How many people are paying attention to the NHL today? With it being the Conference Championships in the NFL and all, I think most will have the football on. However, I know some people that don’t care for football and all they love is hockey, so for them this pick is for you. They say to go with your first instinct. On a multiple choice exam, your first guess is probably the right one, but often times you switch your choice. Last night I liked the UNDER in the Devils/Jets game but opted for the Jets. In my opinion, those kind of losses are the hardest to take. It is essentially a double kick to the groin. In any case, the Devils deserved to win that one, and now that Cammalleri has returned, we’ll see if they can sustain the kind of performance from last night. The defense is there, it’s going to be up to the offense to do something. I think the Devils will be well served looking for a playmaker in the offseason. They aren’t that far off from having a pretty good team once again. I don’t think Cammalleri is a guy who can carry the Devils as the go-to guy, a nice role player, but they need an extra offensive piece.
With the Capitals’ game postponed, there are only four games on the schedule. One of them is an early start between the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators in Ottawa. This season it feels like the Rangers have a worse record than they actually have. Note that they are 26-16-3-2 but it hasn’t felt like a Rangers like season, not at all. Perhaps it is because Henrik Lundqvist hasn’t had an overly stellar season. Whatever the case, the Rangers are still 2nd in the Metropolitan division, not so bad right? The Rangers are going to be in the playoffs, but won’t hold a high seed like they have in previous seasons. All I can say is I wouldn’t want to draw the Rangers in the 1st round. If the Rangers come out a low seed, playing a higher seed, it isn’t much of a reward having to play them in the 1st round. Henrik hasn’t had a golden season, but he is capable of stealing series. This will be the second game on the road for the Rangers in a row, following a 4-1 win over the Carolina. Let’s get to the pick.
New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators NHL Pick
The Ottawa Senators are 22-20-2-4 and will look for a strong push in the second half of the season to make the postseason, but in my opinion, stick a fork in them already. There are a lot of inconsistent teams in the NHL, but the Senators have to be one of the most inconsistent. This is even going back to last season, where it took a miracle finish to make the playoffs. They got hot at the right time, but it wasn’t an indication of them being a great team. In their last six games, they lost two, won two, and lost their last two games. There is some consistency for you! After the defense got taken for 7 goals against the Capitals, the team has been getting ripped on that end of the ice. Typically when a team gives up that many goals, they bounce back the next couple games at least. Not the Sens, who after allowing 7 goals six games ago, haven’t held a team under 3 goals since. In their last six games, they allowed an average of 4.6 goals per game. In the last ten, that number stands at 3.70 goals allowed, with 2.20 goals scored per game.
This series has general been the Rangers, as they have won four of the last five meetings. Lundqvist has played well against the Senators over the course of his career, sporting a 2.09 GAA. Henrik hasn’t allowed more than 2 goals since January 9th against, well, the Washington Capitals’ vaunted offense. Despite him looking human this season, he still holds an impressive 22-12-4 record in 2015-16. Craig Anderson should be getting the nod in net for the Sens, who is coming off a game in which he allowed 4 goals on 7 shots against the Devils the other night. You have to like the Rangers on the road this afternoon.
PICK: RANGERS TO WIN -132