Penguins vs. Panthers Pick – NHL December 22nd

Just a piss poor effort out of the Bruins yesterday. That has been the story of their season, but not to pummel such an inferior opponent says a lot about the team they have this season. They ended up going on to win the game, 4-3 in OT, so that is all they care about tonight. But I am not sure that is really going to be a threat moving forward this season. Perhaps they turn it up in the second-half, but I don’t see it happening for them anytime soon. Hats off to the Sabres though, they have been fighting lately despite a bad start and being short-handed talent wise on the ice. It was a frustrating day all the way around for me. If you watched the Lions/Bears game you know what I am talking about. Two red zone Stafford turnovers, botched punt return for a freebie Bears’ touchdown, horrible roughing the kicker call leading to a touchdown, and then for an added kick in the balls the Lions stall out deep in Bears’ territory. Next up in the Colts/Cowboys game, a drop in the end zone prevented the OVER from cashing there. I hit the Raiders and a late play on the Seahawks, but it should have been a much better day. With six games on the NHL schedule tonight, let’s get on the winning track.

For what they are, the Florida Panthers have had a great season. They go into tonight against the Penguins with a record of 14-9-8. I can see them fading away the deeper we get into the season, but they haven’t been playing bad hockey at all. There aren’t many people to see any of it happening in Florida, as their attendance is worst in the league. The only thing that is going to fill the place up more than 70% is a playoff game. In any case, if I lived in the region I would probably consider getting season tickets for the price of probably 5 bucks. The Pens are a team are used to be playing in front of bigger crowds back home in Pittsburgh. Tonight they’ll take their talents to Florida, where they look to improve on a stellar record of 22-6-22. Currently the Penguins are arguably the favorite to capture the Stanley Cup. The question for tonight is can they beat the Florida Panthers?

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Florida Panthers

The Pens of course were in the center of national news with regards to the mumps. Sidney Crosby stayed out three games after being diagnosed with the illness. Crosby made his return on the 18th, making this is third game back in the lineup. Crosby scored Saturday night against this same team they are playing tonight, the Florida Panthers. Since his return the Pens have gone 2-0. Pittsburgh has been strong on both ends of the ice. First, the Pens are 3rd in goals against, allowing only 2.19 goals per game. The defense used to be a liability for the Penguins but that is no more. Usually with teams they will be strong offensively or defensively, but with the Pens they are solid on both accounts. The offense is 3rd in the NHL scoring 3.12 goals a game.

The Panthers had trouble scoring on the Penguins’ defense Saturday night, which wasn’t too surprising as they have been doing the same all year long. Florida is 28th in the NHL in scoring, acquiring only 2.10 goals per game this season. Their defense is 9th after Roberto Luongo is having considerable success on the Panthers. It doesn’t matter how good the defense is, though, if they’re only scoring 2.10 a game then they aren’t going to be a playoff contender. Similar to Saturday, I expect goals hard to come by for the Panthers. I don’t see how the end result changes too much in this game. I will take the Pens at -140, which is one of the pricier plays you’ll see me on.

Pick – PENGUINS TO WIN -140 @ (Best Odds)

Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of The Sports Geek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at The Sports Geek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL. Prior to writing for The Sports Geek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily at The Sports Geek.