Profitable night on the NHL yesterday, going 2-1-1 for +1.92 units. I’ll take that all day. Onto today’s huge twelve game slate starting with some early games.
Bruins vs. Islanders (12:30)
The Bruins are one of the hottest teams in the NHL lately, on a three game win streak with a 13-2-1 record in their last 16 games to improve to 40-19-5 on the season. They’re coming off a big 3-2 win against the Lightning on Thursday after adding Hampus Lindholm on the backend on the trade deadline, one of the best young defenseman available on Monday. On the season, they’ve averaged 3 goals per game and allowed a sixth fewest in the NHL average of 2.64 goals per game. The Isles have played well lately too with an 8-2-1 record to go to 28-25-9 on the season. Too little too late for them to get hot though. The Islanders have been even better defensively than the B’s, allowing a fifth fewest in the NHL average of just 2.61 goals per game. They’ve sucked offensively though, scoring a ninth fewest in the NHL average of just 2.73 goals per game. The Isles are 2-0 this season against Boston, winning both games they’ve played on Long Island this season with a 3-1 win on December 16th and a 4-1 win on February 17th. I’d lean the Bruins in this one at home in a low scoring game, but I don’t think they’re worth betting at -200 with how the Islanders have matched up with them this season…and the Isles are playing their best hockey right now. I’d expect a defensive battle in this game and I’ll take the under here for a unit.
Red Wings vs. Lightning (12:30)
This game is a huge mismatch. The Red Wings fucking suck. They’re 26-31-7 on the season and actually have a winning 17-12-4 record at home but they only have two wins in their last ten games. They’ve been bad on both ends of the ice, scoring an average of just 2.86 goals per game and allowing the second most goals in hockey, an average of 3.77 goals per game. The Lightning can absolutely become the first team since the 80’s Islanders to three peat for the Stanley Cup this year. They’re a great team at 39-18-6 but come into today’s game on a three game losing streak (against good Bruins, Canes and Rangers teams). Their offense hasn’t slowed down, averaging 3.29 goals per game, eighth most in the NHL. And of course with Andrei Vasilevskiy between the pipes, they’re great on the back end, allowing a ninth fewest in the NHL average of 2.79 goals per game. Vazzy will have the day off though with Brian Elliot starting in goal today. The Bolts are the way better team in this matchup and have won both previous games they’ve played against the Red Wings this season with a high scoring 7-6 overtime win in Detroit on October 14th and a 3-1 win in Tampa on March 4th. I’d expect them to win again today but don’t think its worth betting at the -260 price on the road with Elliot in goal. I do expect Tampa to score with ease today though and will take the Tampa TT over 3.5 for a unit.
Golden Knights vs. Blackhawks (3:00)
On Thursday night Vegas pulled off a big win at home beating down the Predators 6-1 for their third win in their last five games. This team’s struggling with so many injuries and its going to be a grind for them to make the playoffs the way they’re playing now with just those three wins in their last ten games. They’re 35-28-4 on the season, currently on the outside looking in on a wild card spot in the West. On the season the Knights have averaged 3.09 goals per game and have allowed an average of 3 goals per game. The Blackhawks are horrid and will just continue to get worse with their selloff of Fleury at the trade deadline (which for the record was a no brainer move for them). They’re 24-32-9 but actually come into this game off back to back wins on Wednesday and Thursday in California against the Kings and Ducks. This team has been pretty brutal on both ends of the ice. Chicago is averaging just 2.63 goals per game, seventh fewest in the NHL and allowing a ninth most in the NHL average of 3.42 goals per game which will just continue to get worse in this last month of the season. The first time these teams played this season, the Hawks won 2-1 in a grind of a game in Vegas on January 8th. The Golden Knights should win this game at home in the Fortress today, but I don’t think its worth betting on so I’ll just skip this game entirely. Go Knights.
Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs (7:00)
After a good stretch of winning seven of eight games, the 17-37-10 Montreal Canadiens have gone back to their losing ways with just two wins in their last eight games. This team sucks. On the season, they are the worst team in the NHL on both ends of the ice, averaging just 2.52 goals per game and allowing an average of 3.77 goals per game. The Leafs are great offensively but terrible defensively which sets up this 40-18-5 team for a first round exit from the playoffs. They have one of the top offenses in the NHL, scoring the third most goals in hockey, and average of 3.65 goals per game. They’ve had statistically the worst goaltending in the NHL since January 1st and on the season have allowed an average of 3.02 goals per game. Rookie Erik Kallgren will get his fifth start in goal tonight. He’s 2-1-1 with a 2.32 GAA and .930 save percentage with that small sample size. These teams split their two previous games this season with the home team winning each game, a 2-1 Toronto win on October 13th and a 5-2 Habs win on February 21st. The Leafs should win this game in Montreal tonight because they’re a significantly better team but (even if I wasn’t retired from betting on the Leafs) I don’t think they’re worth betting on at -250. I’d lean the over but we don’t know who Kallgren really is and with the Habs being a terrible team, I’d rather just stay off it. I’ll skip betting this game.
