Yesterday in the NHL’s return, I went 2-2, winning 1.4 units without much sweat. Today there’s a bunch of postponed games again but with the NHL reducing covid protocol from ten days to five days, hopefully that continues to decrease. That leaves us with a pretty good six game slate. Let’s keep winning tonight!
Sabres vs. Devils (7:00)
Both of these teams sucked going into the break. The Sabres won two of their last three games, but prior to that they only had one win in their last twelve games. They have a 10-15-5 record, they’re averaging an eighth fewest in the NHL, 2.67 goals per game and they’re allowing a fifth most 3.43 goals per game. The Devils went into the break on a six game losing streak with just one win in their last eleven games to drop them to a 10-15-5 record as well. They’re slightly better than Buffalo averaging a tenth fewest 2.7 goals per game and allowing a sixth most 3.37 goals per game on average. This could actually be a fun game to watch between two shitty teams and the first time they played this season on October 23rd, the Devils won 2-1 in overtime. I don’t like any bets on this matchup at all. I think the Devils are the better team overall but with the Sabres at home and starting UPL in goal (1.96 GAA, .939 save percentage), I’d slightly lean Buffalo here.
Panthers vs. Rangers (7:00)
The Panthers and Rangers both went into the break on lousy streaks of hockey but they’ve both been very good this season. The Rangers went into the break at 19-7-4 with four losses in their last six games. The key part of those losses was missing their top goaltender Igor Shesterkin who was out on IR, but he should be healthy now and will likely make his return in goal tonight. This guy is incredible and was single handily winning games for the Rags. NY is averaging just 2.83 goals per game but they’re allowing the fifth fewest goals in hockey, just an average of 2.53 goals per game. Florida went into the break losing four of their last five games and an 18-7-4 record. They’ve been good on the season though, averaging a third most in the NHL 3.55 goals per game and generating a ton of shots on goal, an average of 36.3 shots per game. They’re allowing an average of 2.93 goals per game. When these teams met on November 8th, the Rangers got out to a 4-0 lead before Florida made it a game with three goals in the third period, ultimately not enough to win as the Rags won 4-3 in a game they were outshot 45-18. I’d lean Florida at home here coming out of the break and the under, but not enough to bet on either.
Capitals vs. Predators (7:00)
Nashville was on a seven game winning streak going into the break with a 19-10 record. The Preds are winning on goaltending and Juuse Saros (2.22 GAA, .924 save percentage) incredible play in goal as they’re allowing a ninth fewest 2.63 goals per game while they’re scoring an average of 2.93 goals per game. The 18-6-7 Caps have been very good this season but were struggling before the break, with a 4-3-2 record in their last nine games. Washington has the fifth highest scoring offense in hockey, averaging 3.42 goals per game, lead by 36 year old Alex Ovechkin’s incredible 47 points and 22 goals. They’ve been great on the back end too, allowing a sixth fewest 2.58 goals per game. I like the Caps to get the win in this one at home and I’ll take them for half a unit here. I’d slightly lean the under but not enough to bet on it.
Blues vs. Oilers (8:30)
The 18-11 Edmonton Oilers were struggling going into the break and although they had wins against Seattle and Columbus before getting shut down for Christmas, they were on a six game losing streak prior to that. Their offense, lead by league leaders Leon Draisaitl (49 points, 23 goals) and Connor McDavid (49 points, 32 assists) is scoring the sixth most goals in the NHL, an average of 3.41 goals per game and their power play still leads the league scoring on a 31.9% of those power play chances. Their main issue is on the back end, as they’re allowing a twelfth most goals, an average of 3.1 goals per game. The 17-9-5 Blues have been pretty good on both ends of the ice and they’re 11-3-2 at home. They’re right behind Edmonton offensively, seventh in the league in goals, averaging 3.35 goals per game and have the third highest scoring powerplay, putting in the back of the net on 29.5% of those opportunities. They’ve been pretty good on the other end of the ice too, allowing a eleventh fewest average of 2.68 goals per game. I’d slightly lean the Blues here at home but not enough to bet on it though. I like the over here, expecting both teams to score. I hate betting 6.5s, so I’ll buy this one down to 6 at -148 for a unit.
Kraken vs. Flyers (10:00)
Before the break, the Flyers seem to have turned a corner, winning four of their last five games after a ten game losing streak to move to 12-12-5 on the season. Statistically they still suck. They’re averaging only 2.66 goals per game, seventh fewest in the NHL while they’re allowing an average of 3.17 goals per game. Not exactly the formula to win hockey games. Seattle’s been pretty brutal as well in their inaugural season. They went into the break with just one win in their last six games and a 10-17-3 record. They’ve allowed the third most goals in the NHL, an average of 3.57 goals per game and they’ve averaged just 2.8 goals per game themselves. The first time these teams met in Philly, the Flyers blew out the Kraken 6-1. Although I don’t expect quite as big of a blowout, I still think the Flyers win in a high scoring game on the road tonight. I’ll take the Flyers and the over for a half unit each and the Flyers TT over 2.5 for a unit.
Ducks vs. Canucks (10:30)
The Vancouver Canucks were the hottest team in the NHL going into the break on a 6-0 run since hiring head coach Bruce Boudreau and eight wins in their last nine games to improve to 14-15-2 on the season, turning it around. On the season, their stats don’t look great. They’re averaging just 2.52 goals per game, fifth fewest in the NHL and allowing an average of 2.87 goals per game, which can be credited to Thatcher Demko’s great play in goal. I’m not looking too far in the season long stats for them though since they seem to be playing like an entirely different team in front of Boudreau (Bruce, there he is). The Ducks have been probably the biggest surprise of the season so far with a 17-9-6 record lead by their young studs Trevor Zegras (25 points, 17 assists) and Troy Terry (30 points, 18 goals). Although they went into the break on a shocking 6-5 overtime loss to Arizona, they had four wins in their last six games. On the season, they’re averaging a pretty solid 3.16 goals per game and allowing a twelfth fewest 2.69 goals per game. They’ll be without star rookie Trevor Zegras tonight though, who’s out of the lineup along with Adam Henrique and Max Comtois. I think this ends up being a great game. I like the Canucks to continue the win streak and I’ll be them for a half unit here. I’d also lean the under but not enough to bet it.
.5u Capitals ML (-180)
1u Blues/Oilers over 6 (-148)
.5u Flyers ML (+115)
.5u Flyers/Kraken over 6 (-110)
1u Flyers TT over 2.5 (-152)
.5u Canucks ML (-110)
Record (Regular Season): 211-178-9 (-21.44 units)