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NHL Playoffs Handicapper Free Play: Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Lightning

05.06.2015     10:03 AM     Sammy P Sports     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Sammy P Sports blog entry.
Montreal at Tampa Bay -145 O/U 5
Recommendation: Under

Tampa Bay stole two games on the road against the Montreal Canadiens and they look to further dominate the Habs on home ice in Game 3 tonight.  In what was an anomaly of a game on Sunday where the Lightning won 6-2, tonight should get back to the low scoring affairs these two teams are accustomed to.  Tampa has owned this matchup this entire season as it continues to frustrate the Canadians from an offensive standpoint.  Ben Bishop has been tremendous in net for Tampa as he's posted a 1.71 GAA in the postseason and you can expect much of the same from both he and Carey Price tonight.  Both teams have struggled overall during the postseason on the power play.  The Canadians are just 1 for 26 on the man advantage and Tampa Bay was 0 for 23 on the PP before their 4 goal PP performance on Sunday.  A change in scenery should benefit the tight checking style as it has always proven beneficial to play Unders in the third game of a playoff series.  Sunday's 6-2 game was an outlier so expect a close defensive battle tonight in Tampa Bay.

Tags: NHL Montreal Canadiens Tampa Bay Lightning Sammy P

NHL Handicapper Free Play: New York Islanders at Washington Capitals

04.27.2015     08:39 AM     Sammy P Sports     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Sammy P Sports blog entry.
NY Islanders at Washington -135 O/U 5
Recommendation: Washington

We have our first Game 7 of the 2015 NHL playoffs tonight in Washington between the Islanders and the Capitals.  It’s been a hotly contested matchup as the Islanders took Game 1 and held a 2-1 series lead but the Caps took the next two before losing in New York last Saturday, 3-1.  It’s fitting that this series has reached a Game 7 with both teams netting 14 goals apiece through six games. Washington goaltender Braden Holtby has been the star of the series posting a 1.75 GAA and keeping his squad in every game.  On home ice tonight expect Holtby to do his part once again.  In a game where one special teams goal may be the difference, the Capitals have had the edge in that category as their penalty kill hasn't allowed a power play goal over six games.  Historically, home teams have won just over 58% over Game 7’s. However, last season we witnessed six of seven road teams emerge triumphant in that profile.  I made a bet on the Capitals to win the series (-145) and will also recommend a play on the home side for Game 7.

Tags: NHL New York Islanders Washington Capitals Sammy P

The NHL in Las Vegas doesn't appear to be a good fit

04.22.2015     08:22 AM     Printer Friendly blog entry.'s Nate Silver gives his take on why an NHL expansion team in Las Vegas is an awful idea.

Our 2013 analysis estimated that there are just 91,000 NHL fans in metro Las Vegas. That’s tiny even by comparison to the six smallest NHL markets that I mentioned before, which have between 146,000 (Nashville) and 279,000 (Tampa) hockey fans. And it’s well below Seattle’s 241,000 or Quebec City’s 530,000 fans.


Tags: NHL Las Vegas

NHL Handicapper Free Play: New York Islanders at Washington Capitals

04.17.2015     08:32 AM     ICC     Printer Friendly
Submitted by ICC blog entry.
NY Islanders at Washington -145 O/U 5.5
Recommendation: Washington

The Washington Capitals will be looking to bounce back from a 4-1 Game 1 loss. The Capitals didn’t play a terrible game in the series opener as the shots were practically even but goaltender Braden Holtby had a very poor showing as he yielded a pair of “soft” goals. Washington’s vaunted power play was supposed to have an edge against a team that struggled on the penalty kill this season but the Capitals were shut down on both power play opportunities. Washington also didn’t seem to have a great sense of urgency but I expect a lot more of that tonight especially when reading this quote from Brooks Laich: "I don't think our execution was there. It starts with thinking quicker and moving quicker. I don't think we did that well in the first period. The result was that we looked like a slow team. It has to get better." We also have two distinct trends working in our favor here as the Islanders do not have a great track record following up wins this season with a 18-29 record. On the flip side, the Caps have showed the focus and intensity required to Read more

Tags: NHL New York Islanders Washington Capitals Ian Cameron

NHL Handicapper Free Play: Winnipeg Jets vs. Anaheim Ducks Series

04.13.2015     10:17 AM     Sammy P Sports     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Sammy P Sports blog entry.
Winnipeg +145 vs. Anaheim
Series Recommendation: Winnipeg

The NHL Playoffs begin on Wednesday night and this is perhaps the most evenly matched first round we have ever seen.  Only one series price is above -200 (NY Rangers -225 vs. Pittsburgh).  Every series should be close and hard fought.  Generally it has always been wise to support the hottest teams coming into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  The two hottest teams over the course of the last two months are without question the Ottawa Senators and the Winnipeg Jets.  Winnipeg matches up against the Western Conference leading Anaheim Ducks in the first round.  What seems like a tall task to the untrained eye is anything but.  Winnipeg actually matches up very well against the Ducks despite losing the three regular season games between the two (two of which were after regulation).  Since trading away Evander Kane in early February this is a completely different Jets team. Defense is the name of the game for both of these clubs, and I see a series that will be very low scoring with many of these games decided in overtime.  One huge plus for the Jets will be Read more

Tags: NHL Winnipeg Jets Anaheim Ducks Sammy P

NHL Handicapper Free Play: Columbus Blue Jackets at New York Rangers

04.06.2015     09:39 AM     Sammy P Sports     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Sammy P Sports blog entry.
Columbus at NY Rangers -205 O/U 5.5
Recommendation: Under

