NHL Game 7 Playoff Picks and Predictions for Friday Sept. 4
Games set for Friday Sept. 4, 2020
To be played in Edmonton
NHL Side Best Bet
- Matchup: Vancouver vs. Vegas
- TV-Time: NBCSN, 9:00 p.m. ET
Vancouver PL +1.5 -139
A little bit concerned about the “dam finally breaking” with Demko tonight as 91 saves on 92 shots (that made it to the goal) and this being his third game in four nights too.
They were all elimination games too, so if Vegas pots one early and this all of a sudden becomes a 6-1 blowout win where the Knights finally get him, then tip your cap and move on.
But three hot games in the span of four days happens all the time for professional athletes in every game, and we see goalies step in like this and completely change a game and a series. Demko's done that for the Canucks, and as long as he keeps this one close, Vancouver's got a shot.
At the same time, Vegas created this own goalie mess they've got themselves in when they traded for Lehner earlier in the year. Bringing anyone in with Fleury was always going to be tough to completely evaporate Fleury support given what he's done throughout his career.
And to Fleury's credit himself, this isn't the first time he's been demoted and then called upon in a playoff series. He's the ultimate pro and could end up being the ultimate hero if he's the main reason Vegas moves on tonight.
But this story has been setting up as a tragedy ever since Fleury's agent put the sword photo out there. And a Vegas loss with Fleury in the nets tonight, conveniently puts him in easy scapegoat territory for many. He could be 1-1 SU in the series and it would be all his fault.
That pressure on top of Vegas being the top seed and potentially blowing a 3-1 series lead is a lot to put on a chalky favorite tonight.
Vancouver's playing with house money, with a scorching hot goalie to boot. If the dam breaks and they get smoked, so be it. It happens to +200 underdogs.
But them keeping this one close throughout, while seeing Vegas squirm under the pressure as this game goes on is exactly how teams with a hot goalie want to play, and it's the gameplan I expect from the Canucks tonight.
NHL Over-Under Total Best Bet
- Matchup: Dallas vs. Colorado
- TV-Time: USA, 4:10 p.m. ET
Dallas/Colorado Over 6
No secret I've been a fan of Dallas since the start, so no need to touch on any aspect of side thoughts for this one.
But this is another one where I'm not sure how much string there is left on Hutchinson's quality play in these playoffs, and like Demko in Vancouver, if he's got to face adversity for long long stretches of time, things could flip in a heart beat.
Demko's been trailing on the ice for less than 30 seconds in his two games, while Hutchinson trailed for under two minutes in Game 6 as his only time up against it. If Dallas cracks him early and doesn't give up a quick response like they have on multiple occasions already in this series, maybe Hutchinson's dam gets big cracks in it too.
And with Colorado's ability to score and overall speed and talent on the ice, I can easily acknowledge I could have been very wrong on them all series, especially if they come back and win tonight in dominating fashion.
But I'm not sure a Colorado win with an 'under' result is all that likely with Dallas needing to throw everything they've got at the net, and Hutchinson already being a hard guy to trust.
Could the Stars have used up all their goals in the first five games? Maybe? But they've got to know they'll need at least three tonight to have a shot, and if there is an 'under' result, I've got more trust in Khudobin being the guy who has a light's out afternoon.
Game 6's low-scoring result was the lone 'under' and it looks so much like the anomaly in this series.
Even with fewer power plays expected in a Game 7 scenario, a 4-3 game is very much in the cards.