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NHL Picks – Rundown For Thursday April 16th

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/16/2010 3:42:55 PM
NHL Odds
Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins

The online betting odds are stacked heavily against the Ottawa Senators coming out of Pittsburgh with two wins to start their Easter Conference quarter-final series. In the first game the Senators beat the Penguins up and exploited an extremely shaky Pittsburgh goalie in Marc-Andre Fleury. As much as Pittsburgh fans want to deflect blame for the game one disaster, the Penguins lost that game because of Fleury’s horrible play. But give credit to the Senators for pounding the Penguins into submission as well. Not only that, but the Senators were experts at exploiting the mistakes and misfortunes of the Penguins in game one. The Senators found themselves alone in front of Fleury way too often, and one generous bounce off the boards was enough to deflate Fleury for the night. Fleury gets his game back tonight and plays to his Stanley Cup winning caliber that the Penguins have been hoping for.

Pick: Pittsburgh

Philadelphia Flyers @ New Jersey Devils

Sports betting fans in New Jersey are not happy with the Devils’ effort in game one of their series with the Flyers. The biggest question going into this series was could journeyman goaltender Brian Boucher of the Flyers outplay the great Martin Brodeur of the Devils. The answer in game one was a resounding yes. Brodeur looked good against the Flyers, but Boucher looked incredible. In order for the Flyers to win Boucher will need to continue playing like a champion, and the Flyers will need to work harder at containing the Devils’ offense. Tonight’s game will be a hard hitting affair and Brodeur will definitely have a chip on his shoulder. But that chip may not be enough to help him push his team to a victory, and the Flyers just seem to have the Devils’ number even in the playoffs.

Pick: Philadelphia

Nashville Predators @ Chicago Blackhawks

This is one of tonight’s playoff match-ups that the sportsbook makers have not seen yet as the Predators and the Blackhawks face off for the first time in their Western Conference quarter-final series. The Predators had an impressive season with 47 wins and six wins in their last 10 games. What people may be missing is that the Predators have made the playoffs consistently the last six seasons, only missing one playoff tournament in that time. But the Blackhawks just have too much for the Predators. Young guns Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews can score, and goaltender Antti Niemi is on a hot streak. These teams do not play each other much, and they have never met in the playoffs before. It is likely that the Predators will try to physically beat up the Blackhawks and hope that goaltender Pekka Rinne can keep them in the game.

Pick: Chicago

Detroit Red Wings @ Phoenix Coyotes

One thing the NHL betting community has learned over the years is that the Detroit Red Wings learn from playoff losses. Detroit rookie netminder Jimmy Howard was a little shaky in game one, but as the game progressed he gained confidence even in the face of a loss. The thing that needs to concern Coyote fans is that the Phoenix team gave it their all in the first game of the series. Ilya Bryzgalov made 38 saves on 40 shots and the Coyotes fired 35 shots at Howard as he made 32 saves. The Red Wings have the experience to learn from game one and the talent to recover. The Coyotes may be in for a long series.

Pick: Detroit

Colorado Avalanche @ San Jose Sharks

San Jose Shark fans were concerned when the playoffs started. Even though their team finished first in the Western Conference, they were flat at the end of the season and they just did not display that killer instinct that a team needs to win in the playoffs. The Avalanche came into this series with absolutely nothing to lose. They were not picked to make the playoffs when the season started and they were not picked to win this series. But in the hostile environment of the Shark Tank in San Jose, the Avalanche won game one of their Western Conference quarter-final series with the Sharks. Can the Avalanche do it again? Like any playoff team, the Avalanche can go as far as goaltender Craig Anderson can take them. If the Avalanche can continue to suffocate the Sharks and keep the Sharks in the neighborhood of the 26 shots they were limited to in game one then the Avalanche could very well be the surprise of the playoffs.

Pick: Colorado

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