Senators vs. Panthers (7:00)
The Senators are one of the worst teams in the NHL at 23-36-5 and are coming off a 5-2 win in Winnipeg on Thursday night (loss for me) but have only four wins in their last 14 games. They’ve been bad on both ends of the ice. Ottawa’s scoring just a fourth fewest in the NHL average of 2.59 goals per game. They’ve allowed an average of 3.25 goals per game, tenth most in the NHL and the Sens now lost their top defenseman in Thomas Chabot, who’s out for the season of the season with a fractured hand. Florida on the other hand is incredible. They’re 43-14-6 with an 8-1-1 record in their last ten games. They have the highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging a 4.06 goals per game and they haven’t been bad on the back end either, allowing an average of 2.84 goals per game. For how lopsided this matchup is, these teams actually split their first two games in Florida. The Senators won 8-2 on December 14th and then the Panthers got their revenge in a 3-0 win on March 3rd. I obviously think Florida wins this game. I’ll go with half a unit each on the Panthers in regulation and the Panthers TT over 3.5.
Capitals vs. Devils (7:00)
Last night in a very entertaining game, the Caps beat my Sabres 4-3 in a shootout that included an incredible goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov. Washington has been playing really good hockey with an 8-2-1 record in their last eleven games to improve to 36-20-10 on the season. They’re playing close games though with four of their last five wins coming in overtime or shootouts. The Capitals have been good on both ends of the ice, averaging 3.26 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL and allowing an eleventh fewest in the NHL average of 2.82 goals per game. The Devils have sucked. They’re 23-36-5 on the year with a horrible 8-22-2 record on the road. They’re coming off a 3-2 loss in Toronto on Wednesday that I lost the over on by a goal (pathetic game for both teams) and have only one win in their last five games. NJ has averaged 3.05 goals per game but have been horrible on the backend, allowing a fourth most in the NHL average of 3.58 goals per game. These teams split their first two games this season with a 4-1 Caps win in New Jersey on October 21st and a 4-3 Devils overtime win in Washington on January 2nd. The Caps should win this game but on the second half of a back to back I don’t love it. I do really like the over though and will take it for a unit.
Stars vs. Canucks (7:00)
Dallas is playing great hockey lately on a three game win streak with wins against the Hurricanes, Oilers and Capitals and have four wins in their last five games to improve to 36-24-3 on the season. They’ve been a very good team at home this season with a 21-8-1 record in American Airlines Center. Statistically they haven’t looked great, averaging 2.92 goals per game and allowing an average of 2.95 goals per game but when they’re winning games at the rate that they are, who cares what the stats say. Only one column on the stat sheets really matters…wins. Wins haven’t come lately for the Canucks who are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss in Minnesota on Thursday and only have one win in their last five games. They’re 31-26-9 on the season and have played good under Bruce Boudreau, they’ve just struggled lately. Their biggest struggle is putting pucks in the back of the net as on the season, they have only averaged 2.8 goals per game, eleventh fewest in the NHL. Vancouver’s been pretty good defensively though, allowing a twelfth fewest in the NHL average of 2.83 goals per game. The first time these teams played this season in Vancouver, the Canucks won 6-3 on November 7th. I’d lean Dallas gets their revenge with a win tonight at home and I’ll go with a half unit on the Stars in this game.
Blues vs. Hurricanes (8:00)
These are two very good teams this season that have both been struggling to win lately. The Blues are 35-19-9, coming off a 5-2 loss to the Flyers at home on Thursday for their fourth loss in their last five games. They have the fifth highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.52 goals per game and have allowed the tenth fewest goals in hockey. The Hurricanes are a great team too at 42-15-7 but coming off their 4-3 loss to Dallas on Thursday they only have one win in their last six games. Carolina has the best defense in the NHL, allowing a league fewest average of just 2.38 goals per game and have scored a tenth most in the NHL average of 3.25 goals per game. When these teams played in Carolina on November 13th, the Hurricanes won 3-2, blowing an early 2-0 lead and not getting the game winner till there was less than three minutes left in regulation. I’d slightly lean the Canes and the over in this game but not enough to bet on either of them so I’ll just skip betting it. This could be a very entertaining game to watch.
