Started off 2022 with another huge day, going 9-2 and winning 5.78 units yesterday! My fifth winning day in a row coming out of Christmas break (third in a row winning 5+ units) for a 29-9-1 +20.3 units since coming back from the Christmas break. Seven game Sunday NHL slate today!
Rangers vs. Lightning (12:30)
The Lightning come into this game with back to back losses to Florida and then a 4-3 shootout loss to this same Rangers team that they’re playing again today. I was all over the Rangers in a bunch of different ways on that game and got lucky to crush it. Today own this early game, I’d expect a bit of a different flow of the game. The Lightning, despite losing their last two are still an incredible hockey team. They’re 21-7-5, averaging a tenth best in the NHL 3.24 goals per game and they’ve allowed an average of 2.85 goals per game. Today the Lightning get their Vezina caliber goal Andrei Vasilevskiy back in goal off of the COVID list (2.14 GAA, .928 save percentage). The Rangers are very good too. Coming off of that 4-3 shootout win, the Rags are 20-8-4. Their offense hasn’t been as great, averaging only 2.84 goals per game but their defense and especially Igor Shesterkin’s goaltending (2.2 GAA, .932 save percentage) is one of the best in the league, allowing a seventh fewest 2.59 goals per game. With Vas getting the nod, I’ll take Tampa here for half a unit and the under for a unit, expecting this to be a goaltending battle between two possible Vezina candidates this season.
Red Wings vs. Bruins (1:00)
Yesterday the Bruins came back from down 3-1 to beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in overtime in their first game since December 16th (double winner for me on that one). The B’s are 15-10-2 on the season. Their offense hasn’t done much this season and they’re averaging only 2.74 goals per game. Their defense has been good though, grinding out low scoring games, allowing an eighth fewest 2.63 goals per game. The 15-14-3 Detroit Red Wings while definitely improved from last year haven’t been anything spectacular this season. They came out of the break with a 3-1 loss to Washington where they gave up two goals to Alex Ovechkin in the last three minutes of the third period (winner for me). Detroit’s offense hasn’t been great either, averaging only 2.75 goals per game, but unlike the Bruins, their defense sucks too, allowing an average of 3.34 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL. These teams faced off twice in November, both in Boston and split those games with a 5-1 B’s blowout win and a 2-1 Red Wings win. If I remember correctly, the Bruins were missing 2/3s of the Perfection Line in that game. I like the Bruins to win this one on the road today, even on the second half of a back to back. I’ll take the Bruins and the under in this game for a half unit each.
Penguins vs. Sharks (1:00)
Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins went into a covid stoppage and then the Christmas break on a seven game winning streak and they haven’t lost since December 1st. The Pens are 17-8-5 on the season, averaging 3 goals per game. They’ve been great on the back end though. Tristan Jarry’s been surprisingly one of the best goaltenders in the NHL this season, with a 1.93 GAA and .932 save percentage, leaving the Pens to give up the third fewest goals in the NHL, an average of 2.4 goals per game. The problem is they aren’t starting him today though and going with Casey DeSmith instead (3.03 GAA, .905 save percentage). The Sharks are 17-14-1 and came out of the break with back to back wins against Arizona and Philly. They’re averaging an eleventh fewest 2.74 goals per game and allowing an average of 2.91 goals per game. The Penguins are definitely the better team here. If Jarry was starting, I’d be all about the Pens here and the under, but with DeSmith starting and the line on the Pens still being pretty high, I’ll just skip this game.
Capitals vs. Devils (3:00)
The Devils pulled off back to back wins against Buffalo (4-3) and against the Oilers (6-5 in OT) coming out of the Christmas break. I don’t think they’re a very good team and they went into the break on a six game losing streak with only one win in eleven games. They’re now 12-15-5 on the season, averaging 2.84 goals per game while allowing a seventh most 3.41 goals per game. The Capitals, who are a MUCH better team at 20-6-7, came out of the break with back to back wins as well, 5-3 over Nashville and 3-1 in Detroit with two Ovi goals in the last three minutes of the game. The Caps are averaging a fifth most 3.45 goals per game and allowing a fifth fewest 2.55 goals per game, a solid formula to be able to win the Stanley Cup. I don’t like the -240 on it’s own for the Caps, but I’ll take them in a parlay with the Avs for 2.24 units to win 2 units. I’ll also take the Caps for a unit in regulation.
Avalanche vs. Ducks (3:00)
The most potent offense in the NHL is back in action tonight for the first time since December 16th as the Colorado Avalanche face off against the Ducks at home. The Avs are 17-8-2 and before going into the break with a 5-2 loss to Nashville, they were on a five game winning streak. They have the significantly the highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 4.22 goals per game (for context, Florida, who’s second in that category is averaging 3.78 per game). The Avs haven’t been good defensively or in goal though, allowing an eighth most 3.37 goals per game. But with that insane offense, it doesn’t matter as they just score enough to erase that issue. The Ducks have been having a great season at 17-10-7 but they’re on a three game losing streak, dropping both games they’ve played since coming back from the break. They’re good on both ends of the ice, averaging 3.03 goals per game and allowing a tenth fewest 2.68 goals per game. The first time these teams played this year, Colorado won 5-2. I like the Avs to win this one but I’m never going to be laying -300 on any team straight, so I’m going with the 2 unit parlay on this game with the Capitals. I’ll also take the over and the Avs TT over for a half unit each.
Golden Knights vs. Jets (4:00)
The Vegas Golden Knights have looked awesome this past month, going 10-3 in the month of December to get to 22-12 on the season, with two easy wins coming out of the Christmas break. The Knights offense has really picked up steam and they’re now fourth in goals per game, averaging 3.53 goals per game to make up for their defense and goaltending allowing 3 goals per game on average. The Jets have had their highs and lows this season with a 14-11-5 record. They’ve been decent defensively, allowing a twelfth fewest average of 2.73 goals per game but their offense hasn’t really produced much, averaging 2.87 goals per game. I like Vegas to win this one at home in the Fortress today and I’ll take the Knights for a unit.
Blackhawks vs. Flames (7:00)
Calgary has far exceeded my expectations for them this season. They’re 16-7-6 and after losing four games in a row and not playing a hockey game since December 11th, they came back with a 6-4 win in Seattle on Thursday night. They have allowed the second fewest goals in the league, an average of only 2.28 goals per game and have scored an average of 3.14 goals per game themselves. Chicago’s been one of the worst in the league with an 11-16-4 record. Yesterday they came back from the Christmas break getting killed 6-1 in Nashville. The Blackhawks have sucked on both ends of the ice, averaging a third fewest 2.26 goals per game while allowing a tenth most 3.32 goals per game on average. With both their top two goalies out and that they started third string goalie Delia last night, they’re starting their fourth string guy, Arvid Soderblom in goal tonight. When the teams played on 11/23, the Flames won pretty easily 5-2. This should be just as big of a blowout loss as the Hawks took last night and I’m all over this game. I’ll go with two units on Calgary in regulation, two units on Calgary TT over 3 and a unit on the over in this game.
1u Lightning/Rangers under 5.5 (-125)
.5u Lightning ML (-145)
.5u Bruins ML (-155)
.5u Bruins/Red Wings under 5.5 (-140)
1u Capitals in regulation (-139)
.5u Avs/Ducks over 6 (-110)
.5u Avs TT over 3.5 (-139)
1u Vegas ML (-140)
2u Calgary in regulation (-124)
2u Calgary TT over 3 (-159)
1u Calgary/Chicago over 5.5 (-110)
Record (Regular Season): 238-185-10 (-2.54 units)