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NHL Picks – Divisional Battles Are Key This Weekend

Posted by Don Melrose on 12/10/2010 2:22:09 PM
nhl picks

Any betting person knows that it is too early in the NHL season to start picking playoff contenders. But some of the divisional battles are really heating up as we head into this weekend. The East is becoming a fierce battleground between the Pittsburgh Penguins and everyone else, while the West is tightly bunched together and every point counts. All of the sportbook promo games leading up to the all-star break in February are going to be critical. So put down the NFL betting for a while and enjoy some NHL hockey.

Flyers Bruins Betting – Saturday, 7:00 PM ET

How the Boston Bruins are trailing the Montreal Canadiens by five points in the Northeast Division standings is a mystery. Boston goalie Tim Thomas has recovered from off-season hip surgery and is 14-2-2 this season with a 1.49 goals against average. The Flyers have really picked up the pace in their last few games and are showing a determination that could give the Bruins problems. The Buffalo Sabres skated around the Bruins in their last game, and the Flyers could do the same.

Penguins Sabres Betting – Saturday, 7:00 PM ET

Every time the Sabres pull themselves together, they do something to shoot themselves in the foot. The Sabres had the high-powered Bruins beat in their last game, but a bad pass by defensemen Mike Weber ended the game for Buffalo. The Sabres are 5-8-1 at home and are playing in streaks. Right now, the home streak is a losing one. The Penguins are on an 11-game winning streak and Sidney Crosby can do no wrong.

Canadiens Maple Leafs Betting – Saturday, 7:00 PM ET

There is nothing more fun that watching the Montreal Canadiens play the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL. After a strong start, the Leafs have fallen to a 10-13-4 record and last in the Northeast Division. Montreal leads the division with an 18-8-2 record, and the Habs are riding a three-game winning streak into Toronto. The Leafs cannot get their goaltending right as starter J.S. Giguere is still out, and back-up Jonas Gustavsson has lost four of his last five starts. The crowd will be into this game for the first couple of periods, but then the Canadiens could start pulling away.

Red Wings Devils Betting – Saturday, 7:00 PM ET

The New Jersey Devils are having the kind of season that may make Martin Brodeur consider retirement. The future hall of fame goaltender is a dismal 4-10-1 this season, but he has a 2.74 goals against average. That means the Devils are just not scoring enough goals to win. The Devils have only scored 50 goals this season, which is the lowest in the league. The Red Wings have been up and down their last few games. The have won five of their last 10 starts, but are currently riding a two-game losing streak. Detroit’s defense seems to be the problem, but they will figure that out against the Devils.

Capitals Rangers Betting – Sunday, 7:00 PM ET

The Rangers have been quietly climbing the standings this season. Right now, New York is 16-12-1 for the season. That gives them 33 points and puts them in third place in the Atlantic Division. The Rangers have won six of their last 10 games. The Capitals seem to be slipping a bit. In their last 10 games the Capitals are 4-4-2. On the road Washington is 6-6-1, but their last road start was a loss to the Dallas Stars. The Caps have lost two in a row, and that may be a problem heading into Madison Square Garden.

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