My NHL free picks for April 1 through April 8 begin on Thursday, April 5 when Florida hosts Boston. Can the Boston Bruins maintain supremacy in the Eastern Conference by beating the Florida Panthers on the road? On Friday, there’s a great matchup between the Dallas Stars and the Anaheim Ducks. Which Western Conference squad gets it done in a key matchup on Friday? The game I like on Saturday is between Tampa Bay and Carolina in Raleigh, NC. Will the Lightning punish the Hurricanes?

NHL Free Picks April 2-8

Boston at Florida
When:  Thursday, April 5 at 7:30 pm ET
Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, FL
TV: TVA

Analysis: Boston might be the best team in NHL. The Bruins have the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins will look to keep their top record on Thursday when they take on the Florida Panthers.

Florida isn’t a terrible team. In fact, Florida’s home record implies that they beat the Bruins straight up on April 5. Does that mean Florida will take down the best team in NHL? I don’t think so.

The Panthers just don’t match up very well with the Boston Bruins. The Bruins punished Florida 5 to 1 in the last match between these two. That gives Boston some leeway for the straight up win.

I’ll back the Bruins.

Pick: Boston

Dallas at Anaheim
When:  Friday, April 6 at 10:00 pm ET
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
TV: NBCSN

Analysis: The Anaheim Ducks host Dallas on Friday. Both Dallas and Anaheim continue to be two of the best squads in the Western Conference. Anaheim is about 15 games above .500. Dallas is about 9 games above .500.

The Stars beat the Ducks 2 to 1 the last time these two squads matched up versus each other. Is Dallas so much better than Anaheim that they’ll beat them again? This time on the road?

I’m not 100% sure that will be the case. I do know that Dallas is about 5 games below .500 in road games this season. To me, that means Anaheim beats the Stars. My money will be on the Ducks to exact revenge on the Dallas Stars.

Pick: Anaheim

Tampa Bay at Carolina
When:  Saturday, April 7 at 7:00 pm ET
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC
TV: SUN/FSS

Analysis: Carolina and Tampa Bay haven’t thrown down since January 9. In that match, Tampa came out ahead 5 to 4. There’s no doubt that the Tampa Bay Lightning are a better team than the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Canes aren’t a horrible ice hockey team, though. Carolina does have a winning home record. Because Tampa should be the favorite in this matchup, Carolina will offer value as the home ice dog.
I’m siding with Carolina to get it done on Saturday.

Pick: Carolina