Thursday, May 24, 2018

Around the NHL: Predictions for February 16th

There are eight games on the docket tonight. Let’s take a look at the top picks, plays and predictions.

February 16, 2017 – NHL Schedule
Senators vs Devils
ML -110 / -110
O/U 5
Rangers vs Islanders
ML -115 / -105
O/U 5.5
Jets vs Penguins
ML +195 / -235
O/U 6
Avalanche vs Sabres
ML +155 / -175
Canucks vs Blues
ML +165 / -200
O/U 5
Stars vs Wild
ML +165 / -200
O/U 5.5
Flyers vs Oilers
ML +145 / -165
O/U 5.5
Coyotes vs Kings
ML +180 / -225
O/U 5

Here are tonight’s starting goaltenders, courtesy of LeftWingLock.

The Game to Watch: Rangers vs Islanders.
Tonight is the third installment of this season’s Rangers-Islanders saga. The season series is currently split, with the home team taking both games.

A three goal third period helped propel the Rangers over their rivals on opening night. Then in early December, the Isles leapt out to an early lead and never looked back, topping the Blueshirts 4-2.

This will be the first time this season that the Rangers will be taking on Thomas Greiss. Jaroslav Halak is no longer on the NHL club, so we won’t have to hear about how Henrik Lundqvist can’t beat Halak anymore.

Remember when ESPN analysts were saying that Jaroslav Halak was the best goalie in the World Cup of Hockey? Good times.

Alain Vigneault will be sending some kind of “message” to Pavel Buchnevich tonight by benching him for tonight’s game. Apparently, his last game was “so-so.” The amount of evens that I cannot with this decision is literally insurmountable.

Ludicrous messages aside, the bottom line is that the Rangers have actively gone out of their way to remove one of their most talented offensive players from their lineup. Blaming his injury seems unfair, since he tallied points in his first four games back after his hiatus. Then he started getting 10 or fewer minutes a night saddled on the fourth line, naturally his production dropped off, and now he’s “so-so?” Get that weak stuff out of here.

Brooklyn has won five of their last six home games. They have taken five of their last six encounters with the Rangers.

Prediction: Take the Islanders to win tonight. Play the over.

Other Game Notes Around the NHL

Senators vs Devils: The fairytale hit a bump in the road Tuesday night. Craig Anderson found himself on the losing end of a 3-2 score against the Buffalo Sabres despite stopping 22 of 25 shots on goal.

I really, really want Anderson to go on a crazy, Andrew Hammond-like run. It would be an incredible narrative to follow. But alas, that may have to wait. Mike Condon is listed as the probable starter tonight for Ottawa, according to LeftWingLock.

The Senators won their first game against the New Jersey Devils this season 3-1.

In a season mired by various forms of drama, Bobby Ryan finally showed flashes of his former self Tuesday night against Buffalo. Ryan registered a goal and an assist for his fourth multi-point night of the season and tallied a season-high six shots on goal. He saw 18:06 of ice time, tied for fifth-most this year. Ryan has had a turbulent tenure in Ottawa, and any return to form would be more than welcomed by management.

New Jersey’s powerplay has been on fire of late, scoring six times in four games. Their special teams play, coupled with Cory Schneider’s historic dominance over the Senators in his career, could make for a big win here for the Devils.

Wins at the Rock have been hard to come by lately for the Devils, and they need to turn it around while the playoffs are still relatively within reach.

Prediction: Take the Devils to win. Play the under.

Jets vs Penguins: The Penguins are 6-1-1 at home in 2017. Pittsburgh is proving to be one of the toughest places to play in the NHL, as the Pens are now 23-3-3 on their home ice.

Welcome, Jets.

Winnipeg is 12-15-3 on the road this season, and 5-4-1 in this calendar year. The Jets continue to teeter on the fringe of the playoff picture out in the Western Conference, five points behind the Calgary Flames for the second Wild Card.

They have performed poorly against the Eastern Conference this season, however, winning just seven of 22 games this season against cross-conference foes. They are 2-7-1 against the Metro Division.

Prediction: Take the Penguins to win. Play the over.

Avalanche vs Sabres: Oh my god I almost fell asleep just typing out the team names.

I give credit to the diehard Sabres fans who will be watching this game tonight, and I suppose the Avalanche fans who know that any game could be Gabriel Landeskog’s or Matt Duchene’s last as a member of their club. But man, is this one going to be boring.

Colorado is the worst team in the NHL, no ifs, ands or buts about it. However, they are 6-1-1 in their last eight trips to Buffalo and have won 10 of their last 11 overall against the Sabres.

I suppose there are two aspects of this game that could keep one’s interest. Buffalo does have a knack for making things interesting in the third period, as they are tied for the league lead in victories when trailing after two frames. Additionally, Ryan O’Reilly will be playing against his former club, and that’s always an intriguing storyline to follow.

Prediction: I need something to be exciting about this game. Take the Avalanche to win and hope to cash in based on the tale of the tape. Play the under.

Stars vs Wild: The Dallas Stars are doing everything they can to play themselves out of a playoff spot. They have lost six of their last seven games, as well as each of their last seven against Central Division opponents.

And there is serious danger of making that eight tonight.

Minnesota’s successes are well documented at this point. They are only four points behind the Washington Capitals for the President’s Trophy. The Wild have the opportunity to sheath a dagger in the hearts of the Stars, as tonight could very well mark their third defeat in a row.

This is the fourth meeting between these two teams this season, and the first in Minnesota. The Wild are 2-0-1 so far this year against the Stars.

Prediction: Take the Wild to win. Play the over, which is 6-1-1 in their last eight meetings.

To make a play on these predictions, or any other NHL bets, visit our sports book at hockey.

About Casey Bryant

Casey is GetMoreSports' resident hockey fanatic and host of "Jersey Corner" on the GMS YouTube channel. He is the play-by-play voice of Marist College Hockey and the New York AppleCore. He currently works as a traffic coordinator for MSG Networks. Steve Valiquette once held a bathroom door for him.

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