Made it three winning NHL nights in a row, going 2-1 for +0.9 units last night with no sweats at all. Tonight we have a pretty good ten game slate with a bunch of late games.
Maple Leafs vs. Lightning (7:00)
This should be a very good game between two teams that can contend for the Stanley Cup this season. They’ve both played great hockey. Tampa is 16-5-4 on the season, on a four game win streak. The Leafs are 18-7-2 with only four losses in their last 20 games. Tampa has the slightly better offense, averaging 3.28 goals per game (eighth in the NHL) while Toronto’s averaging 3.15 per game (twelfth in the NHL). Both of these teams have fantastic goaltenders in Andrea Vasilevskiy (2.12 GAA, .927 save percentage) and Jack Campbell (1.92 GAA, .939 save percentage) and great defenses. The Leafs are allowing a third fewest in the NHL 2.41 goals per game and the Bolts are right behind them, allowing a seventh fewest 2.6 goals per game. The first time these teams played this season it took until overtime for Toronto to get a 2-1 win here. I’d give Toronto a slight edge here at home but wouldn’t bet on it, I also really like Tampa +1.5, but at -225, I don’t think there’s value on betting it. I think this ends up being a goaltending battle and another low scoring great game and even though both offenses have the potential to go off, I’ll take the under here for half a unit.
Canadiens vs. Blackhawks (7:00)
Both of these teams blow. The Habs are 6-18-3 and they’re on a four game losing streak. They’re averaging the fourth fewest goals in hockey, an average of 2.26 per game and allowing the fourth most, an average of 3.56 goals per game. Chicago’s been slightly better at 9-14-2, but they’re still at the bottom of the standings. They’re playing decent hockey in this stretch and since their 1-9-2 start they’ve been 7-5 in their last twelve games. Their offense is even more putrid than Montreal’s, averaging a third fewest 2.12 goals per game. They’re allowing the ninth most goals in the league, an average of 3.24 goals per game. I’d lean Chicago wins this one and the over, but I have no interest in betting this game.
Blue Jackets vs. Ducks (7:00)
Both these teams have been decent this season. The Ducks come into this game at 14-8-5 off their 2-0 shutout win over the Sabres that featured the assist of the year from Trevor Zegras, arguably the coolest assist I’ve ever seen pulled off. They’re averaging the tenth most goals in hockey, 3.26 goals per game and allowing an average of 2.78 goals per game. The Blue Jackets are 13-11, 9-3 at home but haven’t played great lately, with five losses in their last six games. Columbus is averaging an eleventh most 3.26 goals per game but they’re allowing a seventh most 3.33 goals per game. The Ducks are the better more rounded team and I’ll take them for half a unit here as well as the over for half a unit.
Islanders vs. Predators (7:30)
The Islanders finally ended their eleven game losing streak on Tuesday night with a 5-3 win over the lowly Ottawa Senators. The Isles have been the biggest disappointment of the season with largely the same team going from a shorthanded goal in a 1-0 loss in Game 7 away from the Stanley Cup Finals last season to a 6-10-5 record this year. Pathetic. They’re averaging the second fewest goals in hockey, an average of only 2.05 per game and allowing 2.95 per game. Nashville’s been decent this year with a 14-10-1 record and three wins in their last four games. They’re averaging 2.88 goals per game and allowing an average of 2.8 per game. This game screams under to me, which I will take for a unit and I’ll throw a half unit on the Preds ML as well.
Blues vs. Red Wings (8:00)
The Blues are a pretty good team this season although they’ve had their inconsistencies throughout the season. They’re 13-8-4 and come into this game with three wins in their last five games. They’re averaging 3.28 goals per game, eighth most in the NHL and allowing an average of 2.84 goals per game. They have a bunch of guys out injured or on COVID protocol, including their top two goaltenders Jordan Binnington and Ville Husso, so they have to go to their third string guy, Charlie Lingren, who hasn’t been great in the AHL this season. He did play their last game on Tuesday against Florida, a 4-3 overtime win but I don’t expect that to happen again tonight. Detroit hasn’t been bad this season and they’re 13-10-3, coming into this game with five wins in their last six games. They haven’t been great on the back end, allowing an average of 3.19 goals per game and they’ve been averaging 2.77 goals per game. I expect both teams to be able to score and like the over here, which I’ll take for half a unit. The first time these teams played each other this season (11/24), Detroit won 4-2 and with the goaltending situation and the way these teams have played recently, I think the Red Wings win this one too and I’ll take them at the nice underdog price of +145 for a half unit stab.
