NHL Ice Picks: Saturday February 13, 2021by Joel Dorcas February 13, 2021 0 comments
Welcome to a special Saturday edition of Ice Picks, hockey fans. Last time out we had a late scratch to one of our picked games due to COVID-19. Our only other selection missed the puck line by a goal as the Panthers were only one score better than the Red Wings. Tonight we are hoping for some offense for both of our picks, so let’s get to it.
Season record: 9-7-1
Betting Odds provided by Jazz Sportsbook
Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs Over 6 (-135)
The rivalry is alive and well, with both teams cementing themselves as powerhouses at the top of the North Division. These two went down to the wire on opening night. This past Wednesday was more end-to-end action with Toronto coming away with a 4-2 victory. Montreal threw everything at the Leafs, out-chancing them 22-16 during five-on-five play. Overall, the Leafs were also outshot 35-24.
Heading into this two-game set, Montreal took care of the Canucks rather easily but surprisingly dropped one of two to the Senators. In between the pair versus the Leafs, Montreal dropped a third straight contest at home, 3-0 to Edmonton. Despite being shut out, they directed 38 shots on goal. The Canadiens aren’t notching off wins like they were at the start, but they can still be considered a class above most. They can match up with any team, including their rivals.
Prior to the visit to La belle province, Toronto plowed over hapless Vancouver in three consecutive contests by a combined margin of 15-5. With the latest victory on Wednesday the Buds are a sparkling 8-0-1 in their last nine.
Like most Leafs/ Habs matchups this one can still be considered a coin flip. A slight lean is given to the hot Maple Leafs. We have the total at 6 here so attacking the over is the play. Fireworks and end-to-end rushes on Saturday night for these two is nothing new, as the over has hit in six of the last eight meetings.
Ice Pick: Over 6 (-135)
Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers Over 5.5 (-135)
It appears as though the Lightning have a new contender to deal with. Tampa Bay had won six straight before a 5-2 setback to the Panthers on Thursday. Florida brought their best, out-chancing the defending Stanley Cup champs 28-9. This was a huge benchmark game for the Cats. Despite their 8-1-2 record they really have not had a marquee-type matchup, unless you count the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Expect the Lightning to be prepared for round two. Their depth will be tested as well. Team leader and sniper Steven Stamkos will be sidelined because of COVID-19 restrictions and an apparent injury. Anthony Cirelli could also be out for an extended period with a shoulder injury. Stamkos and Cirelli are huge components to the winning formula in Tampa, their absences will be difficult to overcome, especially if they’re long term. Nonetheless, the Bolts will be much better in this particular game than the last.
My gut reaction initially was to back the Lightning on the money line. With the injuries, however, my focus will instead be on the total which is a modest 5.5. Both teams can score and there is a distinct possibility that each go to their second option in the crease. Curtis McElhinney has played in just one contest this season; he is a capable backup, but at age 37, can be beaten. The Panthers would have an edge with either of their goalies in this scenario. Chris Driedger, more of a “1-B” option, is 3-1-1 with a .937 SP and a 1.97 GAA.
Ice Pick: Over 5.5 (-135)
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