Happy St. Patrick’s Day and opening day of March Madness! Two of the best days of the year in one. I crushed last night’s four game NHL slate going 10-4 to win 7.7 units! Tonight since this league can’t stay out of their own way, we have a ten game slate. Let’s crush it again!
Rangers vs. Islanders (7:00)
The Battle for New York City. This season there’s been a huge discrepancy in talent between the Isles and Rangers. The Rangers are having a great season at 38-17-5, coming into tonight’s game off back to back win against the Ducks and Stars. In their game against the Ducks on Tuesday night, I got a bit screwed with a late start from Georgiev instead of Shesterkin and although they won 4-3, it took till overtime so my regulation only bet lost. If I knew Georgiev was starting earlier (Shesterkin was projected), I wouldn’t stayed off that game..but hey, at least I updated the blog for everyone else to stay off them. With that though, they’ll be starting Igor Shesterkin tonight, the best goalie in the NHL with a 2.07 GAA and .938 save percentage. With Igor’s play in goal, the Rangers have allowed a third fewest in the NHL average of 2.58 goals per game. They’ve scored an average of 3 goals per game. The Isles are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to the Caps on Tuesday (I won that one) that ended their three game win streak. They’ve sucked this year with a 24-24-9 record, the biggest disappointment of the season considering their preseason projections to make it to the Cup Finals. The Islanders have been good on the back end as well, allowing a sixth fewest in the NHL average of 2.72 goals per game. They’ve sucked offensively though, scoring a ninth fewest in the NHL average of 2.7 goals per game. On Long Island on November 24th, on the first time these rivals played this season, the Rangers won 4-1. I’d expect the same result tonight in MSG and I’ll go with a unit each on the Rangers ML and the under.
Maple Leafs vs. Hurricanes (7:00)
Erik Kallgren provided some much needed goaltending for the Leafs in his first ever NHL start, recording a 4-0 shutout, making 35 saves against the Stars on Tuesday night after their back to back losses to the Sabres and Coyotes. The Leafs are 38-17-5 with a 21-7-2 record at home. They have sucked lately though with a 6-5-2 record in their last 13 games. The reason for that is defense and goaltending. They’ve sucked on the back end, allowing an average of 3 goals per game and since January 1st have gotten the worst goaltending in the NHL. Offensively, Toronto’s been one of the best teams in the league, scoring an average of 3.68 goals per games. Their best player Auston Matthews is still out tonight, sussy’d for his dirty hit on Dahlin on Sunday. The Hurricanes have been one of the best teams in the NHL, leading the Metro Division with a 41-13-5 record. They’re coming off a 4-2 loss in Pittsburgh on Sunday (which I was 11 seconds away from hitting an exact score prop on) but have been very good lately with a 9-2-1 record in their last twelve games. Unlike Toronto, they’re leading the NHL defensively, allowing a fewest in the NHL average of 2.36 goals per game. They’ve also been very good offensively, averaging 3.34 goals per game, eighth most in the NHL. These teams have played twice so far this season with the home team winning each game. On October 25th in Carolina, the Canes won 4-1 and on February 7th, the Leafs won 4-3 at home in overtime. I like the Canes to win this one and will take the ML and the over 6 for a unit each.
Canadiens vs. Stars (7:00)
The Habs are the worst team in the NHL with a 16-36-8 record. They were on a good run with a stretch of seven wins in eight games but that’s dropped off with three losses in their last four games, most recently a 6-3 loss at home to the Coyotes on Tuesday (that I crushed laddering up the overs on). Statistically they’re the worst team in the NHL on both ends of the ice, allowing an average of 3.82 goals per game and scoring an average of 2.47 goals per game. Recently they’ve been able to score though, getting at least 3 goals per game in the back of the net in twelve of their last 13 games. Jake Allen comes back from IR and will get his first start tonight since January.
Dallas got shut out in Toronto on Tuesday night (big loser for me on both the over and the Stars, both several different ways) for their third straight loss. They’re 32-23-3 on the season with a 14-7-1 record in their last 22 games. They’ve scored an average of 2.88 goals per game and have allowed an average of 2.95 goals per game. The Canadiens got a 5-3 win in Dallas on January 18th for the first game between these teams this season. I’d expect the Stars get revenge on that game with a win in Montreal tonight. I’ll take the Stars for half a unit and the over 5.5 for a unit.
