New York Islanders at Toronto Maple Leafs
As if Air Canada Centre hadn't been put through enough tortuous nights this season Saturday's 6-1 demolition from St. Louis was another low.
Overall it's another stretch of one win in five for the Leafs and while a shot at the first overall pick is probably their best outcome now a lack of competitiveness will never go down well.
The top line lost it's individual battle in spectacular fashion even as Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk barely played 15 minutes. I have to fear for Tyler Bozak going up against the red hot John Tavares.
It's not clear whether Nazem Kadri will take to the ice tonight either, yesterday coach Peter Horachek sent the second line centerman home from practice for being late. The Islanders might have one eye on tomorrow night when they play the Rangers.
Conceding 14 goals through the last four games means they have plenty to work on despite sitting top of the Metro Division but even so their forwards should enjoy creating plenty of chances against the Leafs' shaky defence.
Normally I'd take Toronto at home on long odds but the depleted Leafs are just being torn apart by the strong teams lately. The Islanders are 1.90 to win.
Nashville Predators at Arizona Coyotes
Interesting times in Nashville sliding to six losses on the bounce and falling out of top spot.
Fortunately for them the Coyotes appear to be easy prey having won just once in the previous 12 going back to February 10.
Arizona could also be officially eliminated from the playoff race within a matter of days. They were already short on options and now without Keith Yandle and Antoine Vermette there's a lot of players who've been playing in the minors filling out the lineup.
Trade action is yet to benefit the Predators too, Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli were their main acquisitions but so far have failed to make any sort of impact. In each of the six losses they've conceded the first goal and been rallying from a first period deficit so a quicker start would clearly help them regain some confidence.
Unless they produce a really shocking performance there should be only one winner when the best side 5 on 5 in the NHL goes up against the worst. Back Nashville to bust their slump and get the win in comfortable fashion.
Best Bet: Nashville Predators to overcome a -1.5 goal handicap at 2.60