<![CDATA[NHL RSS Feed]]> en 120 <![CDATA[Canada vs Europe: World Cup of Hockey - 9/27/16 Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nhl-picks/2016/09/27/canada-vs-europe-world-cup-of-hockey-9/27/16-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments Team Canada and Team Europe square off in the first game of the best of three World Cup finals on Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre.

Canada head into the final series with Europe riding high after a semi-final victory against Russia and will be the odds on favourite not only to win this game, but to win the series in convincing fashion and likely in the minimum two games. Canada has been ridiculous in this tournament and have crushed their opponents on a nightly basis and with Europe head coach Raplh Kreuger stating it will take a miracle for someone…

]]>
Team Canada and Team Europe square off in the first game of the best of three World Cup finals on Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre.

Canada head into the final series with Europe riding high after a semi-final victory against Russia and will be the odds on favourite not only to win this game, but to win the series in convincing fashion and likely in the minimum two games. Canada has been ridiculous in this tournament and have crushed their opponents on a nightly basis and with Europe head coach Raplh Kreuger stating it will take a miracle for someone to beat Canada in this tournament it sounds like his team has already conceded. The Canadians will likely stick with Carey Price in goal despite Corey Crawford getting the win against Europe in the 4-1 round robin victory and the rest of the lineup will remain intact as they will run four solid lines and look to keep the Europeans in check with their tenacious blue line. Jonathan Toews paced the Canadians in their previous matchup with Europe and he will be out for more as Canada can move to within a single victory of clinching the gold medal.

Europe meanwhile are ecstatic being where they are as they have secured a medal at a tournament where nobody gave them a shot and even forcing a game three in this series would be a massive achievement for this group of rag tags whose individual countries were not deemed competitive enough to play on their own. Europe started the tournament with a big win over the United States and pulled off another magic trick against Sweden in the semi-final thanks to two goals from Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar that included the game winner in overtime. Europe though will be without Marian Gaborik who will be out eight weeks with an injury sustained at this tournament and that will be a loss for the Europeans who are already short on offensive depth and while his presence may not have made a different to put a dent in the Canadian wall I think for morale and big game experience he will be missed. This series seems like a formality as Canada cruised by Europe in the round robin with their third string goaltender in and in front of the ACC crowd I think Canada gets off on the right foot in a blowout.

]]>
Mon, 26 Sep 2016 22:49:09 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=57765
<![CDATA[Sweden vs Europe: World Cup of Hockey - 9/25/16 Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nhl-picks/2016/09/25/sweden-vs-europe-world-cup-of-hockey-9/25/16-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments Europe and Sweden meet up in Toronto on Sunday afternoon as both sides look to advance to the World Cup final to take on the Canadians.

Europe was the biggest long shot to win gold coming into this tournament but they are now one win away from setting up a shot at pulling it off as they take on a Swedish side that started the tournament strong but has faded away the last couple games. Europe is a collection of misfits that are actualy very talented and while they are a bit old top to bottom they are still very skilled and can pose a threat to this Swedish…

]]>
Europe and Sweden meet up in Toronto on Sunday afternoon as both sides look to advance to the World Cup final to take on the Canadians.

Europe was the biggest long shot to win gold coming into this tournament but they are now one win away from setting up a shot at pulling it off as they take on a Swedish side that started the tournament strong but has faded away the last couple games. Europe is a collection of misfits that are actualy very talented and while they are a bit old top to bottom they are still very skilled and can pose a threat to this Swedish group that hasn’t had a ton of success scoring goals so far in this tournament. Europe will turn to Jaroslav Halak here as they have all tournament and he has been lights out lately and if he can come up with another big performance they could pull off the upset and send Sweden to the bronze medal game against Russia.

Sweden meanwhile has one of the top blue lines in the tournament and have been very good in their own end through three games, and with a European side that has some talent offensively they are going to have to use their blue line depth to their advantage here. Sweden does have some talent in the offensive zone as the likes of Gabriel Landeskog and Flilip Forsberg can fill the cage but that isn’t the way this Swedish group is set up and they are built to play a grind out type of game and use their team defense to take advantage in transition. This is taking shape to be a very exciting game and I don’t see much in terms of value betting on Sweden on the money line, but I do think they get the win in what looks like a 3-2 overtime game at the very worst.

