I would be a horrible nurse. I can't seem to find the NHL's pulse. The over/under, which has been my kryptonite since its introduction to this column, is now my strength. After yesterday's results, I have hit on six of my last seven. Boston versus Montreal (Over 5.0) as well as Colorado versus New York (Over 5.5) surpassed their numbers with relative ease. The Bruins were once again victimized by a team doing the majority of the goal scoring. In consecutive nights the B's have been bombarded by their rivals 6-1 and 5-1. While they didn't even need to score for me to win in the Toronto game, I appreciated their consolation goal to prevent a push last night. The Avalanche and Rangers were more evenly matched as Colorado won in a shootout 4-3. Once again, I didn't have to sweat anything out as they bested their 5.5 mark before the end of regulation leaving the results of OT and the shootout moot.
Obviously, my spread picks didn't fare as well. Los Angeles continued their recent swoon as they were bested at home by the Dallas Stars. The champs didn't even give me a glimmer of hope as Dallas shut them out on their home ice in decisive fashion. Buffalo once again found a new way to screw me. This time they were actually my selection and of course couldn't keep the Minnesota Wild's anemic offense at bay. I didn't expect big things from Buffalo, but giving up six goals to a team that had only scored that many once before AND was in the midst of a four game losing streak wasn't my expectation either. Yesterday's games did affect how I picked today though.
Today I am picking three games and all against the over/under line. I was tempted to pick all overs because frankly, picking unders stinks. Unless we are talking about a team's overall record (such as my delight with each Philadelphia 76ers loss), I hate rooting for futility. Most of the time when overs come in on the ice, it is because both teams played terribly. I am all for great goaltending but I want to see goals in games I have no rooting interest in otherwise. Pumping my fists every time a poorly taken wrister goes wide just feels gross. With all that being said, I ended up with two overs and one under to hedge my bets. On to the picks!
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All picks are made with composite puck lines from ESPN.com. Home team in ALL CAPS.
Pittsburgh/TORONTO Over 5.5
NY Islanders/FLORIDA Over 5.5
Arizona/VANCOUVER Under 5.5
Last Day's NHL Record: 2-2
NHL Record for 2014: 50-50
Last Day's All Picks Record: 3-6
All-Time NHL Record: 108-103
All-Time Picks Record: 289-254-5