Ice picks: Tuesday's best NHL bets
Atlanta Thrashers at Toronto Maple Leafs (-125, 6)
If there’s a team more in search of an identity than the Leafs, it would have to be the Thrashers. Sitting near the bottom of the standings in the Eastern Conference with the fewest road wins in the conference, things are looking grim for the Thrashers and new head coach John Anderson.
But Toronto isn’t doing much better. Mats Sundin’s first skate and talks of a possible return to the game have been more captivating than anything the Buds have done so far this season. On Saturday night against the Blackhawks, they couldn’t hold on to a 3-0 lead and ended up falling 5-4 in overtime on the same night the franchise retired Leaf great Wendel Clark’s number.
Things may be looking up for the Leafs with a rumoured deal to sign former Anaheim GM Brian Burke expected to be announced sometime this week.
Los Angeles Kings at Calgary Flames (-165, 5.5)
The Flames have stepped up their defensive game after giving up 32 goals in eight games including 10 short-handed. The club managed two-consecutive wins against the Avalanche before losing to Detroit Saturday night.
Calgary has goalie Miikka Kiprusoff to thank for the recent hot streak. He stopped 40-41 shots on net in his two games against Colorado and earned a shutout on Thursday night. Kiprusoff can thank his teammates making his job easier by staying out of the penalty box.
Coach Mike Keenan would love to get his offence rolling some that his team wouldn’t have to rely so heavily on Kiprusof. The Flames should be able to muster enough goals against a struggling Kings squad.