Yesterday on a gigantic swing of Florida not scoring a goal in the third period, I had a pretty lousy losing day on the NHL (in addition to my heartbreaking loss from the Bills). Ended up going 2-4-1, losing 11.46 unit. Huge swing, really coming down to one goal, but it is what it is. I was up a solid amount this week and the upsets come occasionally. Let’s bounce back here on tonight’s seven game slate.
Bruins vs. Ducks (7:00)
The Boston Bruins are one of the top teams in hockey since coming back from the Christmas break and they have just two losses in their last twelve games and are now 24-12-2 on the season. They’ve allowed a ninth fewest in the NHL average of 2.66 goals per game and have turned their offense around, averaging a twelfth best in the NHL 3.11 goals per games. The Ducks on the other hand have been on quite the downturn. They’re 20-16-7 and although they’re coming off a 5-1 win on Friday at home against Tampa, they only had two wins in their previous eleven games. They’re averaging 2.84 goals per game and allowing an average of 2.79 on the season. I like the B’s to stay hot at home with another win here. I’m not going to lay the -250 on the ML, but since they should get it done in regulation, I’ll take that much more reasonable line for 2 units. I’d lean the under in this game but not enough to bet on it.
Rangers vs. Kings (7:00)
Yesterday the LA Kings came from behind to beat the Devils 3-2 in NJ, ending their three game losing streak. The Kings are 21-16-5 on the season and have been inconsistent at times throughout the year. Although they’ve been really solid defensively, allowing an eighth fewest 2.64 goals per game, they’ve struggled to score goals themselves, averaging an eleventh fewest in the NHL 2.74 goals per game. The Rangers are 27-11-4 with four wins in their last five games. The Rags have been even better defensively and with the likely Vezina winner Igor Shesterkin leading the way, they’re allowing the third fewest goals in the NHL, only 2.55 per game. They also haven’t been particularly great offensively, averaging 3.02 goals per game. Earlier this month on the 10th, the Kings beat the Rangers 3-1 in LA. With Shesterkin likely getting the nod in goal tonight and the Kings on the second half of a road back to back, I like the Rangers to get a bounce back win from that. I’ll go with a unit here on the Rangers ML, a unit on the under and a half unit on the Kings TT under 2.5 in regulation.
Flyers vs. Stars (7:00)
This isn’t a particularly compelling game. The Flyers are playing the worst hockey in the NHL, which is saying a lot for a league that includes this year’s Montreal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes. After Philly’s 6-3 loss in Buffalo on Saturday afternoon, they’re now 13-20-8 and on an eleven game losing streak. They’re scoring a sixth fewest 2.49 goals per game and allowing an average of 3.34 per game, ninth most in the NHL. This team is completely broken and off the rails. Dallas plays like a different team when they’re at home or on the road. They’re 20-16-2 on the season but have a miserable 6-12-2 record on the road away from American Airlines Center. Pretty big discrepancy. Statistically on the season, the Stars haven’t been that great, averaging 2.89 goals per game and allowing an average of 3.11 per game. When these teams played in Dallas on November 13th, the Stars won 5-2. I feel like even with how much lousier the Stars are on the road, we have to keep riding the Flyers losing streak by betting against them. I’ll go with Dallas here for a unit.
Capitals vs. Golden Knights (7:00)
I think this should be a fun game to watch between two pretty evenly matched teams. The Caps are 23-10-9 on the season with three wins in their last five games. They’ve had plenty of issues keeping their lineup healthy, but still have Ovechkin leading the NHL with 58 points and 29 goals this season. John Carlson and Dmitry Orlov return to the lineup for the Caps tonight which should also be a nice spark for them. Washington’s tenth in the NHL in scoring, averaging 3.26 goals per game and pretty decent on the back end as well, allowing an average of 2.74 goals per game, eleventh fewest in the league. Vegas has had the most injury issues to their top players than anyone else in the league. They’re in a slump now with a ton of their key players out of the lineup and have just two wins in their last seven games. On the season they’re 24-15-2, averaging a sixth most 3.46 goals per game, but struggling to keep the puck out of their own net, allowing an average of 3.02 goals per game. With the Knights on the road and missing so many key players, I like the Caps to win this one. I’ll go with Washington for a unit here along with the alternate over 6 for a unit. I’d probably lay off the 6.5 if that was only available to me but thats a benefit to having so many books with different lines to choose from.
