STRIKE POINT SPORTS
4-Unit Play. Take #7 Pittsburgh (+110)
over Montreal (7:05) p.m., Saturday, Jan. 9)
The last time these two faced each other was back in November when the Canadians were at the top of the league standing at 13-3. Pittsburgh won the game 4-3 in overtime while competing at a high level the entire game. The statistics between the two teams were extremely similar in almost every category. I guess my point here is that Montreal is a completely different squad now than when they were at the beginning of the season, and not for the better. The Canadians seemed to have regressed while Pittsburgh is improving offensively and still has a very strong defense. Marc-Andre Fleury is a much better goal tender than Mike Condon and think this will be the difference in tonight’s game. Look for Pittsburgh to win in Montreal tonight.
3-Unit Play. Take #17 Tampa Bay (-125)
over Vancouver (10:05) p.m., Saturday, Jan. 9)
The Canucks took a rare win from the Lightning in Tampa Bay on December 22nd and I think its redemption time for Tampa Bay. The Lightning have played extremely well on the road this season, especially against teams with losing records. They are now 5-0 in this scenario. The Lightning have the better offense, defense, power play, and are just a better team. They have an All-star between the pipes and really like how their defense has been playing this season. The last time these two faced off against each other Tampa Bay held Vancouver to 19 total shots compared to their 27. The Lightning also won 35 of the 52 face-offs during the match. Tampa Bay is the better team and I don’t like Vancouver’s inconsistent play. Look for the Lightning to win on the road tonight in Vancouver.
2-Unit Play. Take #19 St. Louis (+155)
over Los Angeles (10:35) p.m., Saturday, Jan. 9)
I can’t believe the Blues let another lead slide last night against the Ducks and could be without some key players tonight. They are 0-2-3 over their last 5 games which is their longest losing streak since 2013. The fact is that the Blues are a good team and can compete with anyone in the league but haven’t had any luck lately. Struggling teams, particularly when they are good teams (like the Blues), don’t stay struggling forever and surprise you when you least expect it. Everyone will be taking the Kings tonight because they are at home. Don’t be surprised to see this desperate Blues team take this game in LA.
3-Unit Play. Take #13 Minnesota (+140)
over Dallas (8:05) p.m., Saturday, Jan. 9)
The Wild are 6-2 in their last 8 games against teams with winning records and really like their chances tonight in Dallas. History hasn’t been kind to the Wild in Dallas over the years but this statistic doesn’t speak for this season. I understand that Dallas is a really good team, especially at home but when you look at their wins and losses over the last 6 games you can see defensive issues starting to form. The Stars are 2-4 over the stretch only beating the Jets and Predators. Their 4 losses have come from the Blue Jackets, Devils, Islanders and Rangers. Over these 6 games the Stars have given up 23 total goals while scoring 19. I don’t consider any of these teams better than Minnesota (besides the Islanders) and think anyone right now can score against this Stars squad. Dallas hasn’t fared well against the stronger defenses in the league and I think Minnesota’s is strong enough to give this Stars team issues. Look for an upset tonight in Dallas.