With four games remaining in the Rangers’ season, they are in a prime position to win the President's Trophy for most points in the NHL and home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.  They’ve won their last three games and given up just five goals.  Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has returned to game shape and is back in his groove after missing much of the last third of the season due to injury.  Columbus comes into tonight with a win streak of nine games!  Unfortunately for the Blue Jackets it is too little too late as they will miss the postseason, but the fact that they are committed to playing hard and finishing out the season strong is a great sign when looking for consistency down the stretch.  This isolated game which appears more important for the Rangers gives us a perfect situation where we can expect a top effort from both sides regardless of standings.  With the defensive brand of hockey the Rangers have been playing, expect them to limit the opportunities the Blue Jackets will create tonight.  Neither team has scored a power play goal Read more

Tags: NHL Columbus Blue Jackets New York Rangers Sammy P

NHL Handicapper Free Play: Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens

03.30.2015     08:12 AM     Sammy P Sports     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Sammy P Sports blog entry.
Tampa Bay +105 at Montreal O/U 5
Recommendation: Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay Lightning travel to Montreal tonight and they currently trail the Canadians by three points in the Eastern Conference standings.  This is a very important game in ultimately deciding who will earn home ice in the Eastern Conference playoffs.  The Lightning have dominated the Canadiens this season by winning all four meetings by a combined score of 16-5 including a 4-2 win on their home ice two weeks ago. In a tight checking, low scoring game like we’re likely to see this evening, I am fully confident in backing the more psychical team as a slight underdog. Tampa Bay matches up very well offensively against Montreal’s stingy defense.  And after getting blanked 4-0 at Detroit on Saturday, the Lightning are in prime bounce-back mode. "We always respond after games like (Saturday's 4-0 loss to the Red Wings)," veteran wing Ryan Callahan said. "We have the character in here to do that. We know who's coming up next, and that's a pretty big one, too. So it's going to be easy to get up for that one." Should be a great game and one that Read more

Tags: NHL Tampa Bay Lightning Montreal Canadiens Sammy P

NHL Handicapper Free Play: Los Angeles Kings at New Jersey Devils

03.23.2015     09:57 AM     Sammy P Sports     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Sammy P Sports blog entry.
Los Angeles -150 at New Jersey O/U 5
Recommendation: Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Kings face off against the New Jersey Devils tonight in another important "must win" game.  Last week I wrote about the desperation the Kings have been playing with, and that hasn't changed one bit.  Perhaps even more desperation has set in as they've lost their last two games against two very good teams in Anaheim and Vancouver.  Los Angeles opens up an East Coast road trip that will see them play five games in eight nights.  They are currently sitting four points behind (with one game in hand) the Winnipeg Jets for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.  I expect a maximum effort tonight from the Kings against a dead-in-the- water Devils team that isn't going anywhere.  Despite the decently high -150 line, I still see plenty of value.  The Devils are just 9-17 versus the Western Conference this season.  For years now the most dominate teams in the Western Conference have value when they go on the road to play the East and we can get a reduced price.  The Kings are 7-2-1 in their last ten road games and Read more

Tags: NHL Los Angeles Kings New Jersey Devils Sammy P

NHL Handicapper Free Play: Arizona Coyotes at Los Angeles Kings

03.16.2015     09:46 AM     Sammy P Sports     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Sammy P Sports blog entry.
Arizona at Los Angeles -340 O/U 5
Recommendation: Under

The Los Angeles Kings come into tonight's game against the lowly Arizona Coyotes as -340 favorites!  Probably a fair price considering the demise of the Coyotes this season and these last remaining regular season games for the Kings being of the "must win" variety.  This reminds me a lot of 2011-12 where the Kings got super-hot at the end of the regular season and barely got into the playoffs as the eight seed in the Western Conference.  From there they dismantled the competition en route to winning the Stanley Cup.  The lethargic start and middle of the season for LA has given way to desperate hockey that has shown why they are the defending Cup champions going 12-4-1 in their last 17 games.  When you think of great Kings hockey you think of that suffocating style where they outnumber the opponent all over the ice, and grind them down defensively and on the offensive cycle.  We are starting to see more and more of that recently and their scores reflect it.  Arizona is going to have a very difficult time scoring goals to say the least.  They Read more

Tags: NHL Arizona Coyotes Los Angeles Kings Sammy P

NHL Handicapper Free Play: Nashville Predators at New York Rangers

03.02.2015     08:54 AM     Sammy P Sports     Printer Friendly
Submitted by Sammy P Sports blog entry.
Nashville at NY Rangers -120 O/U 5.5
Recommendation: Under

Today is the NHL trade deadline and if you think we've seen the last of the big deals you are surely mistaken.  The New York Rangers were very active over the weekend making three separate trades to help bolster their playoff run in the short term.  They are expecting big defensive acquisition Keith Yandle to play tonight.  Nashville comes into New York looking to straighten things out after two straight losses.  The Predators have been the NHL's best team this season, doing it both from an offensive and defensive standpoint.  Nashville ranks seocnd in the league in goals against average so expect the Rangers to have a tougher time breaking through the defense than they have these past few weeks.  New York has really added another offensive element to their game this season with the immense amount of speed through the neutral zone, but expect the Predators to put lots of defensive pressure on the Rangers tonight.  Last meeting was a 3-2 win for Nashville in early February and not once has their last six meetings resulted in a score of greater than five Read more

Tags: NHL Nashville Predators New York Rangers Sammy P


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