]]>
Sun, 25 Sep 2016 01:37:39 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=57495
<![CDATA[Canada vs Russia: World Cup of Hockey - 9/24/16 Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nhl-picks/2016/09/24/canada-vs-russia-world-cup-of-hockey-9/24/16-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments Canada and Russia renew hostilities at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night as both teams look to advance to the gold medal game at the World Cup of Hockey.

Russia stumbled out of the gates to open this tournament after a 2-1 loss to Sweden and they almost had their medal hopes dashed against North America in their second game, but a win there and a 3-0 victory over Finland in their final round robin game secured their spot in the knockout stage and sets up a semi-final date with Canada. Russia has no shortage of offensive fire power as the likes of Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, Vladimir…

]]>
Canada and Russia renew hostilities at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night as both teams look to advance to the gold medal game at the World Cup of Hockey.

Russia stumbled out of the gates to open this tournament after a 2-1 loss to Sweden and they almost had their medal hopes dashed against North America in their second game, but a win there and a 3-0 victory over Finland in their final round robin game secured their spot in the knockout stage and sets up a semi-final date with Canada. Russia has no shortage of offensive fire power as the likes of Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Artemi Panarin are all heating up and could be the only group that can rival the stout defense of the Canadians, but the Russian blue line is in for a treat here as Canada has the most balanced attack in the tournament to go along with a very strong defense and the game’s best goalie.

Canada cruised through the preliminary round and finished atop Group A ahead of Europe who will face off with Sweden in the other semi-final on Sunday. The Canadians are so deep across the board and have received nothing but high praise from other coaches in this tournament as both Ralph Kreuger of Europe and John Tortorella of the United States were quoted as saying it’ll take a miracle to beat Canada and that they are vastly talented. Carey Price should get the call after Corey Crawford played against Europe and with Price in the crease, the Canadian attack being what it is, and just how much confidence they are playing with right now I don’t see how they will lose. Russia should pose the biggest threat to Canada thus far and it’s a shame this isn’t the gold medal match, but Canada should have enough to get the win and move on to the finals.

]]>
Fri, 23 Sep 2016 12:22:52 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=57384
<![CDATA[Russia vs Finland: World Cup of Hockey - 9/22/16 Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nhl-picks/2016/09/22/russia-vs-finland-world-cup-of-hockey-9/22/16-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments Russia looks to book their ticket to the semi-finals with a big time win against Finland here who will be finishing up regardless after this one.

Russia controls their own destiny when it comes to qualifying for the semi-finals of this tournament, and while they looked shaky in their opener against Sweden they bounced back with a big second period against North America and if they can win in regulation here against Finland they can move into second place and set up a date with Canada in the semis. Russia has the horses to get on the podium, at least…

]]>
Russia looks to book their ticket to the semi-finals with a big time win against Finland here who will be finishing up regardless after this one.

Russia controls their own destiny when it comes to qualifying for the semi-finals of this tournament, and while they looked shaky in their opener against Sweden they bounced back with a big second period against North America and if they can win in regulation here against Finland they can move into second place and set up a date with Canada in the semis. Russia has the horses to get on the podium, at least in the offensive zone, and while their blue line is a bit weak they won’t have to deal with a whole lot from the Finns who have been very sluggish through two games and will be on their way out regardless after this one, making it a bit of non factor game for them. Russia needs to make sure they can win this one and with the mounting pressure from their governing body and the sense of pride that a lot of these guys take in international competition I think they come out and steamroll the Finns from the get go.

Finland hasn’t had a great tournament as they fell to North America in their opener and then to their bitter rivals from Sweden in their second matchup and now get a Russian side that almost blew a three goal lead in their last outing, and needs to win to advance to the semis. Finland, much like the Czech Republic, have become an international hockey power but this group on the senior team is a bit behind when it comes to depth and overall talent, and while they have a ton of budding young stars that will get them back to prominence as early as the 2018 Olympics, they are just in a bad spot at this tournament and in this game in particular. The line here is actually pretty good considering Russia needs to win and the game is meaningless for Finland, and while I expect the Finns to sit back and try to play for a low scoring game, I think Russia’s desperation and offensive fire power are the difference which will send them into the semi-finals and dash the hopes of the young North Americans.

