Thursday picks: Banking on desperation 

April, 1, 2010
04/01/10
9:38
AM ET

It figures. I show up for a few days in Las Vegas and I have my worst week of the season, going a beyond-dismal 2-9. I knew I was in big trouble when the Calgary Flames -- desperate for points -- blew a lead and lost on Long Island. That was the beginning of a really bad night. Fortunately, I didn't take any of my picks to the betting window. That would have taken things from bad to worse.

Obviously, I'm looking for a bounce back effort this week. We'll see.

Florida Panthers at Boston Bruins

The Bruins need this game big time to solidify their playoff hopes. The Panthers, who are playing out the string, hit town fresh off a 6-2 drubbing in Buffalo last night. The Bs don't score much and they haven't been great at home, but they have to be the choice in this spot. Plus, I never like picking the Panthers. I'll take Boston.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.

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