We’ve reached the end of the week and the end of April, hockey fans! It’s the last day of the last month without playoff hockey. We have four games on tonight’s slate, and besides just our usual NHL picks every day, we’re going in-depth on all four games.
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On Wednesday night, we nearly had the clean sweep. The Wild blew a two-goal lead in the third period, but the Oilers and Golden Knights both won on the money line and puck line. Let’s do it again tonight.
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Winnipeg Jets at Montreal Canadiens – 7 p.m. ET
The “early” game on the slate sees the Canadiens host the Jets. It’s the lone game in the 7 o’clock and 8 o’clock hours for those on the East Coast.
NHL Picks – Value Pick: Winnipeg Jets -110
First and foremost, the Jets are 6-2-0 this season against Montreal, including four straight wins against the Habs. In their last two-game set in Montreal on April 8th and 10th, the Jets won 4-2 and 5-0. They were underdogs in both games.
The Jets’ recent record may make you hesitate and I understand. They lost their last five games, all at home. Three of the losses were to Edmonton and two were to Toronto. In other words, they lost to the best teams in the North Division. Now, Winnipeg goes on the road where they’ve been better (16-8-1) than at home (11-11-2).
The Canadiens are up-and-down recently. They are 1-3-0 in their last four, 4-6-0 in their last 10, and 4-9-0 in their last 13.
Montreal also hasn’t been great at home. In their last six home games, they are 2-5-0 and are getting outscored 24-10.
Winnipeg outshot the Oilers in their last two games and a road trip could get them going. Their last two wins in Montreal have me leaning towards taking them on the puck line as well as the money line.
San Jose Sharks at Colorado Avalanche – 9 p.m. ET
The Avalanche are fighting or playoff position in the West Division while the Sharks are simply playing out the rest of their schedule.
NHL Picks – Lock: Colorado Avalanche -285 / -165 to win in regulation / -1.5 (-115)
The Sharks are coming off two wins at home against the Coyotes, but now have to travel to Colorado. The Avalanche have lost three in a row for the first time this season, but all three losses were on the road.
The Avalanche are now back in Colorado where they are 18-4-2, including 2-0-0 against the Sharks. San Jose, on the other hand, is 10-13-3 on the road. On top of that, the Sharks have lost four straight road games and eight of their last 10.
This is a perfect spot for Colorado to bounce back. They’ve won five straight at home against the Sharks, including 7-3 and 3-0 wins this season.
I like not only the money line, but the puck line at -1.5 (-115) and to win in regulation (-165) as well. Colorado has 31 wins, 28 of which came in regulation. The puck line is a bit riskier, but I trust the Avalanche to pour it on against the Sharks.
Think you know who’s going to win it all? Check out the latest Stanley Cup odds.
Los Angeles Kings at Anaheim Ducks – 10 p.m. ET
We stay in the West Division for this matchup between two non-playoff teams. The Kings and Ducks sit at the bottom of the standings as they face off for the third straight game.
NHL Picks – Value Pick: Los Angeles Kings -130 / -1.5 (+180)
The Ducks and Kings each won a game in Los Angeles this week as the series flips to Anaheim. This game is a complete toss-up in my mind, but I can’t bet on the Ducks.
Anaheim has played three more games than the Kings but have three fewer wins. The Ducks are 15-28-7 on the season and an abysmal 5-17-4 at home. The Kings aren’t much better at 18-23-6, but they’ve been about equal on the road (9-12-4) as at home (9-11-2).
If you look at the Ducks roster, you have to be a real hockey fan to recognize more than a few of the players on their roster. Hell — nothing against him –, but Max Comtois leads the Ducks in scoring with 13 goals and 28 points in 49 games.
The Kings outshot the Ducks 30-22 but lost 3-2 on Wednesday. They won 4-1 on Monday and last Wednesday as well. Take the Kings, and if you truly want some value, go with the puck line and hope for another 4-1 win.
Vegas Golden Knights at Arizona Coyotes – 10 p.m. ET
Okay, back to a game between two actual hockey teams to finish out the card. Well, kind of. The Golden Knights sit atop the West Division while the Coyotes need a lot to go in their favor to sneak into a playoff spot.
NHL Picks – Lock: Vegas Golden Knights -200 / -1.5 (+135)
The Golden Knights are 5-1-0 this season against the Coyotes. Mind you, four of those meetings came in January. In their two recent games, Vegas won 7-4 on April 9th and 1-0 on the 11th.
On top of that, the Golden Knights are beyond red-hot right now. They’re blue-hot. They’ve won 10 straight games and are coming off a 5-2 win against their biggest competition in the Avalanche.
While Vegas is hot, Arizona is … not. They just lost two straight two the Ducks and two to the Wild with a win against the Kings in between. They’re 2-9-0 and getting outscored 42-27 in their last 11 games.
The Golden Knights clinched a playoff berth but they have work to do to clinch the No. 1 seed. That’ll be crucial in a division with three high-quality teams and a fourth-place team with more losses than wins.
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