Last night was a good one for me, going 4-3 on my NHL picks (two of those losses were half unit puck line stabs) for a 1.5 unit winning night that had the potential to be a GIANT night had the Blues won (they lost in a shootout). Tonight, a nine game slate. Let’s win again!
Bruins vs. Red Wings (7:00)
The Bruins started the season 4-3, coming into this game on long rest off a their 3-2 win last Saturday where they gave the Florida Panthers their first loss of the season. The Red Wings haven’t been awful to start the year at 4-4-2. They’ve had a pretty weak schedule but they’ve been scoring at a decent clip, averaging 2.9 goals per game. They’ve been bad defensively though, fourth last in the NHL allowing 3.4 goals per game. The B’s are the way better team here and at home in Boston tonight they shouldn’t have an issue beating Detroit. The ML is way more expensive in this game than I think is worth betting, so I will take the Bruins in regulation for half a unit.
Maple Leafs vs. Lightning (7:00)
Neither of these teams with high expectations had a great start to the season but both come into this game with three straight wins. The Leafs are a joke of a franchise and they’ve struggled to score despite the talent on their offense, averaging just 2.5 goals per game. They’ve generated a lot of shots but have one of the worst (26th in the NHL) shooting percentages in hockey, only scoring on 7.2% of their shots. The Bolts don’t look as great as they did the last two years of winning back to back Cups. They’re both scoring and allowing 3.22 goals per game. I like the Bolts to get the win here on the road, but I have no interest in betting this game as I don’t really see any edge in either direction betting it.
Canadiens vs. Islanders (7:00)
The Habs suck and are 3-8 to start the year. They’re averaging only 2 goals per game, third worst in the NHL and they’re allowing 3.09 goals per game. This team isn’t good and without Carey Price to steal away wins for them in low scoring games, they’re terrible. The Islanders had a slow start to the season, but they’re 3-2-2 and sixth best in the NHL defensively, allowing only 2.43 goals per game. They’re also not scoring many goals, averaging 2.43 goals per game. Ilya Sorokin has been great in net his last few games with two shutouts in his last three games. The Isles haven’t played since last Saturday and with this much rest, I think they win this game pretty easily in a low scoring game. I like the under a lot in this game and don’t think Montreal can score much. I’ll take the under here for half a unit, the Habs TT under 2.5 in regulation for half a unit and the Islanders ML for half a unit.
Senators vs. Golden Knights (7:00)
Neither of these teams have had a good start to the season. The Sens kind of suck in general. They’re 3-5-1 and have lost five of their last six games. Their offense is only averaging 2.67 goals per game and they’re allowing 3.33 per game. The Vegas Golden Knights have had HORRIBLE injury luck. They’re missing half their team including all of their stars and with their blockbuster trade to get Jack Eichel this morning, they’ll also no longer have Peyton Krebs in the lineup (which honestly isn’t a big impact at this point in his career, but its another guy that isn’t in the Knights lineup). Even without Stone, Pacioretty, Karlsson, Whitecloud and Janmark, the Knight have won three of their last four games. On the season their stats aren’t good without all their guys, with the team averaging only 2.22 goals per game and allowing 3.33. I have zero interest in betting this game and I’ll stay off it.
Panthers vs. Capitals (7:00)
Florida has been one of the best teams in hockey so far this season. They haven’t lost in regulation yet and have an 8-0-1 record. They’re coming into this game off their first loss of the year, a 3-2 OT loss to the Bruins on the road in Boston. The Panthers have the third best offense in hockey, only trailing the Oilers and Hurricanes, averaging 4 goals per game. They’ve also gotten very good goaltending from their $10 million per year guy Sergei Bobrovsky, who’s got a 1.81 GAA and .994 save percentage. They’re only trailing the Hurricanes with a very low 1.89 goals allowed per game. The Caps aren’t far behind them in either category. Ovi (tied with Draisaitl) leads the NHL in goals with a goal per game on his own and as a team Washington is fifth best in the NHL, averaging 3.56 goals per game and allowing 2.44 goals per game (seventh best in the league). The uncertainty still behind the bench after losing Joel Quenneville still concerns me with Florida and how they’ll play in big games and this is one of them. I expect this to be a great game. If this game was early last week, I’d probably be on the Panthers but the coaching situation makes me stay off of this one entirely. I’ll be watching this game and hope to see how these teams play in what I expect to be a great game.
