by Kevin Stott |
Philadelphia Flyers at Montreal Canadiens (-185, 5 ½u): Les Habs swept the season series (4-0) and outscored Les Flys (15-6) and both teams endured seven-game series to advance to these Eastern Conference semis. In goal, Montreal’s Carey Price and Philly’s Martin Biron are both playing top shelf so this series will likely come down to the power play. Flyers Briere (11 points) and Prospal (9) lead in playoff scoring while the Canadiens offense comes from a number of places – mostly guys whose last names begin with the letter "K."
A tough game to handicap so let’s split the smallest betting level with the road dog and the over – with decent pluses on both – and pull for the suddenly offensive Broad Street Bullies to score three goals against the kid in Quebec. FLYERS +175, OVER 5 ½ +120
Colorado Avalanche at Detroit Red Wings (-200, 5o -140) (Versus TV): The hockey gods must have wanted to watch this classic rivalry – these heavies meet in the playoffs for the sixth time in 12 years – and with names like Sakic, Forsberg, Foote, Osgood and Chelios still getting it done, this series could be played in 1998 just as well as 2008. The Red Wings swept the season series (4-0) and will likely start Chris Osgood (0.39 GAA in Playoffs, allowed just one goal) in net tonight at Joe Louis.
Although Colorado is clicking right now, Detroit worked so hard to have the NHL’s best record and earn the home-ice advantage throughout the postseason. The way the Wings ended their quarterfinal series in Nashville (3-0 shutout win) was impressive. Have to favor the homeboys in Hockeytown tonight in the opener. RED WINGS -200.