Could we be looking at a preview of the Eastern Conference Championship? The Penguins have most definitely made a case of not only making it back, but going all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals and winning it all again. The Rangers’ road to a potential conference final matchup with the Penguins isn’t so clear. For starters, the Capitals probably have something to say about that.
You can also find the Blue Jackets with more points than them. I don’t know, though, it’d be tough for me to back the Jackets against the Rangers in a playoff series. The Blue Jackets have had one heck of a season, but a meeting with the playoff savvy Rangers is not going to be the easiest.
If the chips fall in the Rangers’ direction, they very well could reach the conference finals, and it isn’t exactly a reach here with this team. The offence has found a groove this year, having one of their best offensive outputs in recent memory. However, the defence and Henrik Lundqvist has regressed, so it’s cancelled out the improvements they’ve made on the other side.
The Penguins have a well documented potent offence that has given teams fits this season. It’s been enough to offset what they’ve experienced as well, regression in the defensive numbers.
Scoring has been up considerably across the league, and the Rangers and Penguins have been a part of that on both ends of the ice. The weekend is finally here. Let’s look for a winning pick to get the weekend started off well in NYC. Head down for the Penguins vs. Rangers pick.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. N.Y. Rangers Pick
Baseball starts on Sunday, is everybody excited for another spring and summer of action on the diamond? I sure am, but there is still a way to go with the NHL, if you take into consideration the playoffs. Our focus is on cashing a winning NHL pick tonight, though. The Penguins look like they’re going to cruise to the end of the regular season as the best offence in the NHL. They enter with 3.36 goals per game, a considerable lead over the Capitals by 0.15 goals. It doesn’t look like much, but over the course of a full season, it’s a sizable lead.
They’ve slipped on defence, though, there is no doubt about that. What put the Pens over the edge a year ago was the defence, they were a top 5 unit. This season the Penguins are 15th on defence. Likewise, the Rangers have fallen to 11th, while maintain a top 5 offensive team in 2016-17. The Penguins have uncharacteristically dropped four games in a row, including a 5-1 drubbing against the Blackhawks on Wednesday night. They play against a solid home team in the Rangers at MSG on Friday night, so it’s not going to be particularly easy to break out of the funk. I do look for some goals in any event. A pick on the OVER looks like a solid choice.
PICK: OVER 5.5 GOALS (-110)