Flames vs. Hurricanes (9:00)
Both of these teams have been very good this season. The Flames are 15-6-2 and the Hurricanes are 17-6-1. This game puts the two best defenses in hockey this season against each other, with Calgary leading the league with the fewest goals allowed this season, an average of 2.15 per game and Carolina right behind them, allowing only 2.25 goals per game. They’ve also both been pretty good offensively, with Carolina averaging a seventh most 3.29 goals per game and Calgary not far behind them, averaging a twelfth most 3.15 goals per game. This should be a fun game to watch that’s really a coin flip on who wins to me and I’ll take the under here for half a unit.
Oilers vs. Bruins (9:00)
Both of these teams have been pretty good on the season but haven’t been great as of late, both coming in with three losses in their last five games. Last night in a boring game (easy winner on the under for me), the Bruins lost 2-1 in a shootout in Vancouver to go to 12-8-2 on the season. Edmonton’s offense that is fourth in the NHL, averaging 3.54 goals per game has looked flat in their last three games, losses to Minnesota (4-1), LA (5-1) and Seattle (5-4). All season their defense and goaltending hasn’t been great, allowing a twelfth most 3.08 goals per game. The Bruins have been pretty good defensively, allowing a sixth fewest 2.59 goals per game but have only averaged 2.77 goals per game. I’d slightly lean the Oilers at home here with the Bruins on the second half of a back to back, but not enough to bet this game, especially with both teams starting their backups in goal.
Kraken vs. Jets (10:00)
Both of these teams have had their struggles this season but come into this game with three wins in their last five games. Seattle is 9-14-2, averaging 2.92 goals per game but allowing a fourth most 3.56 goals per game. Winnipeg is 12-9-4, averaging 2.88 goals per game but on great play from Connor Hellebuyck (2.77 GAA, .914 save percentage), they’re allowing an eleventh fewest 2.72 goals per game. I’d lean the Jets win this one on the road tonight but not enough to bet on it.
Kings vs. Stars (10:30)
Last night the now 13-8-2 Dallas Stars ended their seven game winning streak with a 5-4 loss in Vegas, where they allowed three unanswered goals in the third period for just their second loss in their last eleven games. They’ve been playing great hockey lately, averaging 2.91 goals per game. They haven’t scored less than three goals in a game since November 18th (7-2 loss to Minnesota). They’re allowing a twelfth fewest 2.74 goals per game on the season. LA is 10-10-4 on the season and come into this game at home tonight with three losses in their last four games and haven’t been playing great hockey as of late, with just two wins in their last ten games. They’ve been pretty good defensively, allowing an eighth fewest 2.63 goals per game but they are only scoring a seventh fewest 2.54 goals per game. I like Dallas to win this one on the road tonight to bounce back off of last night’s loss and will take the Stars for a unit at a price that’s too cheap to lay off of.
Sharks vs. Wild (10:30)
Minnesota’s been one of the most fun teams to watch this season. They’re 18-6-1 and they’re on a seven game win streak. Their offense is electric, averaging a third most in the NHL, 3.72 goals per game while they’re allowing 2.84 goals per game. San Jose hasn’t been as great with a 14-11-1 record, losing two of their last three but have six wins in their last nine games. They’ve been pretty good defensively, allowing a tenth fewest 2.69 goals per game but only averaging a ninth fewest 2.73 goals per game. I don’t expect the Sharks to be able to outscore Minnesota here and I’ll take the Wild for a unit.
.5u Leafs/Lightning under 5.5 (-125)
.5u Ducks ML (-110)
.5u Ducks/Blue Jackets over 5.5 (-110)
1u Predators/Islanders under 5.5 (-120)
.5u Nashville ML (+100)
.5u Blues/Red Wings over 6 (-110)
.5u Red Wings ML (+150)
.5u Flames/Hurricanes under 5.5 (-110)
1u Dallas ML (-130)
1u Wild ML (-150)
Record (Regular Season): 166-141-7 (-9.14 units)