It’s getting hot on the ice! The NHL careens towards the playoffs with a fantastic slate of games this week. Philadelphia battles Chicago on Wednesday, March 16. The 2 rivals face off at 8:00 pm ET. Pittsburgh hosts the top team in the league on Sunday, March 20. Can Pittsburgh beat Washington, a team that has had their number more than once this season? The final game that makes my NHL Best Bets of the Week list has Chicago hosting Minnesota. That game also takes place on Sunday, March 20.
A Closer Look At My NHL Best Bets of the Week March 14-20
Philadelphia at Chicago
When: Wednesday, March 16 at 8:00 pm ET
The Flyers are 6 and 2 straight up in their last 8 to start the week. Philadelphia dominated Chicago 3 to 0 the last time that they faced the Stanley Cup defending champs. In that matchup, Corey Crawford wasn’t himself for the Blackhawks when giving up 3 goals while Michael Neuvirth was exceptional for Philadelphia when making 30 saves.
Neuvirth is questionable for Tuesday. He should be okay by Wednesday but if Philly doesn’t start him, a real possibility, they’ll most likely go with Steve Mason. Mason gave up 4 goals to the Florida Panthers in his last start on March 12. Neuvirth isn’t likely to be 100% if he plays while Mason is likely to make Chicago look good if he plays. I’m backing the Blackhawks.
Washington at Pittsburgh
When: Sunday, March 20 at 6:00 pm ET
The Penguins are 1 and 2 against Washington this season. After beating Washington 3 to 1 on Oct. 8, the Capitals came back to stun Pittsburgh 1 to 4 on Dec. 14. On March 1, Washington beat the Penguins 2 to 3.
Matthew Murray was in goal for the Penguins in that matchup. But, man, Pittsburgh has a tough week. The Capitals on Sunday will be Pittsburgh’s fifth game in 7 days. That’s a lot of hockey to play. Facing the best team in the NHL in the fifth game isn’t how Pittsburgh probably would have drawn it up. Washington has only 2 games this week before taking on the Penguins on Sunday. I have to side with the Caps in this matchup.
Minnesota at Chicago
When: Sunday, March 20 at 8:30 pm ET
Minnesota sits at 32-27-8-2 to start the week in what could be considered the toughest division in all of hockey. Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago and Nashville are all ahead of Minnesota in the Central Division. The Wild needs to beat Chicago in this matchup on Sunday.
The last time that Minnesota took on Chicago they blitzed the defending champs 6 to 1. Corey Crawford was in goal for that game. The Wild just dominated him while Devan Dubnyk in goal for Minnesota held Chicago’s offense at bay. Minnesota is 3 and 0 straight up versus the Blackhawks this season. They might get odds in this. I’m on the Wild to make it 4 and 0 against Chicago.