Date/Time: April 22nd, 7:30 PM ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
Moneyline: Detroit -150
The bitter fight for the final playoff spots in the Western Conference is on, and two of the teams that are in the thick of that fight will meet in NHL betting action on Monday night in a critical clash, as the Detroit Red Wings take on the Phoenix Coyotes at Joe Louis Arena.
The Yotes come into the final week of the campaign five points back of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild with four to play. Phoenix has a game in hand on Minnesota and two games in hand on Columbus, and it is going to need to likely need to get at least six points, and quite possibly all eight in these final four games to get into the postseason. The Coyotes are also just the 11th ranked team in the conference coming into Monday night, and they are the last team with any mathematical shot to get in. That said, the team is coming off of the biggest victory of its season on Saturday, a 3-2 win in a shootout over the Chicago Blackhawks. That victory came on the heels of three straight losses, two of which were crushing blows in overtime against the St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames on the road. The offense has been awfully suspect over the course of these last six games though, scoring a total of just eight goals, and that obviously isn’t going to cut it to get Phoenix into the second season.
The Red Wings are only in slightly better shape than Phoenix is. They are two points ahead of the Coyotes and can probably eliminate them with a regulation win this evening. Detroit though, knows that it doesn’t need any help to get into the playoffs. Win these last four games, and the Red Wings are in, and they know that six points should really be enough to get the job done. It’s a shame that we are talking about the Red Wings having to fight their butts off to get into the playoffs, but that’s what this has come to. The problem is that Detroit is also having major problems offensively. You think of this team as one that can drop 4-5 goals on anyone in the league. This season though, that just hasn’t been the case. The club has averaged just 1.85 goals per game in its last 13 games, and in that stretch, it hasn’t scored more than three goals a single time. In fact, there are only eight games all season long with more than three goals scored, and eight out of 44 is a horrid proportion for a team that is so prideful and talented.
We have preached this before, and we are going to preach it again. Don’t just assume that Detroit is going to get into the playoffs this year because it seems like the third surest thing on the planet next to death and taxes. The Red Wings just aren’t that good, and they aren’t in good form. We’ll take +140 on the Coyotes all day for sure, as we know that they are winning this game almost half the time.
Phoenix Coyotes @ Detroit Red Wings Pick: Phoenix Coyotes +140
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.