I will certainly be happy once the NHL playoffs are upon us. The next week can be dangerous territory as there are only a handful of games that present meaningful scenarios. In some affairs, you are better off going to bet on a local pick-up game because the guys there probably care more about winning than some players in the coming days. As a result of meaningful games, the sample size of games to choose from gets smaller. Tonight we take a peak at a game with some pretty serious implications on the playoffs. The Canucks appear poised to solidify a playoff spot, but with regards to the LA Kings, the picture isn’t so clear at the moment. At the moment they are 8th, holding on to the final position. But this race is so tight that they are tied with the 9th placed Winnipeg Jets. Also, the Flames are in 7th with 93 points, two ahead of the Kings and Jets. Mind you, the Canucks do look like they’ll make it, but it is not a guarantee. They’re bunched up with the rest of them with 95 points. The difference separating the 9th and 5th seed in the Western Conference is only 4 points.
The Wild who are in 5th at the moment, could very well end up in 9th if they have a late season collapse in this final week. It provides excellent theater here for the last week of the NHL. And it appears that this is going to come down to the final game of the season for these teams. The Kings have looked sharp in their last two games, taking care of the Oilers and Avalanche in rather convincing fashion. They are 5-2 in their last seven games. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The Kings usually find a way to slip into the playoffs, and I think it would surprise people if they don’t make it. Although, it definitely isn’t a sure thing given how tight this playoff race is. I suggest tuning into this one even if you’re not betting it. This should be a good one.
LA Kings @ Vancouver Canucks
The King always seem to thrive under pressure no matter the circumstance. We have seen it multiple times before. Even when they look like underdogs they play like champions. They’re going to need more of it tonight as they take on the Canucks. Don’t expect the Kings to take the night off tonight against the Kings. After winning two straight games I actually expect the Kings to add to that tonight and go on a little bit of a roll and fighting for a playoff spot will be a distant memory. Just like I said about the Bruins in the Eastern Conference, is there any top seed in the West that wants to be paired with the Kings in the first round? They have stung top seeds several times before and would it surprise you if they do it again? I for one could see them doing just that. All three top teams, the Ducks, Blues, and Predators I can say are hoping the Kings aren’t around. While the Jets and Flames could pose problems as well, I would much rather them than a dangerous battle tested Kings team.
The Kings do have a favorable history against the Canucks, and have been able to play well in Vancouver. In their last nine meetings they are 7-2 over the Canucks. They’ve also been the hotter team of late. The defense has ratcheted up a notch and allowed 2.30 goals in their last ten games, compared to the Canucks who have been getting abused, allowing 3.10 goals per game. This should be a Kings win tonight and I’ll lock my bet in right now. But again, I am going to keep my unit sizes small until the playoffs begin.
PICK: KINGS TO WIN (-128) 5DIMES.EU – BEST ODDS