Yesterday’s NHL slate was a grind, getting in a hole early in the day and then crawling out of it with an almost perfect late slate to go 5-5-1 for -0.94 units. We have another big slate today, let’s pick some winners!
Hurricanes vs. Oilers (1:00)
To start the day yesterday, the Oilers got outplayed by Florida for the entire game but Mikko Koskinen had his game of the year, making 44 saves to give the Oilers a 4-3 win (and dug me a hole that I had to bet my way out of all day). Edmonton’s 29-20-3 and have played solid hockey since firing Dave Tippett with six wins in their last eight games. On the season, they’re scoring a ninth most in the NHL average of 3.31 goals per game but defensively have been terrible, allowing an average of 3.25 goals per game, tenth most in the league. Carolina’s the top team in the Metro Division with a 36-11-4 record and coming into today’s game on a four game win streak. They’ve allowed the fewest goals in hockey, an average of only 2.37 goals per game and they’re scoring at an average rate of 3.51 goals per game, sixth most in the NHL. On the road in Edmonton on December 11th, the Hurricanes won 3-1 in the first meeting this season between these teams. With the Oilers on the road on the second half of a back to back after yesterday’s win, I like the Canes to beat them today. I’ll take Carolina in regulation for a unit.
Stars vs. Sabres (2:00)
The Sabres suck, coming into today’s game on a five game losing streak with a 16-29-8 record. They’re scoring an average of 2.62 goals per game, seventh fewest in the NHL and allowing an average of 3.59 goals per game, fourth most in the league. Dallas is having a pretty good season at 28-20-3 and they’ve found a lot of their success at home this season where they have an 18-7-1 record. The Stars are scoring an average of 2.82 goals per game and allowing an average of 2.88 per game. When these teams played in Buffalo earlier this season, Dallas got a 5-4 win on January 20th with two goals in the last 8 minutes of the game. I like Dallas to win this one again probably in easier fashion at home. I think the ML price of -305 is ridiculous, but I’ll take the Stars in regulation for 1.5 units.
Blackhawks vs. Blues (3:00)
St. Louis is playing good hockey lately, with a 31-14-6 record and a three game win streak with a 5-0-1 record in their last six games. The Blues offense is buzzing, averaging 3.57 goals per game, fifth most in the NHL and they’re pretty good on the back end too, allowing a seventh fewest in the NHL average of 2.73 goals per game. The Blackhawks, who are coming off an electric 8-5 win against NJ on Friday haven’t been good this year, struggling on both ends of the ice. They’re 19-26-8 and they have only four wins in their last 15 games. Chicago’s scored only the third fewest goals in hockey, an average of 2.47 per game and even with Fleury bailing them out in goal (for now), they’re still allowing an average of 3.38 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL. These teams have already met three times this season with the home team winning each game, a 1-0 Blues win on October 30th, a 3-2 Hawks win November 26th in overtime and a 5-1 Blues win earlier this month on February 12th. The Blues should win this game in Chicago today and I’ll take them for 1.5 units on a ML that’s cheaper than I expected it to be.
Coyotes vs. Jets (4:00)
The Yotes have two wins in their last three games, coming off a 3-1 win against Vegas on Friday, but don’t get it wrong, this team sucks. They’re 14-34-4, with just four wins in their last 14 games. Arizona has the lowest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging only 2.27 goals per game and they’re not much better defensively either, allowing a sixth most in the NHL average of 3.58 goals per game. On Friday night the Jets got out to a 3-0 lead in the first period in Colorado before blowing that lead and giving up six straight goals to lose 6-3 (double winner for me) for their fourth straight loss, going to 22-21-9 on the season. Winnipeg’s scoring an eleventh fewest in the NHL average of 2.81 goals per game and they’re allowing an average of 2.94 goals per game. These teams split their previous two games this season with the road team winning each of those matchups, a 1-0 shutout win for the Yotes on November 29th and a 3-1 Jets win on January 4th. The Jets are the better team in this matchup and should win today but on their four game losing streak and playing inconsistent hockey, I don’t think they’re worth betting on at -170 on the road, so I’ll stay off the ML here. I like the under though, not really expecting either team to generate much offense and I’ll take the alternate under 6 here for a unit.
