If you like a good playoff race, look no further than the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers tonight. The Red Wings and Flyers are both trying to boast their resumes to earn a spot in the playoffs, which is just around the corner. Right now in the standings, the Red Wings have a wildcard, along with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Flyers trail the Wings by 3 points, so this amounts to a very important game for both squads. Also, the Flyers and Wings are coming off difficult losses. The Flyers lost in a shootout, and the Red Wings were shutout by the Maple Leafs in a 1-0 against Mike Babcock, their former head coach.
The Flyers have defied the odds this season. Everybody wrote them off before the puck was even dropped for the regular season, but they ignored the pundits, turning in a 32-23-12 season to this point. There is plenty of work for the Flyers to do ahead of them and tonight is one of those pivotal matchups that they need to come out victorious with. The Red Wings have been sputtering of sorts lately, and it should present a glorious opportunity for the Flyers to play catch up with the Wings in the standings. The Wings have churned in 2-4 record in their last six games. I would say a couple of them constitute “bad” losses, against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs.
It was the first win for Mike Babcock versus the Red Wings. At home, it had to leave a sour taste in the mouth of the Wings, who were unable to score 1 goal. It appeared as if they had a goal, but it was called back due to a batted puck. The Leafs’ goal was a little bizarre in its own right, as Grabner was tripped into the net, dislodging the net. The initial ruling was a penalty shot, but after review the puck crossed the line before the net was knocked off its pegs. The Flyers are coming off a 1 goal loss as well, however, they did pick up a point because it was a shootout loss. Big, critical game on the line tonight in Philadelphia.
Detroit Red Wings vs. Philadelphia Flyers NHL Pick
Jeff Blashill has done an adequate job steering the ship behind the bench for the Red Wings. The sky did not come crashing down after Mike Babcock left for Toronto. The Red Wings are a mix of the future and past. In this, the likes of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are exiting the prime years of their careers, but a rookie talent like Dylan Larkin is a reason to get excited about the future if you’re a Red Wings fan. The Wings would love for Larkin to heat up, as they have scored an average of just 2 goals over their last six games. In their last ten games, the Wings have scored 2.10 per game.
Maybe the Flyers can rub off on the Wings, who have been scoring a bunch of goals. Offense was an issue near the start of the year for the Flyers, but they have been playing at a pretty impressive clip. Note that the Flyers have netted 3.50 goals per game in their last ten contests. In 80% of those games, Philadelphia scored 3 or more goals. Additionally, they have been relatively strong on the defensive end, allowing 2.50 goals per game in their last ten outings. The Flyers are 7-3 over the Red Wings in their last ten meetings. They are also an exceptional team at home, with a record of 18-9-7. This should be a good game, but I feel like the Flyers will be able to pull away late and get much needed points, in their attempt to push for the playoffs this spring.
PICK: FLYERS TO WIN -124