The lousy streak continued in hockey with a few upsets to go 2-4 (-2.2 units). Just a five game NHL slate tonight. Let’s break them all down and try to rebound.
Sabres vs. Oilers (7:00)
After our decent start to the season (yes, I said our), the Sabres are now on the tailspin to the bottom on the NHL standings coming into this game with five straight losses. Buffalo’s averaging 2.92 goals per game and allowing 3 goals per game and unfortunately just getting worse by the week. The 10-2 Edmonton Oilers come into this game off a 5-3 win in Boston last night. They lead the NHL in scoring, averaging 4.25 goals per game, lead by the two best players in the league. McDavid (24) and Draisaitl (26) lead the NHL in points and Draisaitl leads the league in goals (12). I like the Oilers here a lot to outscore the Sabres, even with Stuart Skinner in goal (who sucked in his season debut this week) and will take them for half a unit (scaling back a bit in general).
Maple Leafs vs. Flames (7:00)
Calgary really surprised me to start the season. They started the year 6-1-1 but have since lost four of their last five against opponents that based on the stats they should have beat (Habs, SJ, Dallas, Nashville). They’re averaging 3.31 goals per game (tied for seventh in the NHL). They’re allowing a third best 2.31 goals per game but will take a step back in goaltending tonight with Dan Vladar projected to get the nod in goal. The Leafs come into this game on a heater, winning six of their last seven games and seemingly turning around their season and performing to a level that they were expected to. Jack Campbell has two shutouts in his last fives games and the Leafs are allowing an eleventh best 2.64 goals per game. Toronto’s struggled offensively to put the puck in the back of the net. They significantly lead the league in scoring chances but are scoring on just 7.5% (27th) of their shots. I like Toronto to win this game tonight at home and will take them in regulation for half a unit.
Hurricanes vs. Flyers (7:00)
Carolina’s first in the NHL overall standings at 10-1 and they’ve been great on both ends of the ice. They’re first in the NHL defensively, allowing 1.91 goals per game with great goaltending from Freddy Anderson, who leads the NHL with 1.73 GAA. They’re third in the league in scoring, averaging 3.73 goals per game. The Flyers who were pretty hot offensively have fallen back to the mean on that recently and they are now averaging 2.91 goals per game (15th in the NHL). They’re still pretty good defensively, allowing a fourth best 2.46 goals per game. I like Carolina to win this game and the will take them for a half unit. I’d lean the under as well but will skip that one.
Blue Jackets vs. Capitals (7:00)
Last night the Caps got a 2-0 win over the Red Wings with rookie goalie Zach Fucale recording a shutout in his first NHL game. The Caps have been great this year, averaging a sixth best 3.38 goals per game and allowing a fifth best 2.46 goals per game. Ovi (11) only trails Draisaitl (12) in goals and McDavid (24) and Draisaitl (26) in points (22), slowing no signs of slowing down from scoring electric clap bombs from the top of the circle. Columbus comes into this game pretty decent on both ends of the ice and winning four of their last five. They average 3.1 goals per game and are allowing 2.8 goals per game. They’re not a bad team. I’d lean the Caps here but not enough to bet them on the second half of their back to back. I’d expect both teams to score and will take the over for half a unit.
Blackhawks vs. Coyotes (8:30)
This is a terrible game. After their awful start to the season, the Blackhawks come into this game with back to back wins over the Penguins in a shootout and Nashville in overtime. They’re third worst in the NHL averaging 2.14 goals per game and third worst in giving up goals too, allowing an average of 3.57 goals per game. Arizona’s even worst though. They have one win on the season and are dead last defensively, allowing 4.08 goals per game and dead last offensively, scoring just 1.62 goals per game. This could actually be a fun game to watch since both teams blow. Chicago has a clearly better roster and should win this game but there’s no point in betting these two shitty teams. No lean for me on the over/under either since neither team can score but they both give up a ton of goals.
.5u Oilers ML (-180)
.5u Leafs in regulation (-108)
.5u Carolina ML (-190)
.5u Columbus/Caps over 5.5 (-120)
Record (Regular Season): 78-87-3 (-18.2 units)