Flyers vs. Predators (7:00)
The Flyers blow this season, coming into tonight on a three game losing streak with an 18-30-11 record. They only have five wins in their last 29 games. They’ve been pretty terrible on both ends of the ice, averaging just 2.51 goals per game, second fewest in the NHL and allowing an eighth most in the NHL average of 3.42 goals per game. Nashville’s a very solid team this year at 35-21-4, tied with Minnesota for the fourth playoff spot in the Central. They’ve played well lately with five wins in their last six games. They’ve averaged a decent 3.2 goals per game and on the back of Juuse Saros in goal, they’ve been very good defensively, allowing a seventh fewest in the NHL average of 2.75 goals per game. I like the Preds to win this one pretty easily tonight and will take them for 2 units.
Blue Jackets vs. Capitals (7:00)
The Capitals got me a big win on Tuesday night as they beat the Islanders 4-3 in a shootout for their fifth win in their last six games. They’ve been very inconsistent this season at 33-18-10 despite being good statistically on both ends of the ice. They’re scoring an eleventh most in the NHL average of 3.25 goals per game and allowing an average of 2.79 goals per game, eleventh fewest in the NHL. The Blue Jackets have won their last three straight games to improve to 31-27-3 on the season after last night 4-1 win against the Sens (I split that game, losing all my laddered overs but winning all my Columbus alt lines to end up getting more than a 2 unit profit). They’ve been even more inconsistent than the Caps. The Jackets are good offensively, averaging 3.26 goals per game, tenth most in the NHL but they’re awful defensively, allowing a third most in the NHL average of 3.62 goals per game. These teams have played three times already this season and the Caps are 2-1 against the Jackets, winning 4-3 in Columbus on November 12th and then 3-1 at home on December 4th before the Jackets won 5-4 in Washington on February 8th. With Columbus on the second half of a back to back, I’d give the Caps the edge here. I’ll go with the over here a unit and the Caps TT over 3.5 for a unit. I don’t think the -215 ML is worth it and considering that the they’re last three straight games have gone to OT, I don’t think its worth betting the regulation line so I think the TT is the best way to approach this game.
Blues vs. Penguins (8:00)
This is the best matchup on the board tonight with two great teams that match up very similarly. The Blues are 34-17-8 on the season, coming off a 4-3 loss to Winnipeg on Sunday and have been on a bit of a slump lately with just two wins in their last seven games. They’re very good on both ends of the ice, scoring an average of 3.54 goals per game, fifth most in the NHL and allowing an eighth fewest in the NHL average of 2.76 goals per game. The Pens are very good this season as well with a 36-19-9 record. They’re coming off a 4-1 loss in Nashville on Tuesday night. I kind of expected that loss with the Pens starting Casey DeSmith, but the offense was more of the problem in that game. Either way, glad I skipped betting that game. In their last eight games, the Penguins have been pretty good with a 5-2-1 record. Tristan Jarry’s starting in goal again tonight, who’s the clear starting goaltender in Pittsburgh. With his play in goal, they’re allowing an average of just 2.61 goals per game, fourth fewest in the NHL and they’ve scoring an average of 3.21 goals per game, twelfth most in the league. On January 5th in Pittsburgh, the Pens beat the Blues 5-3 in the first game these teams played this season, coming back from down 3-1 with three unanswered goals in the third period. I’d lean the Penguins and the over in this game but I see no edge in betting either, so I’ll skip betting this game. The Blues are such a tough team to bet on however you approach them (on/against/over or under) and I feel like just staying off betting on their games is the best move.
Oilers vs. Sabres (9:00)
My Buffalo Sabres got an awesome 5-2 win against the Leafs outdoors in Hamilton for the Heritage Classic on Sunday afternoon for their second win in a row after their biggest win of the season on Thursday against the Golden Knights in Jack Eichel’s return to Buffalo. We’ve (yeah I’m using we) sucked this season with a 20-32-8 record but have four wins in our last six games. The Sabres have struggled on both ends of the ice this year, averaging just 2.67 goals per game, eighth fewest in the NHL and allowing a seventh most in the NHL average of 3.52 goals per game. The Oilers have been very inconsistent this year, but come into tonight’s game at home on a three game win streak to improve to 33-23-4 on the season. McDavid (85 points, 52 assists) and Draisaitl (83 points, 39 goals) drive their offense to as a team average 3.28 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL. They’ve been pretty bad defensively though and have gotten bad goaltending, as they’ve allowed a twelfth most in the NHL average of 3.2 goals per game. When the Oilers came to Buffalo on November 12th, the Sabres beat them 3-2. I’d expect Edmonton wins this game at home tonight, but wouldn’t even consider laying -250 on the Oilers, especially against my team. There’s no value in that price on this team regardless of who they’re playing. I’d lean the over as well but not enough to bet on it at 6.5 juiced all the way up to almost -140.
