Note: Guest contributor and NHL analyst Patrick Day is back for yet another round of analysis after watching the first games from each series. Read his prior reports with analysis of the Western Conference here and his analysis of the Eastern Conference here. Read his Game 1 takeaways here.
A few quick hits and notes on each series in the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs....
Boston leads series 2-1. Carolina lost a big piece in Svechnikov. Boston lost an even bigger piece in Rask. Rask leaving the bubble and making comments about the play inside the tournament says a lot about how to go forward. The rest of this series should feature tight-checking and low scoring, with Pastrnak missing the last game. He may affect Money Line odds at game time.
Tampa Bay leads 2-1. After losing a tough five OT thriller in game 1, Columbus came back in game 2, only to lose in game 3. Games have been low scoring and very tight. Both teams are rolling the same lines and are not showing signs of slowing down, despite game 1. I would look for Columbus money line, spread, and total goals if under 5. This series might be most technical series in this round.
NYI leads 3-0. NYI can close out my pick for the Eastern Conference Washington Capitals on Tuesday, Aug. 18. NYI has been going punch-for-punch with Washington, testing fate with Washington’s power play. Eventually, this tactic may cost NYI a game later, but it may be too late for Washington. Washington had a shot in game 3 but could not pull it out in OT, losing a close 2-1 game. The betting lines have been close, so there is little value.
Philadelphia leads 2-1. As I mention in our pre-playoff video, this series will be a goalies’ dream and we have not been disappointed. Despite a 5-0 game 2, both goalies are really putting on a show, but more importantly; showing that both teams are in some scoring trouble. Keep looking at the Total Goals Under for rest of the series. Keep your eyes on Price and Hart in nets, both have shutout potential, if you can individual stat bets.
Vegas leads series 3-1. Vegas had an opportunity to close out Chicago but let them slip away. Vegas has rolled through all four lines and played both goalies in this round with little concern. Chicago still has some fight and talent in their games, but I do not see them getting past game 5, on Tuesday. Vegas has been heavy favorites in Money Line bets, while scoring has been up and down. Vegas may still have the best route to the finals.
Series tied 2-2. Dallas and Calgary have been locked in battle this series. The loss of M. Tkachuk has left a hole in their lineup. The backup goalies have also taken up some headlines and I do not see either team diverting from those guys in this series. I did not like this series due to both teams having identity issues. Teams have alternated wins so I would give Calgary a bit of lead in game 5 but look to this series going seven games.
Colorado leads series 2-1. Colorado took a gamble in sitting Grubauer and resting him. Kuemper and Arizona took advantage, taking game 3. Arizona has stayed in the game but has had to rely on their goaltending. Colorado has the scoring to take the series, but I would look at the Money Line bets for the rest of the series. Again, Kuemper has had the hot hand in goal and I would also look an individual bets on him.
Vancouver leads 2-1. Vancouver has kept up the hot streak, winning the last 5 of 6 games, while losing game 3 in OT. Vancouver needed to win the first game of this series to have a chance. St. Louis has seemed to gain some ground, starting Allen in net. Be wary of St. Louis also losing Tarasenko playmaking and goal-scoring. Game 4 might be a solid pass on betting, but look for Money Line bets, the series favorite St. Louis may still be a game underdog.
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Headline Photo Credit: STL.com