]]>
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 00:18:56 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=57231
<![CDATA[USA vs Czech Republic: World Cup of Hockey - 9/22/16 Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nhl-picks/2016/09/22/usa-vs-czech-republic-world-cup-of-hockey-9/22/16-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The Czech Republic and United States meet up on the final day of round robin play at the World Cup of Hockey, which will also be the last game for both of these teams.

The Americans put themselves behind the eight ball with their tournament opening loss to team Europe and instead of setting up a top of the group show down with Canada on Tuesday night it became a must win, and the Canadians proved to be too much and spelled the end of the US’ chances at advancing. The Americans have come under fire this tournament and it is coming from all angles as head…

]]>
The Czech Republic and United States meet up on the final day of round robin play at the World Cup of Hockey, which will also be the last game for both of these teams.

The Americans put themselves behind the eight ball with their tournament opening loss to team Europe and instead of setting up a top of the group show down with Canada on Tuesday night it became a must win, and the Canadians proved to be too much and spelled the end of the US’ chances at advancing. The Americans have come under fire this tournament and it is coming from all angles as head coach John Tortorella has taken the brunt of it due to his exclusions in game one, but the entire organization is feeling it as well after getting publicly bashed by Phil Kessel whose omission from the team was a head scratcher and clearly left a sour taste in the mouth of the recent Stanley Cup champion. The US will look to finish off the tournament on a high note and face their easiest competition to date as the Czechs just don’t have the horses to compete with the best in this tournament and with all of the scrutiny and frustrations boiling over I think the Americans play their best game of the tournament in this one.

The Czechs were thumped by Canada in their tournament opener and had a shot at advancing if they could take down Europe in their second game, but an overtime loss spelled the end of their podium dreams as well and now they aim to finish ahead of the Americans with a win here. The Czechs have a proud hockey history and have really emerged as an international men’s hockey power over the years but this crop of players seems to be a bit behind the rest of the upper echelon and while they are talented enough to avoid amalgamation with Team Europe, they are clearly the bottom of the individual countries here and we should see that here. The Czechs did a great job battling back against Europe but couldn’t muster enough in the end and this will be the end of their journey and I don’t see it ending well, in fact I think it is closer to the Canadian score line than the European score line as the Americans run away with this one.

]]>
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 00:01:20 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=57228
<![CDATA[Sweden vs North America: World Cup of Hockey - 9/21/16 Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nhl-picks/2016/09/21/sweden-vs-north-america-world-cup-of-hockey-9/21/16-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments North America and Sweden jockey for position in Group B action as both teams vie for the two semi-final spots out of their pool.

North America have grown into the darlings of this tournament as the young stars from Canada and the United States have compiled a very talented roster with tons of team speed and finesse, but after a 4-3 loss to Russia in their last game they know they need to find a way to win here against the undefeated Swedes. There is plenty of action left to see in thie group as things are much cloudier than they are in Group A as Sweden,…

]]>
North America and Sweden jockey for position in Group B action as both teams vie for the two semi-final spots out of their pool.

North America have grown into the darlings of this tournament as the young stars from Canada and the United States have compiled a very talented roster with tons of team speed and finesse, but after a 4-3 loss to Russia in their last game they know they need to find a way to win here against the undefeated Swedes. There is plenty of action left to see in thie group as things are much cloudier than they are in Group A as Sweden, North America, and Russia can all clinch a spot, while Finland’s tournament is over. However, things look much better for the Swedes as they have two regulation wins already and have been keeping pucks out of the net and against a high octane offense like North America they are going to have to be strong in the defensive zone and this looks to be the biggest challenge for the North American side.

Sweden has looked like a juggernaut through two games and while they have only managed four goals offensively, they have only conceded one and that came to Alex Ovechkin on the man advantage, with Henrik Lundqvist sidelined. Sweden looks to be the team to beat right now in Group B and while the young North American side will pose a challenge I think Sweden’s blue line will be able to keep North America’s team speed in check and should have enough in the offensive zone to get by the unexperienced back end of their opponent. I am pulling for North America as a hockey fan as many of these youngsters are going to be the future of the game but Sweden right now is a little too heavy on the back end and should have more than enough to offset the North Americans, and we get them at a great price.

]]>
Wed, 21 Sep 2016 00:21:34 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=57144
<![CDATA[Canada vs Europe: World Cup of Hockey - 9/21/16 Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nhl-picks/2016/09/21/canada-vs-europe-world-cup-of-hockey-9/21/16-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments Canada and Europe face off at the World Cup of Hockey on Wednesday as both teams play their last group stage game before advancing onto the semi-finals.

