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NHL Picks – Rundown For Tuesday April 14th

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/14/2010 12:51:11 PM

Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins

The online betting experts are a bit cautious about the Pittsburgh Penguins this season. The defending Stanley Cup champions seemed almost human this season, especially goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury who posted only one shutout this season and a .905 save percentage. The Penguins have five players at or near 50 points on the season, so the offense is there. Ottawa goalie Brian Elliott has stepped up and claimed the number one spot and he is hot going into this first game after winning three of the last five games of the regular season. The season series is 2-2, but the Senators come into this game winning seven of their last 10. The Penguins will pull the first one out for the home crowd, but they are in for a long series.

Pick: Pittsburgh

Philadelphia Flyers @ New Jersey Devils

People that understand sports betting know why it is impossible to pick against the Devils in this game. The Flyers resurrected goaltender Brian Boucher from his past disappointment as a Flyer goalie, and threw him in net when Ray Emery and Michael Leighton went down with season-ending injuries. The Flyers squeaked into the playoffs on last minute heroics by Danny Briere in a shoot-out on the final game of the season. The Devils have been at the top of the Eastern Conference all season long, and the late season addition of scoring machine Ilya Kovalchuk makes the Flyers that much more dangerous. But hang on for just a moment. The Flyers still have two 30 goal scorers in Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. They have a potent power play, and the Flyers took the season series from the Devils with an impressive 5-1 record. In the last game these two teams played the Flyers scored five goals and the great Martin Brodeur was pulled from the game. The Flyers always seem to give the Devils problems, and if Brodeur is not up to par tonight then the Flyers could take an early lead in this series.

Pick: Devils

Detroit Red Wings @ Phoenix Coyotes

When the sportsbook makers look at the Phoenix Coyotes they see a team that was improved drastically by a couple of key trades at this year’s trade deadline. Remember also that Phoenix goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov won a Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks which gives him valuable playoff experience. However the Coyotes as a team lack any big-time playoff history. This group of Coyotes is lead by long-time captain Shane Doan, who has punched some spark back into his crew. With the addition of players like Lee Stempniak and Wojotek Wolski, the Coyotes added some scoring and some youth to an already potent line-up. The Red Wings spent most of the 2009-2010 season healing. But as they enter the playoffs the team is pretty much intact with the exception of Kirk Maltby who is still out with a bad shoulder. The only potential crack in the Red Wings’ playoff armor is rookie goalie Jimmy Howard. He has been solid all season, but now he faces the pressure of playing playoff hockey in Detroit. It will be interesting to see how he reacts. The teams were 2-2 against each other this season, but the Red Wings have won eight of their last 10 games while the Coyotes have won five of their last 10. Experience may be too much for this Coyote team to overcome, and the Red Wings may try to make the most of what is probably their last shot as a group at the Stanley Cup.

Pick: Red Wings

Colorado Avalanche @ San Jose Sharks

The San Jose Sharks open yet another playoff tournament as one of the top seeds in the Western Conference. For the Colorado Avalanche the NHL betting world was unkind to them all season long. The Avalanche were consistently picked to be fighting it out with Edmonton for the bottom of the Western Conference, and no one outside of Denver gave the Avalanche any chance of even making the playoffs. What propelled the Avalanche to 43 wins this season was the goaltending of Craig Anderson and the emergence of forward Paul Stastny. Anderson finished the season with 38 wins and a .917 save percentage. Stastny turned out to be a premier play-maker racking up 59 assists for the season. But this is the Sharks we are talking about. This is Joe Thornton, Evgeni Nabokov and Patrick Marleau. Don’t forget Dany Heatly, Ryane Clowe and the ageless Rob Blake as well. The season series was split 2-2 between these teams, but the Sharks have found their late season grove by winning eight of their last 10.

Pick: Sharks

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