Closed out before the NHL break last Tuesday night with a 1.5 unit win that cashed in the second period on the Vegas/Tampa over 5.5. Hopefully everyone had a great Christmas and all of the bullshit that’s lead to a ton of postponed games this hockey season is behind us for the year. It was nice to have the week off but I’m glad the NHL is back and I’m pumped to dive into tonight’s three game slate!
Lightning vs. Canadiens (7:00)
Tampa closed out last week before the break with a come from behind 4-3 win after they were down 3-1, a game that the Bolts got out shot 41-19. That was their eighth win in their last nine games to improve to a 20-6-4 record on the season. The Lightning have been very good on both ends of the ice, averaging a tenth most average of 3.2 goals per game and allowing a seventh fewest average of 2.6 goals per game. Tonight they’ll be without their top two goalies though with Vezina nominee Andrei Vasilevskiy and Brian Elliott both out, leaving Maxime Lagacé to start, who’s kind of sucked, stuck in the AHL for the last several years. The Habs are one of the worst teams in the NHL at 7-21-3. They went into the break with a 3-2 shootout win over Philly on December 16th almost two weeks ago, which ended their seven game losing streak. Montreal has been atrocious on both ends of the ice, averaging a second fewest in the NHL 2.13 goals per game and allowing a fourth most average of 3.52 goals per game. Sam Montembeault is confirmed in goal for them tonight and he’s sucked this season, with a 3.65 GAA and .897 save percentage. When these teams played December 7th for the first time this season, Tampa scored twice in the last 2:09 of the third period to win 3-2 in regulation. The Bolts should win this game again but with them missing Vas in goal and several other key players, I’m not even thinking about laying the ridiculous -295 on the Lightning or even the regulation line. With both teams starting lousy goaltenders and the Tampa offense being electric, even missing a few players, I really like the over in this game. I’ll take over 6 in this game for a unit and a half.
Kings vs. Golden Knights (10:30)
On the last game before the break, Vegas blew a 3-1 lead at home to Tampa, losing 4-3 to end a five game winning streak for only their second loss in their last ten games. This Golden Knights team is having another good season now that they’re healthy, and come into this game with a 20-12 record. The Knights have had their issues on the backend, allowing an average of 3.06 goals per game (twelfth most in the NHL), but their offense has been fantastic, averaging 3.47 goals per game, fourth most in the NHL. LA, who’s 14-11-5 had four wins in their last six games going into the break. They have been playing the opposite of Vegas, getting it done defensively but not generating much offense. The Kings have only scored a sixth fewest 2.57 goals per game but they’ve been great on the back end with the two goalie tandem of Jonathan Quick and Cal Peterson allowing a fourth fewest average of 2.5 goals per game. On October 14th when these teams met for the first time this season, the Kings stomped on Vegas 6-2. LA’s missing a bunch of guys which just makes me like the Golden Knights to keep rolling on the form they had going into the break. I’ll take Vegas here for a unit.
Sharks vs. Coyotes (10:30)
Arizona’s the worst team in the NHL. They’re 6-21-2 and although they went into the break with a 6-5 overtime win in Anaheim on December 17th, they had lost their six games prior to that. The Yotes paid their taxes to keep the lights on in the building but haven’t done anything on the ice to get anyone to care. They’re scoring the fewest goals in hockey, an average of only 1.93 goals per game while allowing the most goals in the NHL, an average of 3.69 goals per game. This team blows. The Sharks have been decent this year at 15-14-1, but nothing spectacular and they came into the break with three losses in their last four games. They’re averaging only a seventh fewest average of 2.6 goals per game but they’re allowing 2.8 goals per game, with James Reimer (confirmed in goal tonight) having a pretty great season with a 1.99 GAA and .936 save percentage. The Sharks deserve to be the -210 favorites that they are tonight, but with them missing a bunch of players tonight, I don’t feel comfortable laying that price. I like the under here since I don’t expect a ton of offense from SJ and can’t see Arizona scoring much on Reimer. I’ll take the under here for a half unit and parlay it with the Sharks ML for another half unit.
1.5u Tampa/Montreal over 6 (-125)
1u Golden Knights ML (-125)
.5u Sharks/Coyotes under 5.5 (-120)
.5u parlay: Sharks ML+Sharks/Coyotes under 5.5 (+171)
Record (Regular Season): 209-176-9 (-22.84 units)