Team Canada look to secure top spot in Group A and finish undefeated in round robin play as they take on Europe who is onto the semi-finals and could finish atop the group with a win here. Canada has cruised through their first two games as they have outscored the Czechs and Americans by a combined 10-3 and aside from a four minute stretch against the US, they never really were threatened to lose as…

]]>
Canada and Europe face off at the World Cup of Hockey on Wednesday as both teams play their last group stage game before advancing onto the semi-finals.

Team Canada look to secure top spot in Group A and finish undefeated in round robin play as they take on Europe who is onto the semi-finals and could finish atop the group with a win here. Canada has cruised through their first two games as they have outscored the Czechs and Americans by a combined 10-3 and aside from a four minute stretch against the US, they never really were threatened to lose as they have been dominant in every facet of the game. Canada can secure top spot with a victory here and they are the odds on favourite to do so as they are big time chalk in this spot and only a multi goal wager will return any sort of value as they take on the rag tag group from Europe that surprised the Americans in the first game of the tournament and took down the Czechs in overtime in their second.

Europe was considered a longshot to even win a game at this tournament as they have the outcasts from a number of European hockey hot beds that were deemed ineligible to compete on their own due to competition and numbers but they have booked their ticket to the semi-finals and have sent both the Americans and Czechs home early. Europe has a tall task ahead of them here though as they face off against the unofficial hosts of the tournament as the games are being played in Toronto, but with both teams already into the next round maybe this one will be closer than people think. Europe has been stingy in their own end thus far and they could keep this one close if they park the bus, but Canada is just so deep across the board and even if they run their “bottom six” forwards more so than their top in this one they still badly outmatch Europe. This is a game I am not going to touch as Canada on paper should cruise once again but after a emotional win against the US and their ticket already punched I see this one being a low scoring affair and as such see better value on the under than on the side.

]]>
Wed, 21 Sep 2016 00:10:19 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=57138
<![CDATA[Canada vs United States: World Cup of Hockey - 9/20/16 Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nhl-picks/2016/09/20/canada-vs-united-states-world-cup-of-hockey-9/20/16-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments The United States look for their first win of the tournament as they take on the host Canadians in the marquee matchup on Tuesday night.

The United States look to get in the win column with a much better effort on Tuesday night than they gave on Saturday afternoon against Team Europe but they have their work cut out for them here against a Canadian side that dismantled the Czech Republic by six goals over the weekend. US coach John Tortorella opted to sit big, bruising defenseman Dustin Byfuglien which came back to bite them as they were tossed around…

]]>
The United States look for their first win of the tournament as they take on the host Canadians in the marquee matchup on Tuesday night.

The United States look to get in the win column with a much better effort on Tuesday night than they gave on Saturday afternoon against Team Europe but they have their work cut out for them here against a Canadian side that dismantled the Czech Republic by six goals over the weekend. US coach John Tortorella opted to sit big, bruising defenseman Dustin Byfuglien which came back to bite them as they were tossed around by the Europeans in what was a sloppy, 3-0 defeat and while they will need more than just putting Buff in the lineup against Canada it will certainly help. The Americans do have some talent up top and will lean heavily on Patrick Kane but this group is a shadow of their former selves and while they have some bright, young pieces in the league that will join the national team in other competition, they are currently donning jerseys in this tournament for the North American team.

Canada meanwhile was surgical in their tournament debut as they pasted the Czechs and could have done much more had they not taken their foot off the gas in the third period but they now have their arch rivals in a game that the US basically needs to win and know they will put it all on the line tonight. The Canadians will likely stick with Carey Price, and for good reason as he has been nothing short of spectacular in his stint with the national side and another strong effort here should put Canada in cruise control as they have the depth at the back and up top to not only compete with anyone in the world, but to completely dominate as they did in Sochi. Canada are pretty heavy favourites here based on each team’s respective opener which makes this line hard to work with as this could very well be a one goal game based on past results but in the end the only way to go here is a multi goal win for Canada as they have shown no signs of slowing down and until they do you have to keep hammering them, even with chalky lines.

