Yesterday with scaled back units, I went 2-2, losing just 0.72 units starting the night down 0-2 and then crushing the later games. Still scaling back on today’s ten game NHL slate with a lot of close matchups.
Islanders vs. Blues (12:30)
This has been a really good season for the St. Louis Blues, who are 32-15-6 coming into today’s game off of a 5-3 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday in MSG that ended their four game win streak. In their last eight games the Blues have a fantastic 6-1-1 record. They’re scoring an average of 3.57 goals per game, fifth most in the NHL and they are allowing only a sixth fewest in the NHL average of 2.72 goals per game. The Islanders are the team that had the most expectations out of the East this year with Cup Finals dreams after losing in the Eastern Conference Finals the past two years to Tampa, coming within a third period shorthanded goal to lose 1-0 in Game 7 last year. This year they were a complete flop, coming into today’s game with a lousy 20-23-8 record and only one win in their last five games. They’ve been good defensively with good goaltending from Ilya Sorokin (2.42 GAA, .922 save percentage) and they’re allowing an ninth fewest in the NHL average of 2.77 goals per game but their offense has been horrendous, scoring a fifth fewest in the NHL average of 2.55 goals per game. I know I said I was going to just stick to half unit bets for a while, but I’m starting the day off with a unit on the Blues ML, which is cheaper than I expected it to be and that might be my only play of the day. St. Louis should be able to outscore the Islanders and get the road win on Long Island. I’d slightly lean the over and the Blues TT over but not enough to bet on either with two good defenses in this game.
Flyers vs. Blackhawks (3:00)
I have almost no interest in this game as both teams suck that actually match up very closely. The Blackhawks, who are coming off a 4-3 win against Edmonton on Thursday are 20-27-8 with only two wins in their last six games. Chicago isn’t doing anything offensively, scoring a third fewest in the NHL average of 2.45 goals per game and they’ve given up an average of 3.38 goals per game, ninth most in the league. That’s with a very good reigning Vezina winner Marc Andre Fleury starting most games, who’s off today with Kevin Lankinen getting the start today who sucks, with a 3.53 GAA and .887 save percentage. The Flyers are very similar. They’re 16-28-10 with just one win in their last nine games. Philly’s scoring just slightly more than the Hawks are, averaging 2.5 goals per game, fourth fewest in the NHL and they’re giving up slightly more goals, an eighth most average of 3.43 goals per game. They’re also going with their backup, Martin Jones who’s awful as well with a 3.51 GAA and .898 save percentage. I’d slightly give the edge to the Blackhawks on the road here but wouldn’t even consider betting it. I’d lean the over, expecting both teams to give up a good amount of goals but not enough to bet on and have to rely on two of the four worst offenses in the NHL to score seven goals. I’ll pass on this game, but if I wasn’t in a slump I would have probably been on the over for half a unit.
Coyotes vs. Senators (4:00)
What a shitty game this is. Arizona’s one of the worst teams in the NHL this season at 15-35-4, but they’ve surprisingly got three wins in their last five games including a huge 2-1 win against Colorado on Thursday. I think that’s more so that the Avs play down to their level but it’s a win none the less. The Yotes have been terrible on both ends of the ice this season. They’re scoring only 2.28 goals per game on average, the fewest in the NHL but they’re also horrible defensively, allowing a tied for third most in the league average of 3.56 goals per game. Ottawa’s only been slightly better at 19-29-5, on a three game losing streak with just one win in their last six games. They are just slightly better than Arizona on both ends of the ice, scoring a seventh fewest average of 2.57 goals per game and allowing an eleventh most average of 3.17 goals per game. I think the Sens are the slightly better team here and would slightly bet the under but no way I’m betting this game.
Panthers vs. Red Wings (6:00)
I’d expect this to be a pretty lopsided game. Florida’s a great team, a possible Stanley Cup contender at 36-13-5 with a 24-6 record at home. They’re coming off a 3-0 win against Ottawa on Thursday that ended their three game home loss streak. The Panthers have the top offense in the NHL, scoring an average of 4.06 goals per game and they’re allowing an average of 2.93 goals per game. The Red Wings are on the second half of a back to back after they lost 3-1 last night in Tampa (I lost on the over of that one). They’re 24-25-6 with just win in their last four games. Detroit is scoring an average of only 2.87 goals per game, eleventh fewest in the NHL and are allowing a third most in the NHL average of 3.56 goals per game. It took till overtime for Florida to win 3-2 in overtime in Detroit on October 29th. Florida should win this game and this game should go over. I just don’t think its worth betting on at -420 or in regulation at -245. The over at 7 isn’t worth betting either and buying it down to 6.5 or buying the Florida TT over 4.5 down doesn’t have any value so I’ll lay off this game.
Maple Leafs vs. Canucks (7:00)
On Wednesday night the Leafs got their asses kicked at home, losing against my Sabres and ending their three game win streak. Toronto’s 35-15-4 with a 19-6-1 record at home. They’ve been really good offensively as expected this season, scoring an average of 3.63 goals per game, fourth most in the NHL. Although they were great in the first half of the season defensively, that has plummeted recently and they now sit in the middle of the league in that category, allowing an average of 2.89 goals per game. The Canucks have become a really good team under Bruce “there he is” Boudreau. They are now 27-23-6 with six wins in their last eight games. Even though they’ve only scored an average of 2.77 goals per game on the season, tenth fewest in the NHL, they have scored a good amount recently, averaging 4.3 goals per game in their last ten. They have been great defensively and Thatcher Demko’s been a stud in goal with the Nuks allowing an average of just 2.82 goals per game, twelfth fewest in the NHL. The first game between these teams in Vancouver, the Canucks got a 3-2 win on February 12th. The Leafs are the better team here but I’d slightly lean the Canucks. I’ll stay off this game. I’d slightly lean the over.
