Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:15 PM EST.
10:30 PM EST. Regulation only. Down goes Thornton! That’s in reference to one of the most famous calls in sports history when Joe Frazier hit the canvas after taking a shot to the head by George Foreman. While this Joe going down doesn’t come close to that one, there is still going to be an overreaction to it and we’re all over it.
Joe Thornton is NHL royalty. He’s pure class and an inspiration to every player on that Sharks’ roster. Since joining the Sharks in 2005, Thornton has missed 12 regular-season games. His work ethic and commitment is second to nobody. There is no chance that the Sharks don’t respond big time in his absence. Every player in that San Jose locker room will dig down a little deeper tonight in support of Thornton. Adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it and how the Sharks respond to their leader going down will reveal their character. We trust we’re going to like what we see.
The second best thing about this game is the opposition. The Sharks couldn’t have handpicked a better team to face in their first game without their leader. We have been fading the Rangers for a bunch of games in a row now and we’re certainly not going to stop now. We’re also not going to go over the same details again but we will reiterate that the Rangers are absolutely one of the worst three teams in the league and they have the numbers to prove it. Rarely do the Rangers outplay anyone. Rarely do they win any battles other than the blocked shots battle because they’re always in their own end blocking shots. In 5v5 Score and Venue Adjusted Corsi For, the Rangers are among the worst teams in the league. The same goes for their Corsi Against numbers. The Rangers extreme good luck in the first 10 weeks of the season has run its course. They will play their fourth game in a row on the road here and eighth game in 13 nights. This is the last game before the four-day All-Star break and it couldn’t come fast enough for the Rags, who have lost three in a row and six of nine while the Sharks must respond to losing Thornton. Ask yourself, which team figures to bring more energy here and then pull the trigger with confidence.
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SAN JOSE -½ +120 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.40)