NHL Ice Picks: Monday February 15, 2021by Joel Dorcas February 15, 2021 0 comments
For how great Montreal versus Toronto has been up until the weekend, as Saturday’s tilt can be classified as a letdown. We were predicting goals, instead, we got Montreal squeezing out a bit of a yawner, 2-1. In our other selection, we correctly picked the over as Tampa thumped Florida 6-1. Tonight we have a full schedule with 10 games on the docket. Here are my favorites from a betting perspective.
Season record: 10-8-1
Betting Odds provided by Jazz Sportsbook
New York Islanders at Buffalo Sabres
After a lengthy five-game losing streak it appears the New York Islanders have regained form. They enter Monday’s tilt versus the Buffalo Sabres having registered at least one point in their last six games. In the last five games, the Islanders are averaging 3.2 goals per game, a nice improvement over the 2.46 they are averaging on the season. Superstar center Mathew Barzal is leading the Isles in scoring with 14 points on the season. He is currently riding an eight-game point streak with four goals and six assists. Jordan Eberle has provided depth scoring with a team tieing six goals. The Islanders’ bread and butter continue to be limiting opposing teams scoring chances. They have allowed just 2.46 goals per game, fifth-best in the NHL.
For Buffalo, just getting back to regular action may seem like a victory. The Sabres haven’t played since a 5-3 setback to the New Jersey Devils on January 31. They head into this one with a 4-4-2 record. Many regulars will be a game-time decision. Defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen, Jake McCabe, and Brandon Montour, as well as rookie and former World Junior star Dylan Cozens, could continue to sit out due to Covid-19 protocols. Winger Sam Reinhart is still day-to-day with an upper-body ailment.
This will be the first meeting between these two for the shortened 2021 season. Over the previous two campaigns, the Islanders hold a four-to-one advantage in wins. Even if the Sabres were at full strength the smart play has to be with New York. The addition of Taylor Hall has been positive but there is still plenty of holes on the Sabres roster. Look for the Isles to continue to build momentum here with another victory.
Ice Pick: New York Islanders money line (-155)
Chicago Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings
The underlying numbers aren’t pretty for either team and in the Blackhawks case, some regression is perhaps on the horizon. The Hawks have allowed the second-most scoring chances against in the league and own the second-worst Corsi percentage at 46.37. Their savior has been rookie goaltender Kevin Lankinen who has stood on his head only losing two of his 11 starts this season.
Chicago is also being led by Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat who have been outstanding this season. DeBrincat has eight goals and eight assists in 12 games while Kane has 22 points in 16 games. Not much was expected out of the Hawks this year but they have been rejuvenated over their last seven, having dropped just one game in regulation (5-1-1). Opponents would be wise to stay out of the penalty box versus the Hawks. They own the league’s second-best powerplay at 34.7 percent.
The Red Wings are still an offensively challenged group that appears to be overmatched here. They have converted at just 7.8 percent with the man advantage. Furthermore, they average a paltry 2.06 goals a game, ranked 30th in the league. The Wings issues aren’t limited to just creating offense. They also boast a 27th ranked penalty kill (71.7 percent) and allow 3.19 goals a game (22nd). The Blackhawks took care of business in two earlier meetings between these two, 6-2 and 4-1 in late January. Chicago has won five of the last six games dating back to February 10, 2019. Give me the Hawks as they look to stay afloat in the Central Division.
Ice Pick: Chicago Blackhawks money line(-150)
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