Canucks vs. Red Wings (10:00)
The Canucks are a really good team now under Bruce “there he is” Boudreau and they’ve played solid hockey recently with a 9-3-1 record in their last 13 games, improving to 30-24-7 on the season. On the year, they’ve only averaged 2.89 goals per game but that hasn’t been the case as of late. In their last 15 games, they’ve averaged an impressive 4.26 goals per game. Defensively, the Canucks have been good all season, allowing an average of 2.85 goals per game. The Red Wings suck, especially lately and especially on the road, where they have an atrocious 8-17-3 record. They’re 24-29-7 on the season, coming into tonight’s game on a six game losing streak. Detroit’s struggled on both ends of the ice, scoring an average of just 2.87 goals per game, twelfth fewest in the NHL and allowing an average of 3.77 goals per game, second most win the NHL just behind the Canadiens. In the first week of the season in Detroit on October 16th, the Wings beat the Canucks 3-1. Vancouver’s an entirely different team now though and I’d expect tonight’s game to go nothing like that one. The Canucks should easily beat the Red Wings in likely a high scoring game. I’ll go with a unit each on the Canucks in regulation, Canucks TT over 3.5 and the over 6 in this game.
Kings vs. Sharks (10:00)
These California rivals have already played each other three times this season, twice last week and surprisingly, even though the Kings are the way better Cali team this season, especially as of late, the Sharks are 3-0 against them. They won 6-2 at home on January 17th, 4-3 in overtime in LA on March 10th and 5-0 at home two days later. Other than those last two wins though, the 26-25-8 Sharks have been fucking awful lately with just six wins in their last 22 games. They’ve been bad on both ends of the ice, scoring only a fourth fewest in the NHL average of 2.61 goals per game and allowing an average of 3.1 goals per game. The Kings are having a good season at 33-21-8, currently sitting in second place in the Pacific Division. They’re coming off a 3-0 shutout loss to Colorado on Tuesday for their third loss in their last four games but have a decent 13-5-3 record in their last 21 games. They’ve struggled offensively as well, averaging just 2.79 goals per game on the season, but they’ve been quite good defensively, allowing an eight fewest in the NHL average of 2.76 goals per game. The Kings are the better team here and should win at home tonight, but I’m not going to fall into the trap again and bet it with how they’ve matched up with the Sharks this season. If they win great, but I don’t want any part of it. I’d lean the over, but not enough to bet on it, so I’ll just skip this game.
Golden Knights vs. Panthers (10:30)
The Vegas Golden Knights have been struggling big time lately, coming into tonight’s game on a five game losing streak. They have only four wins in their last 15 games to drop to 32-26-4 on the season, falling out of the third playoff spot in the Pacific Division and into the final Wild Card spot in a tight Western Conference. I thought they would try to pull off the Kucherov move of making the playoffs and then activating Mark Stone, but they gotta get in first, which they won’t do if they keep playing like this. Their offense, even with the addition of superstar Jack Eichel has been completely flat without stone, averaging only around two goals per game in that 15 game stretch. On the season, the Knights are scoring an average of 3.08 goals per game and they’re allowing an average of 3.05 per game. Florida on the other hand is a great team at 41-13-6 that shows no signs of slowing down. They’re coming off a 3-2 win in San Jose on Tuesday night (my TT over on that game kind of got screwed) and they have a 6-0-1 record in their last seven games. The Panthers have the top scoring offensive in the NHL, averaging 4.1 goals per game and they’re allowing an average of 2.85. After Spencer Knight got the nod in net in their last two games, the Panthers number one goaltender in Sergei Bobrovsky should get the start tonight, who’s been better in goal with a 2.57 GAA and .917 save percentage. The first game between these teams on January 27th was a 4-1 win for Florida at home and Vegas was a better team at that point than they are now. I’d expect the Panthers get another win here on the road tonight. I’ll go with a unit each on the Panthers ML, Panthers TT over and the over in this game.
1u Rangers ML (-136)
1u Rangers/Islanders under 5.5 (-121)
1u Hurricanes ML (-117)
1u Hurricanes/Maple Leafs over 6 (-130)
.5u Stars ML (-180)
1u Stars/Canadiens over 5.5 (-136)
2u Predators ML (-175)
1u Caps/Blue Jackets over 6.5 (-120)
1u Caps TT over 3.5 (-139)
1u Canucks in regulation (-125)
1u Canucks TT over 3.5 (-120)
1u Canucks/Red Wings over 6 (-125)
1u Florida ML (-162)
1u Florida TT over 3.5 (-129)
1u Florida/Vegas over 6.5 (-132)
Record: 576-420-21 (+24.62 units)