Another night with a small card in the NHL, but we look to make money off of it. Tonight we head to Nashville where the Kings trade in the bright lights for the country Tuesday night. To the casual observer of the NHL one would have to think the LA Kings run away with this game easily. It is the defending Stanley Cup champions against a team that didn’t even make the playoffs a year ago. Hold up, though, the Predators have been a solid team nonetheless, playing under the radar in a sense to get where they are today. The Predators actually hold the best record in the league at home with a 7-1 record. So if you think the Kings are just going to roll over the Preds in this game I would think again. Certainly it could happen, but there aren’t any indications to me that it is going to be the case. If the Predators make the playoffs, then who knows, maybe Pekka Rinne steals some games and they make it deeper than people predicted. It always seems like a goalie steals the show in the playoffs that brings a team far. There is no question that Rinne is capable of doing just that. We’re not even into December yet, and he has already stolen wins from a few teams. Look for him to be in contention for the Vezina if he stays healthy through this season.
I haven’t mentioned last nights pick because I need to get this pick sent off earlier than normal. However, there was some tragic news in the hockey world yesterday, as former player and NHL coach Pat Quinn passed away after battling an illness. Quinn was the last coach to have any success with the Maple Leafs, with his predecessor, Pat Burns, dying as well. It feels so long ago, but the Leafs were a fairly decent team when Quinn had the reigns. The Leafs made it to a couple of conference finals under him and never had a season under .500. Fans were calling for his head near the end of his time with the Leafs, but it has only gone downhill since he left. Pat Quinn also was a head coach of the Canucks, Kings, and Flyers.
L.A. Kings @ Nashville Predators
Back to hockey talk for our Tuesday night pick. The Predators you could argue are a lesser version of the LA Kings. Maybe not this year if the Preds keep it up, because they may finish with a better record than the Kings. But for the greater part of the past few seasons, the Kings and Predators play an identical style of hockey. For the most part there isn’t much flash, but instead choose to grind out wins by riding the defense. Both of these teams love playing in ugly games because at the end of the day, the Kings and Preds are usually on the winning end of those kinds of games. It doesn’t make for the most exciting hockey game, but that recipe has definitely worked in the Kings favor. The problem with Nashville is that they have literally had no offense, while the Kings have had just enough to help out. The offense has improved this season and are 12th in scoring with 2.75 goals per game. Considering how they’ve been the last several years, that is a scoring bonanza. So, the offense has picked it up, and the defense is stronger than ever. Rinne holds a 1.92 GAA, 3rd in the NHL, with a 13-3-1 record. Like I said if he stays healthy, I would pay attention to the Predators in the spring.
Jonathan Quick has been a rock again this season, as he is coming in with a 2.22 GAA tonight. That puts him among the top 10 once again. Speaking of stealing games, Quick did that a few teams to lead the Kings to not one but two Stanley Cups. It wouldn’t surprise me if the two All-Star goaltenders steal the show in this game. It had happened on many occasions in the past between these two teams. Overall the Predators are 14-4 to the UNDER and the Kings are 8-7.
Pick – UNDER 5 GOALS (+100) @ 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)