NHL Expert Picks Jan 15-21

NHL Expert Picks Jan 15-21

NHL Expert Picks Jan 15-21

On Thursday, Jan. 18, Pittsburgh heads to L.A. to battle the Kings. Can the Penguins get their quest for a third straight Stanley Cup back on track? NBC’s nationally broadcast game on Sunday has Philadelphia battling Washington in D.C. Who wins when two of the more historical franchises throw down in the nation’s capital? TSN’s top nationally broadcast game on Sunday is between Vancouver and Winnipeg. Can the Jets continue their status atop the tough Central Division?

NHL Expert Picks Jan 15-21, 2018

Pittsburgh at Los Angeles
When:  Thursday, Jan. 18 at 10:00 pm ET
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: NBCSN

Analysis: Slowly, the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins are climbing back into Metropolitan Division contention. The Pens must continue to keep winning if they hope to have a real shot at the Cup three-peat.

Pitt battles a solid L.A. Kings squad on Thursday. The Kings rank first in NHL in goals against. L.A. allows 2.4 goals per match. But, the Kings are all about defense. That means Pitt has a real shot of pulling off the money line upset.

I’ll back the Pens to beat the Kings at the Staples Center on Jan. 18.

Pick: Pittsburgh

Philadelphia at Washington
When:  Sunday, Jan. 21 at 3:30 pm ET
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
TV: NBC

Analysis: Philadelphia travels to Washington to face-off against the Metropolitan Division-leading Washington Capitals. The Caps have overtaken the Columbus Blue Jackets. Washington ranks eleventh in goals scored per match.

The ranking doesn’t look overly impressive. Then, we realize that Washington only averages 29 shots per match. That ranks thirty-first in NHL. The Caps are excellent at scoring goals on less shots than almost every other team in the league.

I don’t see the Philadelphia Flyers doing enough to upset the Caps in Sunday’s NBC televised match. I’m siding with the Washington Capitals.

Pick: Washington

Vancouver at Winnipeg
When:  Sunday, Jan. 21 at 8:00 pm ET
Where: Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, MB, CA
TV: TSN

Analysis: Vancouver is one of the worst teams in the talented Pacific Division. Only Arizona has a worse record than the Vancouver Canucks. That’s bad news for Vancouver fans because they face the top team in the Central Division, the Winnipeg Jets, on Sunday night.

Winnipeg leads the Central Division over Nashville, St. Louis, Minnesota, Dallas, and Chicago. Those are 4 Stanley Cup Contenders that Winnipeg is currently leading. Can the Jets keep it up? Maybe. Maybe not.

It won’t matter versus Vancouver at home on Jan. 21. The Jets should beat the Canucks by at least 2 goals.

Pick: Winnipeg