Wild vs. Canadiens (8:00)
This is the most lopsided matchup on the board tonight. Minnesota’s a great team. They’re 24-10-3 with a 13-3-1 record at home and only one loss in their last six games. The Wild have a wild offense, scoring the third most goals in the NHL, only behind Colorado and Florida with an average of 3.7 goals per game. They’re allowing an average of 2.97 goals per game. Montreal on the other hand is the worst team in the NHL. They’re 8-25-7 with just one win in their last nine games and just two in their last 17. The Habs have scored the fewest goals in the NHL, an average of only 2.18 per game while allowing the second most in hockey, an average of 3.65 per game. Obviously I love Minny to win this game at home tonight. But as we know, no team should ever be a -380 or heavier favorite in this league where any team can win on any given night, so I won’t be laying that ML. I looked at the regulation line here too, but at a still pretty expensive -225, I don’t want to lay that juice either especially considering that the Habs have taken three of their last five games to overtime (and lost all of them). I’ll keep it simple on this game, expecting the Wild offense to score at will against Cayden Primeau and I’ll take the Wild TT over 3.5 in regulation (I don’t think it’s worth laying the extra juice on this one to possibly get the fourth goal in overtime) for 2 units.
Avalanche vs. Blackhawks (9:00)
Another lopsided matchup, although I wouldn’t be shocked by this being a closer game. The Colorado Avalanche are a very good team at 28-8-3 with an even better 17-2-1 record at home. They haven’t lost in regulation and have an 11-0-1 record in their last twelve games since coming back from the Christmas break on January 2nd. The Avs lead the league in scoring, averaging an impressive 4.15 goals per game and despite playing better defensively lately, are allowing 3.03 goals per game on average and just outscoring their defensive and goaltending blunders. Chicago’s aren’t a good team, coming into this game on a three game losing streak with a 15-19-7 record. They’re scoring only a fourth fewest in the NHL 2.34 goals per game but allowing an average of 3.27 goals per game, eleventh most in the NHL. Colorado won both previous matchups these teams played with a 4-2 win at home on October 13th and a 4-3 overtime win in Chicago on January 4th. No chance I’m laying the -330 here on the ML even though I think the Avs win. I considered the regulation line on this one but five of the Avs last eleven wins took until overtime or a shootout (dumb luck) to decide and I don’t think its worth the -200 on the 60 minute line for this one. I like the over, expecting Chicago to score a few goals and obviously expecting Colorado to score. I’ll buy the over down to 6 here for a unit and take the Avs TT over 3.5 for 1.5 units.
Flames vs. Blues (9:00)
Last night the Blues snuck out of Vancouver with a 3-1 win against the Canucks FIFTH string goalie in a game that they got outshot 39-17 and Ville Husso bailed them out of. I got the win on the ML there for a pretty big bet and pushed my TT on them, which almost won on an empty net goal that ended up crossing the goal line a fraction of a second late. That was the third straight win for St. Louis and they have just two losses in their last ten games since coming back from the Christmas break. They’re having a real solid season at 25-11-5, averaging a fifth most in the NHL 3.51 goals per game and allowing a sixth fewest 2.61 per game. Calgary has been on a pretty lousy streak with just one win in their last six games despite playing decent hockey. They’re averaging 3.08 goals per game and have been even better on the backend than the Blues have, allowing a fourth fewest 2.58 goals per game. The Blues are on their third road in the last four nights and are quite fatigued as we saw last night. I’d lean Calgary gets the win at home here and would lean the under as well, but I think the best play on this game is no bet at all so I’ll lay off this one.
2u Bruins in regulation (-152)
1u Rangers ML (-160)
1u Rangers/Kings under 5.5 (-110)
.5u Kings TT under 2.5 in regulation (-139)
1u Stars ML (-175)
1u Capitals ML (-150)
1u Capitals/Golden Knights over 6 (-132)
2u Wild TT over 3.5 in regulation (-165)
1u Avs/Blackhawks over 6 (-148)
1.5u Avs TT over 3.5 (-180)
Record: 342-236-14 (+19.25 units)