NHL Picks February 8: Toronto faces Montreal in Atlantic Division battle

With only a little more than a quarter of the NHL schedule remaining to be played, the playoff races are heating up. With a full slate of game on tap for Saturday, the Maple Leafs and Canadiens highlight the action.

Toronto Maple Leafs versus Montreal Canadiens

In this Atlantic Division battle, the fourth-place Maple Leafs take on the fifth-place Canadiens. Toronto enters 13-11 on the road and Montreal is only 11-14-4 at home. Toronto holds a +23 to +13 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “average” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Despite the seemingly clear advantage for Toronto the Canadiens have won both meetings between the teams this season. The teams are trending on opposite sides of the over/under line, so best to avoid betting on the over/under. Montreal is -4 on the Team Volatility Oscillator, making them very inconsistent according to their favorite/underdog status. Look for Toronto to earn a road win, pulling away late.

Arizona Coyotes versus Boston Bruins

Arizona takes a fourth-place record in the Pacific Division to Boston to face the top team in the Atlantic Division. The Coyotes are 14-11-3 on the road and the Bruins are 18-2-9 at home. Boston has a decided advantage (+30 to +5) on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “dead” on the Team Strength Oscillator. The Bruins won the first meeting between the teams, 1-0 on the road. Expect another low scoring game, so betting the “under’ is a wise play. Both teams have been showing moderately good stability at +10 to +7 on the Team Volatility Oscillator. The Bruins should win this one by two goals.

Colorado Avalanche versus Columbus Blue Jackets

Both teams enter play third place in their respective divisions. Colorado has a 12-11-2 mark on the road and Columbus is a solid 17-9-2 at home. The Blue Jackets have a +24 to +19 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “average down” on the Team Strength Oscillator.  The teams are trending on opposite sides of the “over/under” line but Columbus is trending well under, so lean toward “under” in this one. The Avalanche won the first meeting between the teams at home, but look for Columbus to even the score, winning at home by a couple of goals.

Calgary Flames versus Vancouver Canucks

In this Pacific Division battle, the fourth-place Flames take on the first-place Canucks. The teams have split the first two games this season. Calgary is 14-12-2 on the road and the Canucks are 17-5-3 at home. There are clear advantages for Vancouver on both the Power Ranking Indicator (+26 to +12) and the Team Strength Oscillator (burning hot down versus ice cold down). Both teams have shown moderate stability, winning and losing consistently according to their favorite/underdog status. Best to avoid betting the over/under with teams trending on opposite sides of the line. Vancouver should have little difficulty getting the win in this one.

Carolina Hurricanes versus Vegas Golden Knights

The Hurricanes have struggled to sixth in the Metropolitan Division, but are decent on the road at 12-11-2. The Golden Knights ard third in the Pacific and have a 14-10-3 home record. They won the first meeting between the teams and are “burning hot” versus “average”. However, Carolina is ranked higher at +20 to +15 on the Power Ranking Indicator.  This is another game to avoid the “over/under” with teams trending on opposite sides. Stability is not an issue with either team, ranked +7 and +6. Vegas should clearly by a home favorite and will come away with the victory.

 

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