It wasn’t a pretty night last night as it was some time since I suffered an evening’s loss with my free NHL picks, but an 0 for 3 night delivered a substantial loss indeed.
I had the Islanders to go into Madison Square Garden in New York and handle the hometown Rangers on the moneyline. However, it was the Islanders who were handled as the Rangers enjoyed a 6-2 blowout win in that one.
I also had the Flames to stay red-hot an extend their winning streak to six against a Canadiens team with just one win in their last nine games. However, while the Flames held the low-scoring Habs to just two goals, they failed to score themselves in a 2-0 loss.
Finally, I suffered an identical fate in my pick of the Hurricanes on the moneyline as road dogs in Washington. They held the high-octane Caps to just two goals, but failed to score one themselves and another 2-0 loss was in store.
All said, we dropped 3.27 units on Monday night.
Let’s look to get things turned around on a big 11-game Tuesday night schedule!
Season Record: 75-63-1
Now let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Sharks vs. Coyotes from Arizona.
Sharks vs. Coyotes Betting Odds
- Sharks (+121)
- Coyotes (-134)
- Sharks +1.5 (-215)
- Coyotes -1.5 (+185)
- Over 5.5 (+121)
- Under 5.5 (-133)
Sharks vs. Coyotes NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these teams before getting into my final pick!
The Sharks enter this one riding a mini two-game win streak while allowing just two combined goals against the Blue Jackets and Stars on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Don’t let that fool you from the atrocity that has been this Sharks defense this season.
The Sharks enter this one ranked 23rd with 3.45 goals against per game on the road this season. This, despite ranking second with an 86.4% penalty kill on the road, as well.
Seemingly, this would mean the Sharks are struggling to keep the puck out of their net at 5v5 on the road, and we can confirm this using some advanced metrics.
At 5v5 action on the road, the Sharks rank 28th with 3.12 goals against per 60 minutes.
Again, this is only at 5v5 and doesn’t factor special teams or 4v4 action.
A big reason why has been their goaltending as the Sharks own a 29th-ranked .892 Sv% at 5v5 on the road this season.
The goaltending situation has been turned upside down for the Sharks of late with Aaron Dell starting reach of the last three games and seemingly stealing the No.1 job away from Martin Jones who has struggled mightily since the beginning of last season.
Dell has posted a .966 Sv% in allowing just those two goals over their last two games and now owns a 2.77 GAA and .910 Sv% on the season.
He also sports a 2.86 GAA and .912 Sv% on the road, for good measure.
It would appear that Dell will have to be excellent again to the give the Sharks a chance in this one.
Why? Because the Sharks now sit 26th with just 2.36 goals per game on the road this season despite a ninth-ranked 21% mark on their power play away from home
In other words, the Sharks have been dominated in 5v5 play this season where they’ve both failed to generate goals while simultaneously allowing plenty.
After taking a four-game win streak on the road with them into Tampa Bay on Thursday, the Coyotes dropped each of their next three games and were shut out in two of the three before taking a 4-3 OT loss in Pittsburgh to complete a 1-2-1 road trip.
They’ll return home for an extended home stand looking to both keep their lead atop a tight Pacific Division race while improving on their mediocre 11-10-2 mark on home ice.
The Coyotes were actually white-hot on offense before hitting the road.
They scored 13 goals over the final three games of their four-game home stand and pounded the Flyers by a score of 6-2 in their last home game.
The ‘Yotes now rank 20th with 3.00 goals per game at home this season – a notable improvement from earlier in the season as the Taylor Hall trade has indeed helped.
They also rank 15th with a nice 20.8% clip on the power play at home.
That said, this team will go as far as their stout defense will take them.
The Coyotes rank seventh with just 2.57 goals against per game at home this season and third with an 86.9% mark on the penalty kill on home ice as well.
They allowed just five goals over their last three games at home prior to hitting the road.
With Darcy Kuemper still out of the lineup and Antti Raanta getting hurt once again, it will be Adin Hill getting the nod for the Coyotes in this one.
Hill has been good in his six games of NHL action this season, posting a 2.52 GAA and .921 Sv% since being recalled following the Kuemper injury.
He does have a 2.77 GAA and .907 Sv% in the AHL this season, however, and a 2.85 GAA and .907 Sv% in 23 career NHL contests, so perhaps there is some regression heading his way, although he’s playing for one of the NHL’s best defenses to be sure, one that got all-world defender Niklas Hjalmarsson back from injury recently.
Still, it’s a nice matchup against one of the NHL’s weaker road offenses.
Given how good the Coyotes have been defensively and how good the Sharks have been defensively of late, I don’t blame the oddsmakers for the low total in this one and the heavy under favorite.
That said, The Sharks are a low-scoring offense on the road without their best offensive player in Logan Couture at the moment. That simply does not bode well against this defense that’s now at full strength.
The Coyotes have shown a big ability to score goals at home of late and their power play is clicking. Sure, the Sharks have a quality road penalty kill, but I expect the Coyotes to do notable damage at 5v5 play while keeping the puck out of their own net.
As a result, I am going to take a red-hot Coyotes home team to knock off a division rival and maintain their lead atop the Pacific Division at reasonable moneyline odds.