We have our first elimination game in the NHL playoffs upcoming, as the Montreal Canadiens will have the ability to send the Senators packing in game 4. The Habs look for the sweep after they were able to down the Sens in OT. Despite how the Canadiens are looking primed to sweep the Senators, this has been more of a competitive series than the series lead looks like. The Sens have been competitive and brought it to the Canadiens. However, the better teams always find ways to prevail in tight games and the Habs have been doing just that. With Carey Price between the pipes they are a team that can go far and possibly win the whole damn thing. Are the Canadiens going to be the first Canadian team in many years to deliver the country a Stanley Cup? They definitely have the best shot of doing that. Speaking of Canadian teams, the Canucks and Flames played yet another good game of hockey last night, which is starting to remind me a bit of the series of old. Where physicality, trash talking, and fights were part of the game. Are we going to get back to the days of the Red Wings and Avalanche rivalry? Unfortunately not, but it is refreshing to see some fists being swung in this series.
Like I said in previous articles, I see that being a long series going 7 games. The Flames winning last night didn’t change my outlook much on that. Now it is the Canucks turn to tie things up to 2-2 when the series will go to Vancouver for game 6. So far it is being played out as expected. Tonight we look to Pittsburgh where Rangers/Penguins changes scenery from New York to Pittsburgh. The Pens got a big win in their last game and essentially kept this series alive. Let’s see what tonight has in store for us, where we look to continue a profitable playoffs.
New York Rangers @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Sidney Crosby was invisible in game 1 but in game 2 he responded like all great players do. The media was giving him a little bit of it after his poor performance in game 1 and there were some doubting if he was going to be up in the following game. I thought that was quite foolish, this is Sidney Crosby we are talking about. Crosby isn’t the problem for why they haven’t been playing well in the last month overall. His sidekick Malkin needs to be able to provide something as well for them to do well. The loss of Kris Letang is what has done the team in, though. As much as defenseman don’t get the limelight most of the time, Letang warrants that kind of attention and they have missed his abilities on the ice dearly. Outside of the Penguins big money players, I find it hard to find major contributors on their roster. To win a Stanley Cup, you want consistency and depth on your team. The Penguins to me don’t give that. Can they win tonight? Sure. Do I think they are going to win tonight? Well read on.
Overreacting to one game is what will bury you betting on the NHL playoffs, or even NBA playoffs, and MLB playoffs for that matter. I feel after a loss the Rangers are going to regroup and come back with a much better effort in game 3. Going on the road and winning isn’t anything new to the Rangers, so I am not scared off backing them on the road. The Rangers were in fact one of the best road teams in the NHL with a record of 28-11-1 and they have also played well against the Pens, with a 7-2 record the last nine meetings. I like New York to win this series in 6 games with them taking a 2-1 series lead tonight on the road.
PICK: RANGERS TO WIN -115 5DIMES – BEST ODDS