season is no different.
The Hurricanes will have to find some offense in this game to pull out a victory. I just don’t know where they are going to get that offense from tonight. Note that the ‘Canes are scoring under 2 goals a game, which averages out to 1.92 goals allowed. The only team worst offensively are the Buffalo Sabres, so that makes the Hurricanes 29th in the NHL in scoring. Rinne is going to have to be severely off for them to have a chance. Carolina is much better defensively. They’re 14th in the league, allowing an average of 2.54 goals per game. But the offense is just so bad that Hurricanes have had a difficult time findings wins this season. The Hurricanes are 25-10 to the UNDER and the Predators are 21-13 to the UNDER. The ‘Canes have fallen UNDER the number in seven straight games, 8-0-2. In their last ten games they’ve only scored more than 2 goals once. If you have been playing that bet with these two teams all year long then you would have a nice bankroll accumulated. I look to get in on it tonight. Bet the UNDER 5.
Pick – UNDER 5 GOALS (+109) @ 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)