Pucks & Ponies: A Turnaround for Toronto, Taking Swing at Sam Houston


Alright baby, we’ve got a great slate of action to pick from today both on the ice and at the track. We have put the man hours in, done the research, cracked the code, and whittled down our choices. Now sitting here, we are confident. We are assured. We are ready to win. We are ready to cash these tickets. Let’s do it!

Thursday, March 25

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators, 7 p.m. ET at Canadian Tire Centre

weekend TV schedule

Thursday, March 25: post time varies on TVG

Friday, March 26:
post time varies on TVG

Saturday, March 27:
8 p.m.-1 p.m. ET on FS1; 2:30 p.m.-3 p.m. ET on FS2; 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET on FS1; 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. ET on FS2; 6 p.m.-7 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, March 28:
1 p.m.-6 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

There’s another revenge spot in Ottawa tonight, but this one is for me. I have been burned by the Ottawa Senators in two straight games against the Calgary Flames and I won’t have it again. It cannot happen again.

The Ottawa Senators are a damned pesky team. They have won three of five, including sweeping the last two from Calgary. It’s unbelievable how they rallied behind a rookie goaltender and were able to grab two solid wins against the Flames. But there are a couple of key differences between those games and this one tonight. First, I expect Matt Murray to be back between the pipes as he is cleared to play and they are on the second game of a back-to-back. Murray has not been good this year. Second, the Maple Leafs are not the Flames.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have lost three of five but have had a little break to regroup here. They have not played since Saturday, and I think that time may help this team get on the right page mentally and physically. While Frederik Andersen is still out, Jack Campbell will be starting tonight and he has been so good this season. This is a spot for the Maple Leafs to come out and turn things around in a big way.

I know it feels like I’m beating the same drum three times in a row, but damn it, this Ottawa team is going to lose a game eventually. They are not a juggernaut — they are actually a pretty bad team. Matt Murray’s return is a bad thing for them because of his level of play.

NHL Picks: Maple Leafs -1.5 (-100)

Thursday, March 25

Early Pick 4 at Sam Houston Race Park

Race One: This race is a tough one. It’s not a field of great horses, but it is a field where almost anyone can win this race on any given day. I suppose my top pick would be (1) Whipum Naenae off the drop in class, but I’m going to include 2-6 as well here and cover my bases.

Race Two: This is another race where I’m going to spread a little bit because it’s tricky. My top choice is (2) Lady Ave, who is now on her third start off the layoff and has some back numbers that definitely hang with this group. Again, she’s not close to a single for me, so I’m also using the 4,5,6,7.

Race Three: Here’s our single. This horse has so many angles to like it isn’t even funny. She’s dropping in a couple of ways, she’s on her third start off the layoff. There’s a lot to like about (2) Colonel Aby B. That’s where I’m going with my single on this ticket.

Race Four: We don’t have to single this race, but we can go short here. The drop on (2) Rumpole makes him very intriguing as does having Stewart Elliott aboard. I’m also going to use (3) Kats Second Silver, who has a couple of close seconds at this level.

BlackJack’s Sam Houston Early Pick 4: 1,2,3,4,5,6/2,4,5,6,7/2/2,3 — $30 for .50 cents

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