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Man, playoff hockey is back and the first two nights reminded us why we grind through the regular season. What a start. Let’s start with the elephant in the room, I went 2 for 8 in my game 1 picks. Not great, but it’s a feeling out process. Confidence level is high heading into the rest of round 1.
Wednesday 4/19 Game 2’s
New York Islanders @ Carolina Hurricanes 7 pm EST (ESPN2)
Carolina Leads 1-0
Game 1 Recap: 2 Power Play Goals for the ‘Canes. We talked about their lack of recent offense, and surprisingly below average shooting percentage lately in the preview, special teams was enough to squeak out game 1. The 20th ranked PP in the regular season isn’t something I’d want to have to rely on, especially with the Isles having a PK that was in the top 10. 2 goals on 37 shots isn’t going to win this series. Carolina needs to be better 5v5, or the Islanders will out boring them.
Game 2 Pick: The Under is 5, that’s too low for me. I’m on Islanders ML at +145
Florida Panthers @ Boston Bruins 7:30 pm EST (ESPN)
Boston Leads 1-0
Game 1 Recap: I said Florida would be tough, and man they took their best shot and controlled the play for a while. The Panthers played a great road game, but ultimately Boston is just better all over the ice. Looks like the momentum started to shift in the 3rd period and the B’s started to take control.
Game 2 Pick: Bergeron is questionable. Unless there’s just an abundance of Power Plays, I don’t see much offense coming from Florida. The Bruins will put it in cruise control once they get a 2 goal lead. Under 6. Final Answer. (+100)
Minnesota Wild @ Dallas Stars 9:30 pm EST (ESPN2)
Minnesota Leads 1-0
Game 1 Recap: What was in my opinion the hardest series to pick, did not get any easier. The Wild pulled out a double OT thriller on the road in Game 1. I thought Kaprizov was going to be the piece that put Minny over the top in this series, he had a power play goal. If this game was a sign of things to come, this is going to be helluva series.
Game 2 Pick: Wild +125 is too good of a value for what I consider a coin flip. Dallas scored 2 PPGs, but got nothing 5v5. I put a lot of stock into 5v5 production in the playoffs. I’ll take the value. Wild +125.
Los Angeles Kings @ Edmonton Oilers 10 pm EST (ESPN)
LA Leads 1-0
Game 1 Recap: A 2 goal is the most dangerous lead in hockey. The Oilers blew 2 of those, and 1 goal lead in the final 20 seconds. The Kings started out in a 1-3-1 sit back and wait NZ defense, which is interesting because usually you attack those with speed, and the Oilers have that in spades.
Game 2 Pick: It’s going to be a series of adjustments and match ups. That’s why I think the Oilers have to get one at home here, you can’t go on the road without last change down 2-0. I think Edmonton makes some big adjustments tonight, goals a plenty. Over 6.5 (-105)