New Year 2018 NHL Expert Picks Jan 1st-7thJosh Bailey
With pushing into 2018, the NHL season starting to heat up with the dropping winter temperatures, it’s time for another week of NHL expert picks!
New Year 2018 NHL Expert Picks Jan 1st-7th
Two division leaders will hook up on Tuesday night when Vegas hosts Nashville in what looks like a thriller waiting to happen. Toronto will host San Jose in a Thursday night pairing of two more Stanley Cup hopefuls while Pittsburgh is on the road on Friday night against the New York Islanders in a meeting of two teams looking to get their respective acts together. Now, let’s find out what’s going to go down in all three matchups.
Nashville (23-10-5) at Vegas (26-9-2)
Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 10:00 PM ET
Analysis: Nashville has gone 5-3-2 over their last 10 and hits the new week coming off a 3-0 shutout win over Minnesota on Saturday. Vegas has gone an incendiary 9-0-1 over their last 10 and rides a blistering seven-game winning streak into the new week that includes a thrilling 3-2 overtime win against L.A. on Thursday night. While the Predators are ranked an identical sixth in scoring (3.2 gpg) and goals allowed (2.6 gpg), I’m going with the red-hot Knights and their third-ranked scoring offense (3.4 gpg) to get the big home win while making a statement against the defending Western Conference champions. The Knights have a quartet of goalies that are all playing lights out right now and two of them (Oscar Dansk and Marc-Andre Fleury) have GAA’s under 2.00. The bottom line for this intriguing matchup is that it’s kind of hard to win when you can’t score!
Pick: Vegas 3 Nashville 2
San Jose (20-11-4) at Toronto (23-15-2)
Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET
Analysis: San Jose has gone 6-2-2 over their last 10 games and hits the new week riding a three-game winning streak that includes a 3-2 shootout win over Calgary on Thursday. Toronto has struggled in going 4-5-1 over their last 10 games and hits the new week having lost two straight including their 4-3 overtime loss to Colorado on Friday night. While the Maple Leafs are struggling and the Sharks have gone 8-5-2 on the road this season, I like Toronto to hold down the fort at home in this contest seeing as how they’ve gone 11-5 on their home ice this season and are ranked fourth in scoring (3.3 gpg). San Jose and their stupendous second-ranked scoring defense (2.4 gpg) won’t go down easily in this contest, but they will go down in a hard-fought battle.
Pick: Toronto 3 San Jose 2
Pittsburgh (19-17-3) at NY Islanders (20-14-4)
Friday, January 5, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET
Analysis: the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins are off to a slow start this season and they’ve gone just 4-6 over their last 10 games including their narrow 2-1 loss to Carolina on Friday. Still, I like Sidney Crosby and company to get the road win against a New York Islanders team that has gone 4-5-1- in their last 10 games and enters the new week coming off a 4-2 road loss at Winnipeg on Friday. The Islanders are scoring like crazy this season as they rank second in goals per game (3.5), but the Isles have also been horrific defensively in ranking 30th in goals allowed by giving up an identical 3.5 goals per game. I don’t see Pittsburgh winning three straight Stanley Cups this season, but I do expect them to pick up their play as the new year gets underway and that includes getting a road win in this one to improve on their uninspiring 7-11-2 road mark this season.
Pick: Pittsburgh 5 New York 4