Penguins vs. Flyers (7:00)
Battle of Pennsylvania for the first time this season. Last year when these rivals played each other, the Flyers were 5-3 against the Penguins, despite Pittsburgh having a much better season than Philly did. This season, the Flyers have been off to a great start with one of the most electric teams in hockey. They’re sixth in the NHL in scoring, averaging 3.5 goals per game. They’re tenth in the NHL defensively with Carter Hart and the D in front of him allowing an average of 2.5 goals per game. The Penguins started the season without all of their best players and despite getting Sidney Crosby back for a game, he’s back out of the lineup again, this time with covid. The Pens are 3-3-2, with four losses in their last five games. They’re averaging 3.25 goals per game (eighth in the NHL) and allowing 3 goals per game. I like Philly to win this game and think this game goes over as well. I’ll take both of those for a half unit each.
Flames vs. Stars (9:00)
The trend of unders on Dallas Stars games wasn’t going to go 82-0 on the season and it got its first loss their last game, a 4-3 overtime loss to Winnipeg (that I sort of thought might go over, as it did, since everything about the Jets trended over). Dallas has an awful offense and they’re only better than Arizona offensively, averaging a pathetic 1.89 goals per game. They’ve been average defensively, allowing 2.78 goals per game. It’s hard to believe the Stars are just two seasons out from their Stanley Cup Finals loss to Tampa in the bubble but this team sucks. They’re 3-4-2 and coming into this game tonight on a four game losing streak. Calgary has been a surprise to me this season and they’ve been VERY good. They’re 6-1-2 and before their kind of bullshit 3-2 overtime loss to Nashville on Tuesday night (there should’ve been an interference penalty that lead to the Pred’s game winner) they were on a six game win streak. Jacob Markstrom has been very good (1.56 GAA, .947 save %) and the Flames are third best in the NHL in goals allowed, averaging just 2 per game. Their offense has been buzzing too, seventh in the NHL averaging 3.44 goals per game. I love Calgary at home in this game. I’ll take them on the ML for a unit, the under for a unit to continue the Dallas trend and take that for a unit, half a unit on the Stars TT under 2.5 in regulation and a half unit parlay on Calgary in regulation and the under (great value here at +272).
Kraken vs. Sabres (10:00)
Big news out of my Buffalo Sabres today as they traded their super star Jack Eichel to the Vegas Golden Knights this morning. That really makes no difference in this game since he hasn’t played in over a year but still a big deal that I’ll have a full blog recapping my thoughts on later tonight. The Sabres had a better than expected start to the season and are now 5-4-1, coming into this game with two straight losses to SJ and LA. They’re scoring an average of 3 goals per game, while allowing 2.44 per game. Honestly not bad and way better than I expected. Seattle hasn’t been good to start their franchise with a 3-6-1 record, averaging 2.5 goals per game and allowing 3.3 per game. Seattle at home has the better roster here and the Sabres are already starting to spin back to reality after their hot start and they’ll be back to the basement of the league soon. I like Seattle to win here but at -200, I don’t see any value in that so I’ll skip this game.
Sharks vs. Blues (10:30)
Last night the Blues ruined my perfect night with a 3-2 shootout loss to the LA Kings. I can’t stand that shootouts determine the winners of hockey games. Instead of wildly entertaining 3 on 3 hockey, we just let the game come down to dumb luck on a glorified practice drill. But anyway, tonight on the second leg of this back to back in California, the Blues are in SJ to take on the 6-3-0 Sharks. SJ has been pretty decent this year, averaging 3 goals per game and allowing 2.44. I think they’re around a .500 team but they’re playing good hockey lately. The Blues have the fourth best offense in hockey, scoring 3.88 goals per game with the second best power play in the NHL, scoring on 38.1% of their chances. Binnington’s been great in goal, with St. Louis also fourth in the NHL defensively, allowing just 2.13 goals per game. If Jordan Binnington has the night off since he started last night and Ville Husso gets the nod in goal (neither have been confirmed yet), I’d lean SJ gets the slight upset at home in this game. If Binnington starts, then I’d lean the Blues win. Regardless though, I don’t see any edge in betting this game with the Blues on the road back to back nights and the uncertainty in goal.
.5u Bruins in regulation (-175)
.5u Islanders ML (-140)
.5u Islanders/Canadiens under 5.5 (-140)
.5u Canadiens TT under 2.5 in regulation (-143)
.5u Flyers ML (+115)
.5u Flyers/Penguins over 6 (-110)
1u Calgary ML (-150)
1u Calgary/Dallas under 5.5 (-130)
.5u Dallas TT under 2.5 in regulation (-152)
.5u parlay: Calgary in regulation & Calgary/Dallas under 5.5 (+272)
Record (Regular Season): 60-58-1 (-3.04 units)