I have written plenty of articles lately that look at games in which there is a lot on the line for both teams. Mainly the push to secure a playoff spot. This evening I don’t think we can come to a similar conclusion. The Ducks are playing for something, we can assert that, but it isn’t like they are going to find themselves sitting at home when the playoffs start. In fact, it is statistically impossible that they will be, because they have already clinched a playoff position. However, the Ducks are currently sitting at 1st in the entire league, so if they hold that spot they’ll hold home ice advantage throughout to the Stanley Cup Finals if they so make it. If they’re going to make it is always a big question with this team. We all know how successful they can be during the regular season, but during the playoffs they seem to sputter out. They did win the Cup back when Randy Carlyle was the head coach, but they should have another or two since then if you want to take regular season play into account.
The Edmonton Oilers, on the other hand, well, get the golf clubs and passport ready because they’ll be heading on vacations and golf outings rather soon. However, sometimes a team with nothing to play for can be dangerous. It is, though, in their best interest just to lose the rest of the way. Winning games doesn’t add much other than fans feeling good about themselves for 5 minutes. Perhaps a good run at the end will give them good momentum heading into next season. But I never really bought that much. I don’t see the correlation to now from a few months from now in teams that switch their rosters up anyway. With the Oilers, the core should be the same, which is young, so it’ll be interesting who they bring in this offseason. A good draft would help the Oilers out immensely as well. We’ll see how they fair in Anaheim tonight, a place that hasn’t treated them so well in recent memory.
Edmonton Oilers @ Anaheim Ducks
Call it the going from freezing cold Edmonton to sunny California effect, or whatever you want, but the Oilers have had no history of success playing the Ducks in California. The Ducks are 5-0 over the Oilers in their last five meetings here, and looking back, they are 21-5 against them in their last twenty-six games. For the greater parts of the past few seasons, the Ducks have buried most teams that came through their path at home. This season they haven’t been as good as last, but are still winning at a pretty good clip with a record of 25-10-1-2 in Anaheim. Conversely, the Oilers are 9-19-5-5 playing on the road.
The Oilers have actually been playing good hockey lately, winners of three straight games by a margin of 12-4. But the problem is, in the big picture, they should be losing out! I know players are playing for contracts, but as the organization is concerned they aren’t going to improve their chances in the draft lottery. In any case, I think their winning ways lately indicate a good spot to fade them. How many times have the Oilers won four straight games this season? Once, which was back in October. The prospects of them doing it again doesn’t look good considering the situation playing the Ducks in Anaheim. I’ll play the Ducks at -1.5 for my Wednesday night pick.
PICK: DUCKS -1.5 (+100) 5DIMES.EU – BEST ODDS