I had another profitable night on the NHL yesterday, going 5-3 for +0.78 units. Huge swing in the positives for me with Tampa scoring two goals in the last 2:11 of regulation to sweep that game for a great start to the night. Pretty small four game slate tonight for Wednesday night hockey.
Devils vs. Flyers (7:00)
The Flyers are on one of the worst stretches of this NHL season, coming into this game on a nine game losing streak. They’ve dropped to 8-11-4, they’re averaging a sixth fewest 2.43 goals per game and allowing a seventh most 3.35 goals per game. This team’s on a downward spiral that I don’t think is going to improve with their coaching change to Mike Yeo. The Devils are on a four game losing streak of their own, with their last win coming against the Flyers 5-2 on November 28th. At 9-9-5, they suck too. They’re averaging only 2.87 goals per game and allowing just slightly less than the Flyers, 3.26 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL. Both these teams have had their games fly over lately since their defense and goaltending sucks. I’ll take the over here for half a unit.
Rangers vs. Avalanche (7:00)
The Rangers have been one of the hottest teams in hockey with a 17-4-3 record, coming into this game on a seven game win streak with only one loss in their last twelve games. This team wins on defense and goaltending, allowing a fourth fewest in the NHL 2.46 goals per game. The problem is that with Igor Shesterkin, who’s currently on the IR out of the lineup, they have to rely on an inconsistent Georgiev. He started in last night’s 6-2 win over the Blackhawks, so the Rags are likely to go with their third string goalie Adam Huska tonight, who I know nothing about. Not a great matchup going up against the 13-7-2 Avalanche tonight, who lead the NHL with an impressive average of 4.14 goals per game. They’re getting their starting goaltender Darcy Keumper back between the pipes for this game which is a huge upgrade of Johan Johansson and Justus Annunen. Their defense and goaltending hasn’t been great though as on the season, with Keumper starting most games, they’re allowing an average of 3.46 goals per game, sixth most in the NHL and they just outscore their problems. I’d slightly lean the Avs in this game on the road to end the Rangers win streak but not enough to bet on it. I will take the alternate over 6 in this game for a unit (I hate betting 6.5s). I think both teams put the puck in the back of the net enough to hit this without too much of a sweat.
Canucks vs. Bruins (9:00)
In their first game with their newly hired head coach Bruce Boudreau behind the bench, the Canucks got a huge 4-0 win over the Kings. This team has enough talent that they should be better than their 9-15-2 record, so hopefully Boudreau could get more out of his team. Vancouver’s obviously struggled this season, averaging a fifth fewest 2.42 goals per game and allowing an average of 3.04 goals per game and their defense has definitely improved recently in front of Thatcher Demko, who’s been great all season in goal. The Bruins are 12-8-1 and they get one of their best players Brad Marchand back in the lineup tonight coming off his suspension that came from the slew foot he had in the B’s last game against Vancouver on November 28th. The Bruins haven’t produced a whole lot offensively, averaging 2.86 goals per game but they’ve been good on the back end, allowing a tenth fewest average of 2.67 goals per game. In that game on 11/28, Boston had two third period power play goals to win 3-2. I’d lean the Bruins win here again but not enough to bet on them. I do like the under here though and I’ll take it for half a unit.
Golden Knights vs. Stars (10:00)
This is an interesting game to me in the Fortress tonight. Vegas is 14-10 on the season, coming into this game with three wins in their last five games. Their offense, now mostly healthy are averaging 3.33 goals per game, sixth most in the NHL but they’re allowing an average of 3.04 goals per game. Dallas, after their slow 4-6-2 start to the season have now rattled off seven straight wins with only one loss in their last ten games. There’s nothing to really complain about there and in that ten game stretch, when you take out that 7-2 loss to a VERY good Minnesota Wild, they’ve scored at least 3 goals in all nine wins and allowed 2 or less in all of them. On the season, they’re still averaging a pretty low 2.86 goals per game but they’re allowing a ninth fewest 2.64 goals per game. Vegas has an electric offense, especially at home in the Fortress. If they dictate the game, this will be a high scoring affair that they likely win since the Stars offense won’t be able to score at the same level as the Golden Knights. If not and Dallas could lock them down, the Stars probably win a low scoring game. The first time these teams played this season, the Knights won 3-2 in overtime on October 27th but both of these teams were in different shape at the time. Vegas was missing half their lineup due to injury and the Stars were just playing like shit at that point on both ends of the ice. I’ll skip this one. I’d slightly lean Vegas in a close game, but there’s no edge in betting it to me.
.5u Flyers/Devils over 6 (-120)
1u Rangers/Avalanche over 6 (-136)
.5u Canucks/Bruins under 5.5 (-110)
Record (Regular Season): 164-140-7 (-10.04 units)