Capitals vs. Kraken (7:00)
No matter who they play and if I bet on or against them, I can’t figure out the Caps this season. They’re 29-18-9 and have been very inconsistent. On Thursday they ended their three game losing streak with a surprising 4-0 shutout win against Carolina (loss). The Capitals have been good on the stat sheets, scoring a twelfth most in the NHL average of 3.18 goals per game and allowing an eighth fewest 2.75 goals per game, it just hasn’t translated to wins. Seattle’s been horrible in their inaugural season with a 17-34-5 record. They’re coming off a 4-3 win against Nashville on Wednesday (big loss for me) to end their shitty seven game losing streak. The Kraken have struggled on both ends of the ice, scoring an average of only 2.55 goals per game, sixth fewest in the NHL and allowing a seventh most average of 2.54 goals per game. In Seattle on November 21st in the first ever between this teams, the Kraken pulled off a 5-2 win that I probably lost betting on. The only bet I would consider on this game would be the Washington moneyline at home but at -235, that isn’t worth betting on a team that has been as inconsistent as they’ve been.
Blue Jackets vs. Bruins (7:00)
The Bruins have really come into their stride playing great hockey lately with only one loss in their last seven games to improve to 33-18-4 on the season. The B’s have been exceptionally good on the back end, allowing the fifth fewest goals in hockey, an average of just 2.66 goals per game and they’re scoring an average of 3 goals per game on the year but recently have averaged 4.33 goals per game in their last six. It’s Rick Nash jersey retirement night in Columbus for this game tonight. The Jackets haven’t been great this year at 28-25-2 and they have only one win in their last four games. They’re been good offensively, scoring an average of 3.25 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL but they’ve been horrible on the back end, allowing a second most in the NHL average of 3.62 goals per game. I’ll take the Bruins in regulation to ruin the night in Columbus and the alternate over 5.5 in this game for a half unit each.
Oilers vs. Canadiens (7:00)
The Habs are the worst team in the NHL standings at 14-34-7 but somehow have been grinding out a ton of wins lately with six wins in their last seven games after pulling off a shocking 5-4 overtime win in Calgary on Thursday. Montreal has the second worst offense in the NHL, scoring only 2.36 goals per game on average on the season and have been even worse on the other end of the ice, allowing the most goals in hockey, an average of 3.82 goals per game. Somehow though, they’ve scored an average of 4 goals per game in their last five games. The Oilers are unbelievable annoying of a team. They’re 30-21-4 and coming off a 4-3 loss to the Blackhawks on Thursday, they have just two wins in their last six games. McDavid and Draisaitl drive a pretty solid Edmonton offense (contributing on most of their goals), as they’ve average 3.25 goals per game, ninth most from in the NHL. They’ve been bad defensively, allowing an average of 3.18 goals per game, tenth most in the NHL. In their first game this season on January 29th, the Oilers blew out the Habs 7-2 in Montreal. I’d lean the Oilers get the win here and would lean the over also, but no shot I’m betting this game.
Sharks vs. Predators (8:00)
The Preds fucked me on Thursday night as they gave up three goals in the span of two and a half minutes in the second period and then giving up a shorthanded goal in the third to lose 4-3 to the Kraken. Nashville’s 30-20-4 this season and have been on a bit of a slump lately with just two wins in their last eight games. The Predators are averaging 3.04 goals per game and allowing an average of 2.83 goals per game. Every game is important for this team now as they’re sitting in a wild card slot with every point mattering in their playoff race in the Central. The Sharks suck lately. They’re 24-24-6 on the season and they’ve been even worse recently than the Predators, with just two wins in their last eleven games and only four wins in their last 17 games. On the season, they’re scoring only an eighth fewest in the NHL average of 2.61 goals per game and they’re allowing an average of 3.07 goals per game. When these teams met in Smashville on October 26th (while the Sharks were playing much better), the Preds won 3-1. I’d lean Nashville gets a win here on the road out West but don’t think its worth betting on, so I’ll pass on this game.
Avalanche vs. Flames (10:00)
This should be an amazing matchup between two of the best teams in the NHL both coming off losses to two of the worst teams in the league. The Avs are 40-11-4 with a 23-3-2 record at home. They played down to the Yotes on Thursday and lost 2-1 in Arizona ending their four game win streak. Colorado has the second highest scoring offense in the NHL, only trailing Florida as they’re averaging 3.93 goals per game and on the season are allowing an average of 2.8 goals per game, eleventh fewest in the league. The Flames are 32-14-7 on the year with a 12-1-1 record in their last 14 games. On Thursday night, they blew a 3-1 lead in the second period to the Habs, then tied the game up with 28 seconds left in the game to force overtime (and cash my TT) before losing on Ben Chiarot’s goal 1:03 into overtime. Calgary is a great team on both ends of the ice. They’re scoring an average of 3.47 goals per game, sixth most in the NHL and have been even better defensively, allowing the second fewest goals in the league, an average of only 2.45 goals per game. I’d think this ends up being a very close game. I’d slightly lean the Avs win but the Flames keep it within a goal. I’ll skip betting this game but will be sure to tune in and watch it as a showcase of two of the best teams in hockey.
1u Blues ML (-143)
.5u Bruins in regulation (-150)
.5u Bruins/Blue Jackets over 5.5 (-139)
Record: 515-369-19 (+13.25 units)