Wild vs. Blue Jackets (8:00)
Last night the Blue Jackets came up clutch for me with their tying goal from Oliver Bjorkstrand on the power play with just 14 seconds left in regulation in their eventual 4-3 loss to the Jets to force overtime that hit my over. The Jackets are extremely inconsistent. They’re 32-29-4 and have just one win in their last four games. They’ve got a good offense, averaging 3.23 goals per game, eleventh most in the NHL but they are horrible defensively and have real bad goaltending, allowing an average of 3.71 goals per game, second most in the NHL. The Wild are a very good team at 38-20-4 and come into tonight’s game on a four game win streak with a 6-1-1 record in their last eight games. They have the third highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.65 goals per game. They’ve had their struggles at time on the back end, allowing an average of 3.13 goals per game on the season. Minnesota has addressed that lately though and in their last four games have allowed an average of just 1.25 goals per game. Marc Andre Fleury will make his first start tonight for the Wild since getting traded there from Chicago last week. When these teams played in Columbus a few weeks ago on March 11th, it took until a shootout for the Blue Jackets to win 3-2. Especially with the Jackets on the second half of a road back to back, I like the Wild to win this one. The problem is they’re -295. I’ll go with a unit on the Wild TT over 4 and half a unit on the over 6.5 in this game.
Flames vs. Oilers (10:00)
The final regular season game in the Battle of Alberta takes place tonight in Calgary, before we hopefully see this matchup for a series in the playoffs again with the biggest rivalry in the NHL. The Oilers are 2-1 in the three previous games this regular season between these teams with a 5-2 win on October 16th and 5-3 win on January 22nd both at home and then losing 3-1 in Calgary on March 7th. Edmonton’s 36-24-5 this season with a 6-1-1 record in their last eight games. The offense obviously flows mainly through Connor McDavid (95 points, 60 assists) and Leon Draisaitl (90 points, 46 assists) but even without offensive depth, having those two be so incredible gives the Oilers the seventh highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.37 goals per game. They haven’t been great on the back end, allowing an average of 3.17 goals per game, eleventh most in the NHL. Calgary is a legitimate Stanley Cup contender coming out of the West this season. They are 39-17-8 on the season, clearly the best team out of the Pacific Division and they haven’t lost two games in a row since way back in early January. Calgary is averaging 3.44 goals per game, the sixth most in the NHL and they’re even better defensively, allowing a second fewest in the NHL average of 2.42 goals per game. I think the Flames are the way more complete, much better team in Alberta but anything can happen when these teams play which makes me scale back a little bit on them and go with just half a unit here. I’d also lean the over in this game but not enough to bet on it.
Kings vs. Kraken (10:30)
The Kraken are having a terrible inaugural season with a 20-38-6 record and were huge sellers at the deadline, moving a ton of assets for draft picks. They have won three of their last four games, but I wouldn’t put much stock in those seeing that those wins came against the Coyotes, Red Wings and Habs. This team is terrible on both ends of the ice, scoring a fourth fewest in the NHL average of just 3.59 goals per game and allowing a sixth most in the NHL average of 3.55 goals per game. And with the guys they got rid of at the deadline, they’re going to tank even more. The Kings are likely to be a playoff game in the weak Pacific Division this season. They’re having a good season at 35-22-9. They have struggled a bit lately though with just three wins in their last eight games. LA’s a very good team defensively, allowing a seventh fewest in the NHL average of 2.73 goals per game. Their issue is offense as they’ve only scored a twelfth fewest in the NHL average of 2.82 goals per game. The first time these teams played in Seattle on January 15th, the Kings won 3-1. I’ll lay the juice here with half a unit on the Kings to beat the Kraken again, this time at home tonight. I’d lean the under but both of these teams have trended over recently so I don’t see any value in betting it.
Sharks vs. Ducks (10:30)
These two California teams are both pretty bad. The Ducks are on a horrible eight game losing streak to drop to 27-28-11 on the season and they only have four wins in their last 19 games. A far fall from the magic they generated out of no where earlier this season. They’ve scored the tenth fewest goals in hockey, an average of only 2.79 goals per game and they’ve allowed an eleventh most average of 3.17 goals per game. The Sharks aren’t much better. They’re 28-28-8 on the year and only have six wins in their last 21 games. They’ve got an even more pathetic offense than the Ducks do, averaging just 2.61 goals per game, sixth fewest in the NHL and allowing an average of 3.14 goals per game. Both games these teams played earlier this season in Anaheim needed more than 60 minutes before the Ducks won both of those games, 4-3 in a shootout on February 22nd and 3-2 in overtime on March 6th. I think this game’s pretty much a coin flip and not worth betting on whatsoever. If anything, the best bet on this one is probably the Ducks +1.5 or a prop on this game to go to OT, but no thanks on betting either of those.
1u Bruins/Islanders under 5.5 (-125)
1u Lightning TT over 3.5 (-141)
.5u Panthers TT over 3.5 (-155)
.5u Panthers in regulation (-155)
1u Caps/Devils over 6.5 (+109)
.5u Stars ML (-148)
1u Wild TT over 4 (-113)
.5u Wild/Blue Jackets over 6.5 (-125)
.5u Flames ML (-157)
.5u Kings ML (-195)
Record: 597-451-22 (-5.44 units)
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