Finally got a nice winning day yesterday going 7-5 to win 2.54 units by approaching the NHL slate without getting in my head about this losing streak. Today we have a great five game slate. Let’s start a winning streak cashing in again tonight!
Sabres vs. Panthers (7:00)
Yesterday the Sabres couldn’t even score a goal at home as the Kings shut them out in a 3-0 loss. Buffalo’s now 18-31-8 on the season with just two wins in their last nine games. On the season, they’ve struggled to score, scoring a ninth fewest in the NHL average of 2.65 goals per game and they’ve been even worse defensively, allowing a sixth most in the NHL average of 3.54 goals per game. This won’t be an easy game for them either with one of the best teams in hockey, the Florida Panthers coming into town. Florida’s 37-13-5 on the season, coming into today’s game with back to back wins against Detroit and Ottawa. They have the highest scoring offense in the NHL, scoring an average of 4.09 goals per game. The Panthers are allowing an average of 2.91 goals per game. The first time these teams played this season in Florida on December 2nd, the Panthers came back from down 4-1 to blowout the Sabres 7-4 scoring six straight goals with four scored in the third period. I don’t see a way that the Sabres can outscore the Florida offense here on the second half of a back to back. The moneyline here is way too expensive at -335, but I’ll go with a unit on the Panthers in regulation and a half unit on the Panthers TT over 4.
Bruins vs. Kings (7:00)
The Bruins are 34-18-4 this season, playing great hockey lately, coming back home tonight from a six game road trip with just one loss in their last eight games. They’re scoring an average of 3.02 goals per game and have been phenomenal defensively, allowing an average of 2.68 goals per game, fifth fewest in the NHL. The Kings are on the second half of a road back to back after shutting out my Sabres 3-0 yesterday afternoon in Buffalo. They’re 31-19-7, playing good hockey recently as well with just three losses in their last twelve games. LA hasn’t scored much on the season, averaging a twelfth fewest in the NHL average of 2.89 goals per game but have been scoring as of late, averaging 3.5 goals per game in their last twelve games. They’ve been very good defensively all season with solid goaltending from both Quick and Petersen and are allowing an average of only 2.89 goals per game, seventh fewest in the NHL. These teams just played a week ago in LA on February 28th and the Bruins won a 7-0 blowout on the road (which lost my under on this game). I’d lean the B’s win again with the Kings on the second half of a back to back but I would expect this game to stay much closer than that first matchup and don’t think the Bruins are worth the -200 moneyline. I’d also lean the under here but both teams recently have been scoring enough to trend their games over. I will take the Bruins TT over 3 for half a unit. I’d expect them to win and I think to get that done they’ve have to score at least three goals and they’ve scored at least three goals in all of their last eight games.
Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs (7:00)
I immediately thought have to bet the over on this game when I just looked at the matchup and as I’m diving into it, I’m just confirming that even more. The Leafs I’m retired from betting since they’ve become a very inconsistent, yet good team. They are 35-16-4 on the season, coming off of back to back losses at home to the Canucks (6-4) on Saturday and the Sabres (5-1) on Wednesday. On the season, Toronto hasn’t had any problems scoring, scoring a fourth most in the NHL average of 3.64 goals per game. The issue with the Leafs is that although they started the season good defensively with great goaltending from Jack Campbell, that has been probably the biggest fall from grace of the season as the Leafs have sucked defensively lately with terrible goaltending from both of their guys and now on the season are allowing an average of 2.95 goals per game. In their last eight games, they’ve given up an average of 4.63 goals per game, that’s pathetic and they haven’t even played very strong offenses. In the span of their last four game, they gave up six goals to Vancouver, five goals to the Sabres and seven goals to the Red Wings. Not good at all. Petr Mrazek, who’s confirmed starting in net tonight has sucked, with a 3.22 GAA and a .890 save percentage on the season. Columbus is much of the same, they’re good offensively but horrible defensively. The Blue Jackets are 28-25-3 and after a run of good luck that saw them go 9-2 in an eleven game span, they’ve since only gotten one win in their last five games, coming off a shootout loss to the Bruins on Saturday and an overtime loss to LA on Friday. They’ve been a solid team offensively, scoring a ninth most in the NHL average of 3.27 goals per game on the year. But they’ve been one of the worst teams in the league defensively, allowing a second most in the NHL average of 3.63 goals per game while allowing the most shots in the league. When you give up that many scoring chances, a team with an offense like the Leafs are going to capitalize on them. Elvis Merzlikins hasn’t been good in goal this year (and neither have the other Columbus netminders) with a 3.42 GAA and .903 save percentage. The Leafs should win this game but fuck betting on them, and they’re absolutely not worth the -200, which actually gives some value to the Jackets at home, but I’m staying off a side on this game. I love the over here and I’m going to ladder it up. Two teams that can both score a lot and have been awful defensively, giving up a ton of goals. I’ll go heavy on this one with 2 units on the over 6.5, a unit on the over 7, a half a unit on the over 8 and .25 units on the over 9. Let’s get this game to fly over!!
