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NHL Free Pick: Sharks vs. Senators Betting Odds & Handicapping Preview

NHL Lines: San Jose vs Ottawa Pick

Big playoff implications hang in the balance on Monday night when the San Jose Sharks (35-29-8) take on the Ottawa Senators (36-24-11). Cappers Picks will provide free NHL picks all season so check back often.

NHL Predictions

San Jose vs Ottawa
When: Monday March 23 at 7:30 pm EST
Where: Canadian Tire Center
TV: TSN
NHL Gambling Line: San Jose +125/Ottawa -138
NHL Gambling Over Under Line: 5.5
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It’s crunch time now in the NHL season with just about 10 games remaining for each team. The Senators have made an improbable push and could find themselves back in the playoff picture for the first time since November.

The Sharks meanwhile are on life support and sit six points back of third place in the Pacific Division and the last grains of sand are starting to ping around the hourglass for this team.

A win for either team is of huge importance tonight.

San Jose

Something just hasn’t been right with the Sharks this year and a lot of that can be attributed to some off ice distractions. Longtime Shark Joe Thornton was stripped of his captaincy and has been at odds with GM Doug Wilson on a number of occasions. The team has rallied around “Jumbo Joe” and they have put together what could be seen as a pretty decent season for most clubs, but not this team that has been a perennial contender in the Western Conference.

Off-ice issues aside, this decline was probably imminent as this is an aging team and GM Doug Wilson had said before this season even started that the Sharks were headed for a rebuild. Core players like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau will soon make way for youngsters like Logan Couture, who will be backed by Joe Pavelski who is in the prime of his career right now.

There’s no glaring weakness on this team, but then again there’s nothing that stands out as spectacular. They still play that big style game and wear you down with hard forechecking and tight defensive zone play, they’re just doing it at a slower pace now and it’s showing in the standings.

This team can still be dominant on any given night, those nights have just been few and far between this season.

Ottawa

The Senators looked dead in the water a month ago but have been the hottest team in the NHL in the month of March and find themselves with the chance to leapfrog the Boston Bruins into the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with a win tonight.

Much of that success can be attributed to the play of goalie Andrew Hammond who still has not lost a game in regulation since being called up from the AHL. “The Hamburglar” has made for a nice story and has dominated NHL headlines of late thanks to his incredible run, but when you watch this team it’s not just Hammond out there.

The Sens have been injected with a new sense of confidence and purpose with Hammond between the pipes and they’re playing with the swagger of a team that knows they belong in the playoffs. Hammond has tapered off in his last two games out, surrendering four goals to the Bruins and three to the Leafs, but the Sens have cranked it up on offense, scoring 11 goals in those two games.

Sharks vs. Senators 4* Free Pick

This Sens team is a tricky play right now because it seems like everyone is waiting for the bubble to burst on this miraculous run and for them to hit a rough patch.

San Jose plays a style that can slow down the speedy Senators but they have been stagnant on offense of late, managing more than two goals just twice this month.

This game looks like first to three goals wins and with the way the Senators have been filling the net of late and how San Jose struggles to score goals, Ottawa looks like the safe pick here.

Go with the Senators to win tonight.

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About Matt Durnan

A (self-proclaimed) fantasy sports guru since 2004 and a journalist since 2007. He has been offering unsolicited sports gambling advice to his circle of friends for years and has now put himself at the mercy of online readers everywhere. "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how much fun you have"... His hockey coach told him that when he was 7. His team lost every game that year.


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