We are now officially getting down to the wire in the NHL, with each team having roughly 10 games left to play on the season. The available playoff spots are starting to close, with teams in the upper echelons starting to clinch their spots with each passing day.
The final few weeks of the season are going to be a little crazy as the chasing pack try to jockey for a better seeding in the playoffs or simply find their way into the Wild Card. Every game on the calendar is big at this stage of the season, but some are bigger than others. Let’s look ahead to some of the best-looking games on the NHL Betting action this coming week.
Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – March 18th
🎥 Gallant on taking a puck during the game: Tough as nails. 😃 pic.twitter.com/jOSyBKf4kK— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) 18 de marzo de 2019
Vegas Golden Knights at San Jose Sharks – Monday
A win here would almost certainly mean that the San Jose Sharks officially punch their playoff ticket. It would also mean that they would vault the Calgary Flames to move to the top of the Pacific Division.
As for Vegas, they look set to land in the #3 spot in the division, and while that will steer them clear of the Wild Card, it will still give them a tougher path to the Final, which is where they landed in their inaugural season. These two have split their season series to this point, but with the Sharks at home and in possession of a 23-7-5 record in their own building, I think they will get the win in this one.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Calgary Flames – Tuesday
As we mentioned already, the Calgary Flames clinched their playoff spot even though they lost their last outing. This is not a team that is going to sit back and rest on their laurels, though, as you can bet that they will also want to clinch that Pacific Division title.
Prior to this season, the Flames had struggled against Columbus, losing 3 in a row, but they broke that run with a 9-6 win on the road earlier this season. The Blue Jackets are fighting for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, but I don’t see them getting any help here, as I like the Flames to win.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals – Wednesday
There are some who believe that we could well be looking at an Eastern Conference Final preview here, as both of these teams are among the favorites to win the conference.
The Lightning has far and away been the best team in the regular season, while the Capitals are finishing strong and looking to win the Metropolitan Division. The Lightning has won the last 2 meetings with the Caps, as well as 3 of the last 4, and while Washington is on a great run of form at 8-2 in their last 10 games, you still need to give the slight edge to the Lightning.
New York Islanders at Montreal Canadiens – Thursday
What we have here are a pair of Eastern Conference foes in very different positions right now. The Islanders are in a battle for first in the Metropolitan Division and are also just a win or two away from clinching a playoff spot.
The Montreal Canadiens, meanwhile, are sitting below the playoff line, albeit just 3 points out of the final spot. With just 10 games to go, though, those 3 points look like a much bigger gap to close. We have seen these two split their previous 2 meetings this season, but current form suggests that the Islanders get the win here.