Islanders vs. Avalanche (7:30)
When these teams played a week ago was a very entertaining game with the Avs scoring three unanswered goals in the third period to beat the Isles 5-3 in Colorado on March 1st. Colorado’s one of the best teams in the NHL at 40-11-5 and they come into tonight’s game with back to back losses for the first time since November, losing 4-3 in overtime in arguably one of the best games of the year to Calgary on Saturday night and playing down to the Yotes on Thursday where they lost 2-1. The Avs have the second highest scoring offense in hockey, averaging 3.91 goals per game and they’ve allowed an average of 2.82 goals per game, twelfth fewest in the NHL. A lot of people (me included) thought this could’ve been a possible Stanley Cup Finals matchup which obviously isn’t going to happen as the Isles have been the biggest disappointment of the season after their back to back runs in the Eastern Conference Finals the last two years. This season they’re 21-23-8, coming off a 2-1 win against the Blues (loss for me) on Saturday afternoon and they have just two wins in their last six games. The Isles have been atrocious offensively, scoring an average of only 2.54 goals per game, sixth fewest in the NHL. They’ve been pretty good defensively (as expected) this season though, allowing an eighth fewest in the NHL average of 2.73 goals per game. Semyon Varlamov, who’s confirmed in goal tonight hasn’t been good this year in his backup role for the Islanders behind Ilya Sorokin, with a 2.76 GAA and .912 save percentage and I don’t expect him to be very good tonight against his former team and Colorado’s electric offense. With the Avs on the road, that makes the price of this game actually playable and I’ll go with a unit on the Avs in regulation along with 1.5 units on the shockingly low Avs TT over 3.
Flames vs. Oilers (9:30)
The Battle of Alberta for the third time this year as it shifts to Calgary with the Oilers winning the first two matchups at home this season, 5-2 on October 16th and 5-3 on January 22nd. Calgary played arguably the most entertaining game of the season on Saturday night in Colorado, winning 4-3 just 37 seconds into overtime on Johnny Hockey’s goal off a great play by Elias Lindholm in the Flames own end. The Flames have been the hottest teams in the NHL recently with a 13-1-1 record in their last 15 games to improve to a Pacific Division leading 33-14-7. They’ve got the sixth highest scoring offense in the NHL this season, averaging 3.48 goals per game and they’ve been even more impressive on the back end, allowing a third fewest in the NHL average of 2.46 goals per game. Jacob Markstrom’s projected to start tonight for the Flames with Dan Vladar getting the start in Colorado of Saturday and he’s been one of the best goalies in the league this season with a 2.17 GAA, .925 save percentage and an insane eight shutouts on the year. The Oilers have been so inconsistent this season. They’re 30-22-4 with just two wins in their last seven games, coming off two embarrassing losses, losing 5-2 at home to Montreal on Saturday and 4-3 in Chicago on Thursday. Their offense has averaged a tenth best in the NHL, 3.21 goals per game with a lot of that scoring flowing through the two league leading scorers with 79 points each in Connor McDavid (50 assists) and Leon Draisaitl (38 goals). If a team shuts down these two, the Oilers offense is cooked. Edmonton has been slightly better defensively lately, but still suck on the back end on the season, allowing an average of 3.21 goals per game, twelfth most in the NHL. I’ll lay the -205 juice for a unit on Calgary to get revenge here at home for those two losses earlier this year to their biggest rival, expecting the Flames to get the win. I’d expect the game to end up around 6 goals, which makes me not see any edge on either side of the over/under.
1u Florida in regulation (-195)
.5u Florida TT over 4 (-130)
.5u Bruins TT over 3 (-175)
2u Leafs/Blue Jackets over 6.5 (-150)
1u Leafs/Blue Jackets over 7 (+107)
.5u Leafs/Blue Jackets over 8 (+215)
.25u Leafs/Blue Jackets over 9 (+400)
1u Avs in regulation (-125)
1.5u Avs TT over 3 (-186)
1u Calgary ML (-205)
Record: 523-376-19 (+14.12 units)