NHL Ice Picks: Thursday February 4, 2021

NHL Ice Picks: Thursday February 4, 2021

by February 4, 2021 0 comments

With some shoot-out luck in the Carolina 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, we were able to sweep our picks Tuesday. In the other game, Montreal keeps rolling with a 5-3 victory over the Canucks. The Biggest takeaway of the night has to be the surprising play of Chicago. They were able to keep up with the Hurricanes and showed that there is no “free square” when making these picks. Speaking of which, we have another couple of gems right here. On to the Ice Picks.

Season record: 9-5

Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook

Washington Capitals at New York Rangers 

The Capitals have treaded very well through their schedule despite missing key members over the last several games due to COVID-19 protocols. They will head into Thursday’s tilt having lost just once in 10 games (6-1-3). Goaltender Ilya Samsonov and center Evgeny Kuznetsov are still out. The Caps number two netminder, Vitek Vanecek, has filled the void admirably. He is 5-1-1with a .913 save percentage.

The Caps are certainly playing entertaining high-scoring games. They are averaging a robust 3.70 goals per game, third-best in the league. They give up 3.20 per game which pits them 23rd. The power-play has been outstanding as they have capitalized on 40.9 percent of their chances, second-best in all of hockey. Center Nicklas Backstrom and defenseman John Carlson have been leading the offensive charge of late. Backstrom has eight points in his last five contests. Carlson, usually the forgotten one on this high-powered squad, has three goals in his last five. With Alex Ovechkin back and others soon to follow, this offense could get even better going forward. The over is 7-1 for the Capitals’ last eight games. Of the 10 games the Capitals have played, only two have gone under the total.

New York is due for good things to bounce their way soon one would think. They continue to outshoot their opponents on most nights. In fact, they have outshot the opposition in six of nine games played this season. Artemi Panarin is putting it all together of late, he has a team-leading three goals and four assists in his last five games.

Many pegged the Rangers to be amongst the league’s best scoring teams after last season’s impressive showing. Center Mika Zibanejad is off to a rough start. He has just a goal and an assist in nine games. Towards the end of last season, Zibanejad was one of the league’s best players. An improvement here is desperately needed.

Number one draft pick Alexei Lafreniere has just a goal in nine games. It’s very early to jump to any sort of conclusions on such a young player but if the Rangers continue to give him top-six minutes the production has to be better. This game projects to be one with plenty of offensive opportunities as both teams like to push things offensively. The Blueshirts have already had games like this against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team that is built much like Washington’s. The Capitals hold a 7-2 advantage in wins over the last nine games between the two. The over has hit in five of the last seven contests.

Pick: Over 6 (-135)

Ottawa Senators at Montreal Canadiens

Ah, those poor Ottawa Senators. If there were any time you would want to take the puck line to cover the favorite, it’s when the game features the Sens. Ottawa is brutal this year. They have lost nine consecutive games. Six of them by at least three goals. They sport a goal against of almost 5.00 (4.80), dead last in the league.

On the other side is the upstart Canadiens de Montreal. They lead the league in offense at 4.40 goals per game. Tyler Toffoli will look to keep padding his stats. He has 13 points in his last eight games. Another key offseason acquisition, Josh Anderson, has been dangerous. Four goals and two assists in his last six. Montreal is for real this year and the Senators are wishing that their start wasn’t. Hammer the Habs on the puck line.

Pick: Montreal -1.5 (-140)

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