Our picks series continues with another big night around the NHL. Last time out we went 1-1 and now sit at a respectable 6-4. Tonight, we get a bit “chalk-y” with our picks. However, in the NHL there is so much parity, you can make a case for a victory with either side.
Alright puck heads, let’s make some Ice Picks.
Season record: 6-4
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Calgary Flames at Montreal Canadiens (-135)
Tyler Toffoli is coming off a torrid stretch in Western Canada which saw him pace the Habs with a very impressive five goals and eight points over just four games. The Canadiens have yet to lose after six games (all on the road), and are just behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for first place in the North. They sit at 4-0-2, having played two games less than the Buds.
Montreal has also been on a tear offensively, scoring a league-best 4.83 goals per contest. Five of their players are averaging a point per game including defenseman Jeff Petry who has two goals and five assists. The advanced numbers are all very favorable for for the Habs. Their CORSI rating is fourth-best in the league at 54.71 percent. They are also averaging a league-best 35.5 shots per contest.
Montreal has won the last two games in the series, both last season.
The Flames are looking for a quick bounce back as they dropped two in a row at home to the Leafs. They will look to be better in the opening period as they trailed 10-1 in shots after the first 20 minutes on Tuesday. Despite the mediocre record to date, Calgary has been fully in sync with the man advantage. Thus far, they have capitalized on seven-of-20 attempts, good for 35 percent.
There is no reason to go against Montreal here in their home opener. Calgary will be hungry after losing two in a row to Toronto, but the Habs are on another level and will look to keep pace with the Leafs in the standings.
Pick: Montreal money line, -135
San Jose Sharks at Colorado Avalanche o6 and (-130)
After last night’s 7-3 drubbing of the Sharks and the 8-0 shellacking of the St. Louis Blues recently is showing us how dominant the Avalanche can be. They will look to fill the net and improve on their seventh-best 3.57 goals-per-game average against the defensively-challenged Sharks. San Jose did nothing to address their 2019-2020 issues in protection. They brought in goaltender Devan Dubnyk to share the crease with Martin Jones, but the results have been virtually the same or worse. San Jose is giving up four goals per contest, 29th in the NHL. Both goalies have combined for a third-worst 87.2 save percentage.
It is business as usual for the best line in hockey in Colorado. Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, and Mikko Rantanen gave the Sharks fits in the first of this two-game set, outshooting their opponent to the tune of 9-5. Rantanen has been especially good for the Avs, scoring five goals over his last five games.
Despite the Sharks starting the season off fairly well, they will be overmatched here against a team that can light it up with the best of them. The over has hit in five of the seven Sharks games this year. San Jose has been on the losing side in each of the last four in Colorado. Take the Avs with confidence, coupled with the over.
Pick: Over 6, -130