NHL Picks Jan 9th – 15thJosh Bailey
While no one was watching the 2016-17 NHL season is about to hit the half-way mark. If you haven’t bet on a single hockey game this season, that has to change with my NHL free picks fo the week of January 9th-15th. Happy hunting!
NHL Picks Jan 9 – 15
My NHL picks this week begin on Thursday when Montreal travels to Minnesota to battle the Wild in a nationally televised match. Can the Canadians beat one of the tougher Western Conference teams on Jan. 12? Then, on Saturday, Jan. 14, Montreal hosts the NY Rangers. Who wins in that tough matchup between two of the best in the Eastern Conference? On Sunday, it’s Minnesota at Chicago in another nationally televised match. Can the Blackhawks maintain their superiority over the Wild at home on Jan. 15?
Montreal at Minnesota
When: Thursday, Jan. 12 at 8:00 pm ET
Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN
Analysis: The Wild are Minnesota’s third game this week. The Canadians take on Washington at home and Winnipeg on the road before traveling to Minnesota on Thursday. Is that going to influence how the Canadians play?
It could. The injury bug has hit Montreal. But, Montreal goes into the week hot. The Canadians ride a 3-game winning streak after beating Nashville 2 to 1 on Jan. 3, beating Dallas 4 to 3 on Jan. 4, and taking down Toronto 5 to 3 on Jan. 7. Montreal won all 3 matches on the road.
With that being written, the last time that the Canadians faced the Wild it didn’t turn out well for them. Montreal lost 4 to 2. Since this match is in Minnesota, where the Wild is 13 and 4 as of Jan. 9, Minnesota is the play.
NY Rangers at Montreal
When: Saturday, Jan. 14 at 7:00 pm ET
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, QC
Analysis: The NY Rangers travel to Montreal on Saturday. The Canadians haven’t faced the Rangers since March 26, 2016. In that battle, the Rangers thumped Montreal 5 to 2. NYR are 5 and 1 in their last 6 games going into the week.
The Rangers only face Toronto at home on Jan. 13 this week before battling Montreal on the road on Jan. 14. NYR could get both right-wing Rick Nash and defenseman Marc Staal back for both their Friday and Saturday games.
If that happens, the Rangers must be the play. This is especially true because Montreal has a much tougher earlier week than NYR.
Pick: New York Rangers
Minnesota at Chicago
When: Sunday, Jan. 15 at 7:00 pm ET
Where: United Center, Chicago, IL
Analysis: Chicago is another team that Minnesota appears to match up well with. These two last battled on March 29. In that match, Minnesota beat Chicago 4 to 1. But the Blackhawks are 16-4-3-1 to start the week. That’s a dynamite record.
It’s hard to see how Minnesota fares well in this matchup. The Wild not only have to battle Montreal this Thursday, but they also travel to Dallas to take on the Stars on Saturday, Jan. 14. Both of those games could tire out the Wild before this NBC Sports Network Sunday match with the Blackhawks.
I like Chicago to win straight up. Depending on how Minnesota fares against Dallas, I might even back Chicago on the puck-line.