Blue Jackets vs. Penguins (6:00)
The Blue Jackets four game win streak came to an end on Friday with their 4-0 shutout loss in Carolina. The Jackets are 27-24-1 on the season, playing their best hockey right now with nine wins in their last twelve games. Although a lot of luck came into that run, wins count the same way in the standings no matter how they come. The Columbus offense has been good this year, scoring an average of 3.27 goals per game, tenth most in the NHL but they’ve been horrible on the back end with lousy defense and bad goaltending, allowing a second most in the NHL average of 3.64 goals per game. The Penguins have been great this season with a 32-14-8 record, coming off a 1-0 shutout win against the Rangers yesterday (I split that game, crushing the under and losing half of it on the Rags) to end their three game losing streak. The Pens are averaging 3.2 goals per game, eleventh most in the NHL. They’re allowing the fourth fewest goals in hockey, an average of 2.61 goals per game, but much of that is attributed to Tristan Jarry and since they’re on the second half of a back to back, he’s getting the night off with Casey DeSmith starting. DeSmith hasn’t been great this year with a 3.08 GAA and a .921 save percentage. Yesterday I took the under on the Penguins game and crushed it but I’m flipping the script tonight on them and like the over in this matchup, with the Jackets bleeding away goals and the Pens starting DeSmith on the second half of a back to back. I’ll take the over 6.5 for a unit.
Rangers vs. Canucks (7:30)
In a great game yesterday, the Rangers lost 1-0 in Pittsburgh. I crushed the under on that game but lost on the Rags ML, still making a half unit profit. The Rangers hare having a really good season at 33-14-5 with a 17-4-3 record at home in MSG. They’re scoring an average of 2.9 goals per game and winning on defense with their almost guaranteed Vezina goalie Igor Shesterkin’s play, as they’re allowing a third fewest in the NHL average of 2.44 goals per game. On the second half of a back to back though, they’re likely starting Georgiev in goal today though, who’s a significant downgrade. The Canucks are coming off a crazy 7-1 win on Thursday night against Calgary, their fourth win in their last five games. Bruce (there he is) Boudreau really turned around this team, who are now 25-22-6. They still aren’t scoring much, averaging only 2.72 goals per game, tenth fewest in the NHL but they’re allowing only 2.76 goals per game, tenth fewest in the NHL as well. On November 2nd, the Canucks beat the Rangers 3-2 in overtime in Vancouver. I’d slightly lean the Canucks win this game but at only +110 on the road against a good team, I don’t think its worth betting on, so I’ll skip this one. I’d also slightly lean the over but not enough to bet on it so I’ll just skip betting this game entirely.
Ducks vs. Islanders (8:30)
The Islanders are the biggest disappointment in the NHL this season, falling from going to the Eastern Conference Finals the last two years to now being 19-21-8 with three losses in their last four games. Last night they got dominated in a 5-2 loss in LA (I split that game, cruising to a Kings ML win and losing the under with a meaningless Isles goal with 1:16 left in the game). Even though the Isles are very good on the back end, allowing an eighth fewest in the NHL average of 2.75 goals per game, they’re pathetic offensively, mustering up an average of only 2.5 goals per game, fourth fewest in the league. The Ducks are over exceeding expectations this year at 25-20-9 and have two wins in their last three games, coming off a 4-1 loss to the Kings on Friday. Anaheim’s scoring an average of 2.91 goals per game and allowing an average of 2.98 goals per game. With the Isles on the second half of a back to back I like the Ducks to get a win here at home and will take them for half a unit. I’d lean the under on this game but not enough to bet it, so I’ll just ride out the Anaheim ML.
Sharks vs. Kraken (10:00)
This game sucks and both of these teams are playing bad hockey. Last night the Sharks got dominated at home by the Bruins, losing 3-1. They’re now 23-23-6 on the season, getting only one win in their last nine games. SJ is only scoring an average of 2.63 goals per game, eighth fewest in the NHL and are allowing an average of 3.12 goals per game, twelfth most in the league. The Kraken are even worse in this inaugural season. They’re 16-33-5 and also coming off a 3-2 loss at home to the Bruins on Thursday are now on a six game losing streak. Seattle’s been even worse on both ends of the ice than the Sharks have been, scoring only 2.56 goals per game, the sixth fewest average in the NHL and allowing a seventh most average of 3.56 goals per game. The Kraken won both previous matchups between these teams this year with a 3-1 win in SJ on December 14th and a 3-2 win at home on January 20th. With the Sharks on the second half of a back to back, I’d slightly lean Seattle here but definitely am not betting on them. I’d also lean the under but not enough to bet it.
1u Carolina in regulation (-132)
1.5u Dallas in regulation (-177)
1.5u Blues ML (-167)
1u Winnipeg/Arizona under 6 (-122)
1u Penguins/Blue Jackets over 6.5 (-110)
.5u Ducks ML (-127)
Record: 500-347-18 (+25.56 units)