Ice picks: Saturday's best NHL bets

Dec 17, 2010 |
San Jose Sharks at St. Louis Blues (108, 5.5) odds provided by logans

St. Louis been decimated by injuries. Key defensemen Erik Johnson (sprained right knee) and Alex Pietrangelo (upper body) have been out and appear doubtful for Saturday's home game against St. Louis.

Still, the Blues have been fighting through it and they did it again in a 6-4 victory over Los Angeles on Thursday.

"It's starting to feel like one of those things where it's almost normal," head coach Davis Payne of dealing with absences. "The guys have to pick it up."

That's exactly what happened on Thursday, as nine different players contributed points.

"I think it shows a lot of the character that we have in the room," noted forward Alex Steen, who scored the game-winner. "I think you look around the room and there's not one player who didn't play a good game tonight."

Pick: Blues

New Jersey Devils at Atlanta Thrashers (-142, 5.5) odds provided by logans

Ilya Kovachulk returns to Atlanta to face his former team on Saturday. To say the Devils don't have much momentum going into it, however, would be an understatement.

They ended a five-game losing streak with a win over Phoenix on Wednesday, but New Jersey went right back into its funk with a 3-1 home loss to Nashville on Friday.

Part of the reason for the team's woes is a propensity for starting off slow. The Devils fell behind 2-0 in each of their two previous home games before the win over Phoenix and they trailed 2-0 after two periods against the Predators (it was extended to 3-0 in the third).

"We didn’t draw it up to start that way," assured head coach John MacLean. "From the get-go we have to have our minds clear and prepared to play. Things happen quickly in this game. Whether it’s the first minute of the game or the 15th minute of the game, you have to be ready to go at all times."

The Thrashers, on the other hand, are playing stellar hockey. They have earned at least one point in 12 of their last 14 games. However, it was one and only one in each of their last two outings, both shootout losses (on Wednesday at Tampa Bay and on Thursday vs. Carolina).

Pick: Thrashers

Desktop View: Switch to Mobile View