NHL Playoff Series Picks
I knew I wanted to back Minnesota in the first round, after watching three of their games in the final weeks, I just didn’t know if I’d get the chance.
A few things had to fall into place, notably the right matchup and the right price.
The price came through, but the matchup made me pause.
When it was clear the Wild were going to get a date with the Blues, I knew they’d be a decent underdog, but there’s a damn good reason backers are getting that plus-money: the Blues are freaking good. Size, skill and maybe the most depth in the league.
When I ducked into Pinnacle Sports to check their opening lines for Round 1, a nagging voice told me to move along; get out now before this crush on the Wild hurts me.
Truthfully, the Blues are going to be a bear to get by and maybe I should, in fact, be looking elsewhere, but the Minny Kool-Aid tastes too good.
I’m sticking with them, despite the fact I can see this St. Louis lineup going to the Finals and winning it all. But they’re also a team that give the Wild a shot at an upset.
NHL Playoff Picks
The NHL’s best even strength team since February 1st, by a long shot is?
The Minnesota Wild (they’re 30 goals better than the Blues in that category over that stretch).
Yes, this is a huge challenge for the Wild, but it’s also a very tough draw for Hitchcock and his crew.
St. Louis can play virtually any style you throw at them. But the Wild have been one of the elite teams in the league heading for the post-season and as noted, their play at even strength is highly impressive.
And oh yeah, another big plus – when they’re down a man, it’s not panic time. They can kill penalties all day.
When is it panic time? When they’re on the power play.
Unless they get that mess sorted (highly doubtful), the Blues could have more shorties than the Wild have PP tallies.
But the Blues have an issue in goal. Hardly comforting for them and what could be a clear edge for the underdog.
There’s enough on the Minny side of the ledger for me.
I don’t love their chances at moving on to the next round, but I do like them.
I’m taking the Minnesota Wild at +127 for a half unit to win this series.
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