Scott Rickenbach's Saturday Tip Sheet

Scott Rickenbach's Saturday Tip Sheet

Saturday's Tip Sheet
By Scott Rickenbach

Looking for value on a Saturday card? Of course we all know about the College Football card as that’s where most bettors turn at this time of year. However, those that are looking to pad their bankrolls with even more profits realize that value can be had on a deep Saturday card of NHL action. With 15 games to choose from on a Saturday that promises to be full of “Puck bucks” let’s take a look at four potential “investment opportunities” as, with all 30 NHL teams in action Saturday, there are certainly some prime match-ups that have our attention!

OTTAWA @ TORONTO – This looks like a very tough spot for Ottawa. They will be coming off of a huge game hosting Anaheim on Friday night. That is a big revenge match-up for the Senators because they lost to the Ducks in the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals. That said, win or lose on Friday night, will the Sens have anything left in the tank for the Leafs on Saturday night. Toronto will be well rested as they will have been off on Friday night. Toronto won at Boston on Thursday and they also outplayed Ducks on Tuesday even though they lost 3-2 in a shootout. The win the Maple Leafs got over the Bruins on Thursday was their first win since opening night. However, Toronto has earned points in four of their last five games and they could be catching the Senators are the right time for a big divisional win.

CALGARY @ PHOENIX – The Coyotes looked much better in Thursday night’s comeback win over the Capitals. Phoenix had struggled badly in their recent road trip to the Northeast but a couple things happened in their first game back home. They went to their back-up goalie and Mikael Tellqvist and that seemed to spark the team a bit. Look for Ilya Bryzgalov to be extra hungry when he’s back between the pipes again. Also, the line shuffling that the Coyotes did on their road trip finally paid off back at home as the groupings that Coach Wayne Gretzky had put together finally had a chance to gel a bit. He was really making the changes with too much frequency on the road but the Coyotes could really settle in nicely during this lengthy homestand. Conversely, the Flames are in the second game of a quick two-game road trip and they could get caught looking ahead to a divisional match-up as the Avalanche are up next in Calgary this coming week.

LOS ANGELES @ NASHVILLE – The Kings have been involved in three straight high-scoring games heading into Friday night’s action. This Saturday night game will be the second night of a back to back road situation for the Kings and, as such, their winded defense could struggle against the Predators aggressive offensive style. The Predators won’t be the most hospitable of hosts either as they are off of a 5-3 home loss to Calgary on Thursday! The Preds last four games have tallied a total of 35 goals! That’s an amazing average of nearly 9 goals per game and the Kings last three games (heading into Friday) have tallied a total of 23 goals – an average of nearly 8 goals per game. Their defense has been hurt (literally) with the injury to Jack Johnson. The defensive group was guilty of key turnovers in their own zone in their loss versus Colorado Monday. The Kings penalty kill has been surprisingly good this season but the Predators penalty killing has ranked as one of the worst in the league. The over could be worth a look here!

SAN JOSE @ TAMPA BAY – Though it took overtime to do it, the Lightning finally got their first win of the season in their 3-2 victory over Atlanta on Tuesday. They now enter this Saturday match-up with some confidence as well as with plenty of rest! This in contrast with a Sharks team that will be playing the second night of a back to back situation as San Jose is facing the Panthers in Florida on Friday night. The Sharks have still managed to win two of their last three games (heading into Friday) but San Jose’s defense and goaltending has been shaky! The Sharks have allowed 14 goals in their last three games and their two wins each came after regulation! Now, the Sharks will be playing their third road game in four nights and San Jose might already be looking ahead to getting back home and facing the Penguins on Tuesday. It’s hard to remain focused night after night on the road and facing a Lightning club with a 1-2-3 record on the season certainly won’t help matters in the ‘focus department’. The Lightning could be worth a look at springing the upset on Saturday night. They’ve earned at least a point in four straight games and seem to have now recovered from their overseas trip that began their season.

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