]]>
Mon, 19 Sep 2016 22:37:28 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=56982
<![CDATA[Finland vs Sweden: World Cup of Hockey - 9/20/16 Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nhl-picks/2016/09/20/finland-vs-sweden-world-cup-of-hockey-9/20/16-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments Sweden and Finland play in the first leg of competition on Tuesday night in a battle of two bitter rivals that are coming off two very different results.

The Swedes head into their second game of round robin play looking to book their ticket to the knockout stage after taking down Russia in their first game and what better way to do so than against their bitter rivals from Finland who will be out for blood after getting waxed by the young North Americans in their debut. Sweden has one of the best defensive units in the tournament and is certainly the…

]]>
Sweden and Finland play in the first leg of competition on Tuesday night in a battle of two bitter rivals that are coming off two very different results.

The Swedes head into their second game of round robin play looking to book their ticket to the knockout stage after taking down Russia in their first game and what better way to do so than against their bitter rivals from Finland who will be out for blood after getting waxed by the young North Americans in their debut. Sweden has one of the best defensive units in the tournament and is certainly the strength of their team and it is expected that Henrik Lundqvist will be back in the cage for this one which is even better news for a team that played very well in their own end against the high octane offense of Russia. Sweden does have a ton of weapons in the offensive zone as well as guys like Gabriel Landeskog, Nicklas Backstrom, and Filip Forsberg are on the roster and the reliable Sedin’s are there as well which provides a ton of depth to this Swedish roster which should be the difference between them and Finland here.

The Finns are tough here as they face another tough opponent in Sweden here and if they go down 0-2 through the first two round robin games they can basically pack their bags to go home as it will likely spell the end of their quest for the podium. Finland is looking to build off of their bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics but they looked rusty in their tournament debut against the speedy, and highly talented North American side and they get even more of it here against the Sochi silver medallists from Sweden whose state of their men’s senior team is a little better right now. This game is going to be fierce as both teams hate each other but the Finns really shot themselves in the foot against North America in their opener and with Lundqvist back I think Sweden becomes even tougher to beat as they should have no issues getting a multi-goal win here at a nice price.

]]>
Mon, 19 Sep 2016 22:19:59 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=56976
<![CDATA[Russia vs North America: World Cup of Hockey - 9/19/16 Pick, Odds, and Prediction]]> http://sportschatplace.com/nhl-picks/2016/09/19/russia-vs-north-america-world-cup-of-hockey-9/19/16-pick-odds-and-prediction#comments Russia and North America meet up in the marquee show down on Monday night as both teams play in a back to back after different end results yesterday.

Russia will look to bounce back after an underwhelming 2-1 loss to Sweden on Sunday as they take on the upstart, young North American side that features some of the best under 23 players in the NHL and are coming off a 4-1 win last night against Finland. Russia is built on the strength of their offense led by Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Vladimir Tarasenko but it was their defense and goaltending…

]]>
Russia and North America meet up in the marquee show down on Monday night as both teams play in a back to back after different end results yesterday.

Russia will look to bounce back after an underwhelming 2-1 loss to Sweden on Sunday as they take on the upstart, young North American side that features some of the best under 23 players in the NHL and are coming off a 4-1 win last night against Finland. Russia is built on the strength of their offense led by Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Vladimir Tarasenko but it was their defense and goaltending that played well yesterday and if they’re going to get a victory against North America here they are going to have to find a way to generate some offense as that is their opponent’s strength for sure. Russia looked sluggish in the attacking zone but certainly have the horses to put the puck in the end and they know that a loss here will put them in a really tough position and they could miss advancing through to the knockout stage.

North America have been the darlings leading up to this World Cup as they possess a number of electric youngsters that play key roles on their respective NHL clubs and they didn’t disappoint in their tournament opener with a 4-1 win against Finland. They get a huge test on Monday though in a back to back as they take on a Russian side that will be incredibly frustrated with how they played yesterday but if there is any team outside of the powerhouse Canadians that can handle the adversity of playing in a back to back it is the fresh legs of the North American group. This is a tough one to call as North America is just as talented and in fact are much deeper on the blue line than the Russians but they are big time underdogs here and present some great value. I really like this North American group but fear they could be in for a let down after yesterday’s win so I am going to side with the total as I think both teams will light up the scoreboard in what should be a shootout.

]]>
Sun, 18 Sep 2016 23:51:43 -0400 http://sportschatplace.com/index.php?id=56841