Swept the board last night with no sweat, going 4-0 and winning 5 units! Great night for my fifth winning day in a row. Tonight we have a pretty big nine game NHL slate, let’s try to keep capitalizing on these matchups.
Sabres vs. Islanders (7:00)
On Sunday I had rare bets on my Sabres which won as they beat the Habs 5-3. The Sabres are by no means a good team though with a 15-24-8 record. They’re scoring just an average of 2.62 goals per game, eighth fewest in the NHL and are allowing an average of 3.47 goals per game, sixth most in the NHL. The Islanders have had their own struggles this season and aren’t much better at 17-19-6 with only three wins in their last nine games. The Isles have been great defensively with solid goaltending all season and are allowing a sixth fewest average of 2.69 goals per game. They’re struggling to score big time though, averaging only a fourth fewest 2.4 goals per game. The Islanders have crushed the Sabres going 6-2 against them last year (remember they were a much better team that were a third period goal away from Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals) and winning their previous matchup this season 4-1 on December 30th on Long Island. I like the Isles to get another win here against Buffalo here today and I’ll take them for a unit.
Senators vs. Blues (7:00)
The Blues have been struggling a bit lately, with just two wins in their last five games but they’re having a pretty good season at 27-14-5. St. Louis has one of the top scoring offenses in hockey, averaging 3.48 goals per game, fifth most in the NHL. They’ve been pretty solid on the back end, allowing an average of 2.76 goals per game, eleventh fewest in the NHL and goaltender Ville Husso, who’s confirmed in goal tonight went from being terrible last year to now leading the league with a 1.84 GAA and a .941 save percentage. Ottawa hasn’t been good this season coming into tonight’s game with a 17-24-4 record, but are coming off a 4-1 win in Washington on Sunday (that screwed me on sweeping the board that day). They haven’t fared well this season on either end of the ice, scoring an average of just 2.69 goals per game, tenth fewest in the NHL. There also bad on the back end, allowing an average of 3.2 goals per game, tenth most in the NHL. The Sens will be without Drake Batherson and Josh Norris, two of their top forwards and Thomas Chabot, their top defenseman. The Blues should be able to get an easy win here against the depleted Senators. With St. Louis playing kind of lousy lately, I’m not laying the -220 on the ML but will take the Blues in regulation for a unit.
Devils vs. Lightning (7:00)
This is quite the lopsided game. The Lightning are still one of the top teams in the East after their back to back Cups and come into tonight with a 31-11-6 record with a 10-3-1 record in their last 14 games. The Bolts are seventh in the NHL in scoring, averaging 3.35 goals per game and they’re allowing a ninth fewest average of 2.75 goals per game. This should be a pretty easy matchup going up against the 17-27-5 Devils, who although have two wins in their last three games, those are their only two wins in their last ten games. They’re averaging 2.9 goals per game and allowing a fourth most in the NHL average of 3.51 goals per game. These teams actually split their first two games this season with a Devils 5-3 win on November 20th and a 3-2 Lightning win on January 27th. Tampa’s the way better team here and should win tonight. I think the ML is way too expensive at -335, but I’ll take the Bolts here in regulation for 1.5 units and although it didn’t hit in the previous two games they played against NJ, I’ll take the Lightning TT over 3.5 for half a unit.
Penguins vs. Flyers (7:00)
This season the battle of Pennsylvania doesn’t have the luster that it’s had in previous seasons. The Penguins are having an awesome season at 30-11-8 and coming into tonight’s game on a three game win streak with a 20-3-3 record in their last 26 games. They’re scoring an average of 3.31 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL and allowing a third fewest in the NHL average of 2.51 goals per game. The Flyers are an atrocious hockey team this season with a 15-24-8 record and just two wins in their last 17 games. They’re bad on both ends of the ice, scoring a fifth fewest in the NHL average of 2.51 goals per game and allowing an eighth most in the NHL average of 3.36 goals per game. Pittsburgh won both previous matchups this season with a 3-2 overtime win at home on November 4th and a 6-2 blowout win in Philly on January 6th. Backup goaltender Casey DeSmith is starting for the Pens tonight instead of Jarry which does make me a bit more worried on the backend but with how awful the Flyers are. The Penguins should cruise to a win in this game, but I’m never laying a -335 line, especially in a rivalry game and I don’t even really like laying the -200 on the regulation line. I’ll take the Pens TT over 3.5 for 2 units.
Rangers vs. Bruins (7:00)
The Bruins are coming off a 2-0 shutout win in Ottawa on Saturday but I’m not putting much stock into that game. Without Patrice Bergeron (injured) and Brad Marchand (suspended) in the lineup, this team doesn’t have scoring depth and are an entirely different hockey team. On the season, the B’s are 27-16-3, scoring an average of 2.91 goals per game and allowing an average of 2.8 goals per game. The Rangers finally make their return to the ice for the first time since February 1st after the All Star break. They’re 30-13-4 and playing great hockey this season, going into the All Star break with seven wins in their last ten games. They’re scoring an average of 3.02 goals per game. Their goaltending from likely Vezina winner Igor Shesterkin has been incredible this season and with that, the Rags are allowing the fourth fewest goals in the NHL, an average of just 2.57 goals per game. The first time these teams played this season, the Rangers won 5-2 in Boston on November 26th. With this game in MSG and the Bruins missing their two best players, I think the well rested Rangers come into tonight and completely shut down the B’s offense. I’ll take the Rangers ML for 1.5 units and the Bruins TT under 2.5 in regulation for a unit.
