There is nothing in the sports world that is better than NHL Playoffs action, as momentum can change in a second, and even what seems to be the most trivial play can decide a Stanley Cup title.
Just ask the defending champion Capitals, as the Columbus Blue Jackets hit the goalpost in Game 3 of overtime in their opening-round playoff series last year, which the Caps went on to win. Had that puck gone in, the Caps likely wouldn’t have even survived the first round. But as it stands, they caught fire after that moment, and destroyed all foes that stood in their way afterward.
And, lucky for us, we get two Game 7s on Tuesday night. The winner will advance to the second round, while the loser will be stuck watching the remainder of the playoffs on their TV sets. Here are our picks or those two games.
Boston Bruins – 135
Home ice and experience are so important in a Game 7, and the Bruins have both of those things on their side. They have a veteran goaltender in Tuukka Rask who has been here and won big games such as this one in the past, while the Maple Leafs haven’t shown the ability to do the same in this era. Until Toronto finally gets over that hump — which could possibly come tonight — we’re going to fade them.
Veteran stars such as Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand need to step up big-time on Tuesday night, and they will. They’ve done exactly that in the past, and have even won a Stanley Cup title. The Bruins are cheap, and we see good value to back them here.
Vegas Golden Knights +105
It took Martin Jones’ best game of his career — in which he made a ridiculous 58 saves — to even get the Sharks to this point, which he did in Game 6 on the road. An incredibly impressive feat, no doubt, but Jones has been inconsistent, and it’s hard to see him replicating a performance of that magnitude.
The Knights have out-shot the Sharks during the majority of this series, and we believe the scoring chances will finally work to their advantage in this pivotal Game 7. Plus, they’ve been here and done that in the past — having won the Western Conference last season. They know how to win big games.