That is exactly what we were looking for yesterday evening as the Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins played as tight a game as you will see in this year’s playoffs, with Detroit eventually prevailing with the 1-0 upset victory on the road. Pavel Datsyuk made his return to the lineup felt as he scored a beautiful goal with just over three minutes to go in regulation to put the Red Wings up 1-0 in the best of seven series and steal home ice advantage away from the Bruins for the time being. There are three more games on the NHL schedule today and we will be looking at a Western Conference tilt to try and get on a roll with our NHL picks.
Minnesota Wild @ Colorado Avalanche
My Pick – AVALANCHE (-138) @ 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)
The Minnesota Wild, coming off of one of the most disappointing losses of this year’s playoffs so far, will try and redeem themselves in game two of their series against the Colorado Avalanche tonight from the Pepsi Center. The Wild certainly had their chance to win game 1 as they held a 4-2 advantage in the 3rd period but Colorado was able to score two goals to tie the game and eventually win the opening game of the series in overtime. A 5-4 game was not expected from these two teams in game 1 as the Wild were ranked 26th in the league this season in goals per game on the road and they managed four against a team that was 14th in the league in home defence, surrendering 2.6 goals per game at the Pepsi Center. Semyon Varlomov was not on his A game in game 1 and there is plenty of reasons to expect a much better game from the Russian netminder in game 2. Varlomov is a solid candidate for the Vezina Trophy this season and people around the Avalanche say he should be in the running for the Hart Trophy as well. The Avalanche definitely hold the advantage between the pipes as Iyla Bryzgalov will once again get the nod for the Wild and the fellow Russian goaltender boasted just a .909 save percentage on the season and clearly has not been an effective netminder in the NHL since his days as the Phoenix Coyotes number one goalie. A lot of youngsters in the lineup for the Avalanche were seeing their first playoff action and the jitters could very well been in play, which could be a large reason for the lackluster play up until they settled in in the third frame. The Avalanche are no easy opponent on home ice this season as they have won four of their last five games at the Pepsi Center and have scored ten goals over their last two home games against this Minnesota Wild squad. A talented Avalanche powerplay that clicks at almost 20% on home ice this season was held scoreless in game 1 but I wouldn’t expect another 0 for 4 performance tonight from the young group. The Avalanche have beaten the Wild in five of their last six contests, and I am looking for more of the same tonight when the two teams meet for game two. Look for Colorado to extend their series lead to 2-0 and put a stranglehold on the series.