NHL Picks Post Christmas

NHL Pick Post Christmas

NHL Picks Post Christmas

After the weekend off for Christmas Eve and Day, the NHL gets back to its normal schedule this week. Will Washington be able to shut down New Jersey on Thursday’s NBC Sports Net game?  What’s going to happen at the Staples Center when top Western Conference teams San Jose and L.A. throw down on New Year’s Eve? Will it be Chicago or St. Louis to take home the W on NBC’s nationally televised game Sunday, Jan. 1?

NHL Picks Post Christmas

New Jersey at Washington
When:  Thursday, Dec. 29 at 7:00 pm ET
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
TV: NBCSN

Analysis: Washington’s 20-8-1-3 record to start the week is nothing to shrug off. The Caps go into the week having gone 1 and 2 straight up in their last 3. Luckily, all 4 of their matches this week are against teams that they’ve beaten.

Thursday’s battle versus New Jersey is good enough put air on NBCSN on Dec. 29. What’s going to happen in the match? I think the Caps beat the Devils by at least a goal. The Caps’ defense only allows 2.1 goals per match. New Jersey averages 2.3 goals per match.

If the Caps can get up by a single goal, 1 to 0, the match might be over. I’m backing Washington. 

Pick: Washington

San Jose at Los Angeles
When:  Saturday, Dec. 31 at 10:30 pm ET
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: CSNCAL/FSWHD

Analysis: Los Angeles has run in place while San Jose has wrestled the lead in the Pacific Division away from Edmonton. The Kings are at 17-13-1-3 to start the week while San Jose is at 21-12-1-0 and ahead in the Pacific.

Los Angeles battles San Jose twice in their next 4 matches. That’s not good for the Kings as the last time that they faced San Jose they lost 1 to 4. The same result could occur in the first game versus the Sharks on Dec. 31.

L.A.’s defense is great. The problem is that the offense has trouble keeping up. Since San Jose’s defense is almost as good as Los Angeles’s, it’s going to be difficult for the Kings to score enough goals to win this.

Pick: San Jose

Chicago at St. Louis
When:  Sunday, Jan. 1 at 3:00 pm ET
Where: Detroit at Toronto
TV: NBC

Analysis: The Blues are 2-5 straight up in their last 7 games to start the week. That’s not good. It’s especially not good because St. Louis’s best shot of beating Chicago is to score with the Blackhawks.

I don’t see that happening. Chicago beat St. Louis 6 to 4 the last time that these two met. The Blues must take on Philadelphia on Dec. 28. The last time they faced Philly, St. Louis lost 3 to 4. They must battle Nashville on Dec. 30. The last time they faced Nashville, they lost 3 to 6.

St. Louis takes on two teams before even facing Chicago that beat them the last time they faced them. The St. Louis defense has been terrible lately. I don’t see them beating the Blackhawks on Jan. 1.  

Pick: Chicago