Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:30 PM EST.
7:35 PM EST. Regulation only. Washington came off the break last night in New Jersey and although they picked up a point in a 4-3 OT loss, that was perhaps the most misleading score of the night. Washington was manhandled by the Devils and it was complete injustice for the Caps to pick up a point, let alone having a chance to win it. The Caps figure to be much better tonight in their second game back from their mandatory break but it would not surprise us if they were outplayed again. Washington remains one of the most overvalued teams in the NHL but that doesn’t apply here because they’ll be facing Antti Niemi and when Niemi is between the pipes, the team he plays for should be taking back better than 2-1 because he truly is that bad. There’s also a very good chance that Montreal’s will has been broken and Washington will dominate.
The Habs have dropped three straight, including a 5-4 loss to the Islanders when they were the much better team but Carey Price was shaky is that 5-4 OT loss. Two days later and the Habs looked rather lifeless in a 4-1 loss to the Bruins. The Canadiens have two victories over their last 10 games, one over Vancouver and one over the Bolts in OT in which they allowed 45 shots on net. Brian Wilde of recrutes.ca tweeted that Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was on Calgary radio and talked about Bergevin’s future plans. A lot of general managers are already active as the NHL trade deadline approaches, and he is one of them. Most importantly, according to Friedman, Bergevin is working on the rebuild. Everyone is available save for Victor Mete and Carey Price which could make the Montreal Canadiens a hot spot for assets. Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec were two names most likely on their way out already, but now that we know it’s a rebuild opposed from a retool, it looks like anyone can go. With word officially out that Montreal is changing its course, expect plenty of scouts at Montreal’s games until the deadline.
The Habs are not a team to get behind right now and playing Niemi is a strong sign that the Habs have thrown in the proverbial towel or that they are praying he has a good game so that maybe they can get something for him from goaltending desperate clubs. Niemi last played on December 23rd and lost 4-1 to Edmonton. Montreal is his third team this year after he went 0-1 for the Panthers and 0-3 for the Penguins. Niemi’s last win was in early April last season against Arizona. He is winless this year in nine games and has one win over his last 17 starts. He also ranks 59th out of 64 qualified goaltenders in GSAA and must be faded when he’s goal and we’ll make no exceptions here.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
WASHINGTON -½ +113 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.26)