Predators vs. Capitals (8:00)
The Capitals just constantly keep letting me down as they just lost 4-1 at home to the Sens on Sunday, preventing me from sweeping the board. They’re decent on the season at 26-15-9 but only have five wins (three in overtime) in their last 17 games. On the season, they’re scoring an average of 3.2 goals per game, eleventh most in the NHL and allowing a twelfth fewest average of 2.78 goals per game. They just can’t win games that they should be. The Preds are 28-16-4 this season and took back to back losses 5-2 to the Jets (loss for me) and 4-3 in Dallas coming out of the All Star break. They’re averaging 3.08 goals per game and allowing a ninth fewest 2.75 goals per game on Juuse Saros great play in net. When these teams played the first time this season on December 29th in DC, the Caps won 5-3. I’d slightly lean Smashville at home tonight and the under but not enough to bet on either. This feels like the type of game that whatever you bet ends up losing. Best to stay off it.
Flames vs. Blue Jackets (9:00)
The Calgary Flames are on hot fucking fire lately, coming into tonight’s game at home with a 26-13-6 record and on a six game win streak with just one loss in their last nine games. They have the eighth highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.33 goals per game and they’re allowing an average of only 2.4 goals per game, the second fewest in hockey. Backup goalie Dan Vladar starting for the Flames tonight instead of Markstrom but judging by who they’re playing, I’m not really gonna care much about that. Columbus has been pretty bad this season at points and coming into tonight they have a 23-22-1 record. They’re on a three game win streak with five wins in their last six games…but three of those games were against Montreal and Buffalo. The Jackets have been decent offensively this season, averaging 3.13 goals per game but have been one of the worst teams in the league defensively, allowing a third most in the NHL average of 3.61 goals per game. In the first matchup between these teams this season on January 26th in Columbus, the Flames absolutely roasted the Jackets in a 6-0 win where they generated a record 62 shots on goal, more than a shot a minute. I’m going right back in on this game with a unit on the Flames in regulation, 2.5 units on the Flames TT over 3.5 and a unit on the alternate over 6.
Avalanche vs. Stars (9:00)
Tonight’s the second half of this home and home between the Avs and Stars after the 4-0 Avalanche win on Sunday afternoon in Dallas as they head to Colorado tonight. The Avs are one of the best teams in the NHL at 34-8-4 with an incredible 21-2-2 record at home and coming into tonight without a regulation loss (and just two OT losses) since December 16th. They’re second in the NHL in scoring, averaging 4.07 goals per game and they’ve allowed an average of 2.83 goals per game. The Stars have been decent this year with a 25-19-2 record but they’re much lousier on the road with a 8-12-1 record away from Dallas. They’ve played decent hockey lately with seven wins in their last ten games. They’re averaging 2.93 goals per game and allowing an average of 3.04 per game. The other previous matchup this season between these teams was a 3-1 Stars win as a home dog on November 26th. I like the Avs to win this game at home and I’ll take them for a unit in regulation. Along with that, I’ll take the under for a unit, which even though it sounds crazy with the Avs offense, the under has hit in the last eight games between these teams with none of those matchups having more than five goals, we’ve got 6 goals to play with so even a 4-2 win could hit the under here.
Kings vs. Oilers (10:30)
This is a game that I want nothing to do with before I even dive into analyzing it. The Oilers are on the second half of a road back to back in California after their 3-0 shutout win last night in SJ. They’re 25-18-3 on the season and come into tonight with back to back wins. Edmonton’s got the twelfth highest scoring offense in hockey, averaging 3.17 goals per game, mostly attributed to the NHL’s top two forwards in the league, Draisaitl (65 points, 33 goals) and McDavid (64 points, 40 assists) but have no scoring depth behind those two. They’ve been horrible defensively, allowing an average of 3.2 goals per game, tenth most in the NHL. The Kings haven’t been spectacular either. They’re 24-16-7 and haven’t played a game since February 2nd, but went into the All Star break with three wins in their last four games. They’ve been great on the back end, allowing a fifth fewest in the NHL average of 2.66 goals per game but haven’t gotten the puck rolling offensively, averaging only 2.81 goals per game. Scoring wasn’t an issue for the Kings in the first matchup between these teams this season where the Kings won 5-1 in Edmonton on December 5th. With all the rest for LA and the incredibly inconsistent Oilers on the second half of a road back to back, I’d lean the Kings win again tonight. No shot I’m betting this game though as these are two of the toughest teams in hockey to expect anything out of. I’ll skip this game and go to bed early after the 9:00 slate.
1u Islanders ML (-186)
1u Blues in regulation (-136)
1.5u Lightning in regulation (-182)
.5u Lightning TT over 3.5 (-159)
2u Penguins TT over 3.5 (-177)
1.5u Rangers ML (-150)
1u Bruins TT under 2.5 in regulation (-130)
2.5u Flames TT over 3.5 (-150)
1u Flames in regulation (-177)
1u Flames/Blue Jackets over 6 (-130)
1u Avalanche in regulation (-162)
1u Avalanche/Stars under 6.5 (-117)
Record: 427-296-16 (+26.48 units)