Folks I am running out of patience with the way things have gone for us this week. After an overtime loss on Tuesday, another loss on Wednesday, and a loss on Thursday that included the 2nd best team in the Western Conference with their number one goalie (one of the league’s best in fact) losing to a team starting a goalie making his NHL debut with nothing to play for other than to avoid injury. The Blues haven’t lost four in a row all season and that fact also went into my thinking for last night’s pick, however it didn’ t work out and we are left with no choice but to march on and find a pick that can right the ship. Tonight there are seven games on the NHL schedule and I will do my absolute best to turn this losing streak around.
New York Islanders @ New Jersey Devils
My Pick – OVER 5 (-125) @ 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)
Metropolitan Division rivals clash tonight in New Jersey tonight as the New York Islanders visit the Devils in a matchup of two teams that will both miss the playoffs this season. For their part the Islanders haven’t had much of a chance of playing the postseason for most of the year as a terrible start put them behind the eight ball and losing their leader and clear cut best player in John Tavares during the Olympics all but assured them of hitting the links early this season. Surely a disappointing season after last year’s successful campaign that included qualifying for the playoffs and giving the Penguins a lot to handle in the first round. The Devils will likely look at this season as the one that got away as the team has went a shocking 0-12 in the shootout and lost many low scoring games in which they received excellent goaltending, but couldn’t score enough to win. One would think if they could just have won a few of those shootouts, the season could have been dramatically different. The Devils have lost two straight entering tonight’s contest, while the Islanders snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory over the Montreal Canadiens last night at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
The Isles will be starting Anders Nilsson for tonight’s game and with the Devils also playing in a back-to-back situation, it is likely Martin Brodeur will get the nod for the Devils. Nilsson is a poor 6-7-2 with a 3.21 goals against average and a .892 save percentage this year for the Islanders, who haven’t had any sort of consistent goaltending or defensive play all season long. If Brodeur starts for the Devils tonight, it will be his first action since being pulled March 31st in Florida after giving up three goals on the first nine shots he faced. Brodeur is clearly at the end of the road in terms of his play on the ice as the veteran and future Hall of Famer has a decent 2.54 goals against average but a poor .900 save percentage in 37 games played for New Jersey this season. The Islanders are the 10th best road scoring team in this season as well as the league’s 28th ranked road defensive team, and boast the league’s second worst penalty kill away from home this season. Both of these teams boast powerplays of over 20% against each other of their last ten meetings, so if things get nasty in this rivalry we may see a lot of scoring. The only meeting this season between the two clubs in New Jersey totalled seven goals and I am looking for something similar tonight, and will go OVER the low total tonight from the Prudential Center.