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2015 NHL Betting – Picks For Thursday, February 26

Posted by Don Melrose on 2/25/2015 7:44:36 PM

The National Hockey League regular season is three-fourths of the way to the end of the road, with teams generally at 60 games played in the 80-game slate. What new dramas will unfold this Thursday night?

Game 1: Philadelphia Flyers @ Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday, February 26

The odds that the Philadelphia Flyers will make the playoffs are not good. The Flyers are four points behind Boston for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and they also have to fight their way past the Florida Panthers, which sit in ninth place two points ahead of Philadelphia. However, the Flyers should be able to get healthy on the road against the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team which has cratered after the in-season firing of former head coach Randy Carlyle. The Leafs are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games and have fallen to just 53 points, well out of the playoff race at this point. The Flyers might not be great, but the Leafs are so much worse. Take the Flyers, or rather, don’t pick the Leafs.

NHL Betting Pick: Philadelphia

Game 2: Chicago Blackhawks @ Florida Panthers Thursday, February 26

This game just became a much bigger deal around the NHL, but not because the Florida Panthers are just two points behind the Boston Bruins for the final playoff spot in the East, and would make a great story if they knocked out the Bruins from the postseason. The reason why this game is going to get a lot of attention is that Chicago superstar Patrick Kane is going to be out for at least six weeks and very probably two full months due to an injury suffered on Tuesday night. Without Kane, the Blackhawks have a lot of regrouping to do. They have to seriously consider how to reconfigure their lineup, giving coach Joel Quenneville a major task. Can Chicago quickly find solutions that work, or will the team need time in which to arrive at the best fit for a roster that’s now noticeably shorthanded? In game one of the post-Kane experience, don’t trust the Blackhawks. Go with Florida at home in Miami.

NHL Betting Pick: Florida

Game 3: Detroit Red Wings @ San Jose Sharks Thursday, February 26

The final game on this slate is one in which the Red Wings will want to fight back… and the Sharks desperately need a good result. Detroit is smarting after blowing a lead to Anaheim on Monday and then losing 1-0 to the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings in a well-played game on Tuesday. The Red Wings are missing out on points, and a chance to move into the top three of the Eastern Conference standings. The Sharks, though, are in a more urgent position. San Jose is one point out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. The Sharks are tied with Calgary in ninth place, one point behind Minnesota, which is eighth. San Jose’s urgency probably trumps Detroit’s urgency here, so go with the Sharks at home. Detroit is probably going to be lagging near the end of a very long Western swing.

NHL Betting Pick: San Jose

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