Didn’t have a great day on hockey yesterday, going 4-6 to lose 3.35 units. Today we have a decent eight game Sunday NHL slate to get some bounce back wins on.
Islanders vs. Lightning (2:00)
Both of these teams played day games yesterday, which I lost on both games and they will face off today on Long Island on the second half of a back to back. The Lightning needed overtime to win a grind of a game in Detroit yesterday, beating the Red Wings 2-1 to end a three game losing streak. The Lightning are just as good as they’ve been their last two back to back Cup years and come into today with a 40-18-6 record. They have the ninth highest scoring offense in the league, averaging 3.27 goals per game and have allowed an eighth fewest in the NHL average of 2.77 goals per game. The Islanders were never in their game yesterday in Boston and my under never stood a chance as they lost 6-3. The Isles have played well though lately with a 7-2-1 record in their last ten games. Its too late for this team to get hot though as they only have a 28-26-9 record on the season. They’re a very good team defensively, allowing a sixth fewest in the NHL average of 2.67 goals per game but they’ve sucked offensively, only scoring an average of 2.73 goals per game, ninth fewest in the NHL. In Tampa on November 15th, the Lightning beat the Isles 4-1. I’d expect them to win another low scoring game again today and I’ll take the Bolts ML for a unit, which is pretty cheap today on the road and the under for half a unit.
Rangers vs. Sabres (5:00)
The Sabres are playing such fun hockey lately with a 7-3-1 record in their last eleven games. They’re 23-33-9 on the season, so definitely not a good team but I like how they’re playing and this young team is showing some good signs for the future. Statistically they’re not great, scoring an average of just 2.63 goals per game, sixth fewest in the NHL and they’re allowing an average of 3.46 goals per game, seventh most in the NHL. The Rangers are having a good season with a 41-19-5 and they’re 21-6-3 at home in MSG. They are coming off a huge 5-1 win against the Penguins on Friday night for their fifth win in their last seven games. New York hasn’t been great offensively, averaging 2.98 goals per game. They have been very good defensively though, allowing the third fewest goals in hockey, an average of just 2.55 goals per game. Igor Shesterkin, this year’s likely Vezina is the reason for most of that and instead Alexandar Georgiev will be starting instead tonight. Georgiev’s been pretty bad this season with a 3.04 GAA and .897 save percentage but he got a huge win in his last start, posting a 2-0 shutout in Carolina last Sunday where he made 44 saves. Both previous games these teams played the Rangers won by a goal with a 5-4 win at home on November 21st and a 2-1 win in Buffalo on December 10th. I’d slightly lean they win again but not enough to bet on, especially at the -240 price. I like the Sabres to keep this one close and possible even win and since the price is decent enough, I’ll take my Sabres +1.5 for a unit. I’d lean the over but not enough to bet on it.
Penguins vs. Red Wings (5:00)
Yesterday the Red Wings kept it pretty close in a grind of a game against the Lightning, where they lost 2-1 in overtime against the back to back Cup champs. Detroit’s 26-31-8 and they’ve sucked lately with just two wins in their last eleven games. They’re scoring only an average of 2.83 goals per game, twelfth fewest in the NHL and they’ve been even worse defensively, allowing a third most in the NHL average of 3.69 goals per game. The Penguins are coming off back to back losses on the road to the Rangers (5-1) on Friday and the Sabres (4-3 in a shootout) on Wednesday but are having a really solid season at 39-17-10 and prior to those two losses they were on a stretch of winning five of six. Tristan Jarry (2.32 GAA, .921 save percentage) has been great in goal and with his play the Pens have allowed a fourth fewest in the NHL average of 2.59 goals per game. Offensively they’ve been very good too, averaging 3.2 goals per game. The Red Wings pulled off a 3-2 upset in a shootout on January 28th in Pittsburgh and I’d expect this game to go the opposite way with likely a Penguins blowout at home, especially with Detroit on the second half of a back to back. The -315 moneyline is way too expensive and even the regulation line of -200 is pricey. I don’t do this often but I’ll go with Penguins puck line here for a unit.
Predators vs. Flyers (6:00)
The Preds are a really solid team at 37-24-4 but are coming off back to back games that they lost 6-1 in Vegas and LA. They return home tonight in Smashville with what should be a pretty easy matchup for them going against the lousy Philadelphia Flyers. Nashville’s been good on both ends of the ice. They’re scoring an average of 3.23 goals per game, eleventh most in the NHL and with the play of Juuse Saros in goal (2.55 GAA, .921 save percentage), they’ve allowed an average of 2.89 goals per game. The Flyers on the other hand blow. They’re coming off a 6-3 loss in Colorado on Friday and are 21-33-11 on the season. Philly has the second lowest scoring offense in the NHL behind only the Habs and are averaging just 2.57 goals per game. They haven’t been much better defensively either, allowing an eighth most in the NHL average of 3.45 goals per game. In Philly just ten days ago on March 17th, the Flyers pulled off an upset beating the Preds 5-4. I’d expect that script to be flipped tonight with a Smashville win. I’ll take the Preds in regulation for a unit.
Wild vs. Avalanche (6:00)
This should be an electric game between the two teams leading the Central Division leading teams who have two of the top three offenses in the NHL. The Avs are 46-14-5 and pretty much already locked up the top seed in the West. They’re coming off a 6-3 win against the Flyers on Friday and have five wins in their last six games. Colorado has the second highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.82 goals per game and they’re pretty good on the back end as well, allowing an eighth fewest in the NHL average of 2.77 goals per game. The Wild last night beat the Blue Jackets 3-2 in overtime in Marc Andre Fleury’s debut in goal for Minnesota (double loser for me by a goal on the over and the Wild TT) for their fifth straight win. This team is a contender as well, with a 39-20-4 record and they have a 7-1-1 record in their last nine games. Minny has the third highest scoring offense in hockey, scoring an average of 3.63 goals per game. They haven’t been great defensively on the season, allowing an average of 3.11 goals per game but recently they’ve tightened that up greatly, allowing an average of just 1.4 goals per game in their last five games. The Avs won both previous games these teams played this season, both in Colorado with a 4-1 win on October 30th and a 4-3 shootout win on January 17th. I like the Avs to win this one on the road with the Wild on the second half of a back to back and expect the goals to come plenty. I’ll go with a unit each on the Avalanche moneyline and the over 6.5 in this game.
Maple Leafs vs. Panthers (7:00)
The Leafs hilariously lost again last night with a 4-2 loss in Montreal, their second loss in their last three games. Toronto’s a good team at 40-19-5 with a 23-7-2 record at home but they’ve definitely had their struggles lately and look like they’re setting themselves up to get embarrassed and bounced in the first round of the playoffs AGAIN. I love it, blow Leafs blow. The Leafs have a great offense, scoring a third most in the NHL average of 3.63 goals per game but they blow defensively, allowing an average of 3.03 goals per game. They’ve had statistically the worst goaltending in the NHL since January 1st and Petr Mrazek, who is starting for them tonight blows with a horrible 3.39 GAA and .885 save percentage. Florida’s a great team, leading the East with a 44-14-6 record and on a three game win streak with a 9-1-1 record in their last eleven games.They have the best offense in the NHL, averaging 4.05 goals per game and they’ve allowed an average of 2.84 goals per game, twelfth fewest in the NHL. I’ll take Florida for a unit as a road dog, the still pretty high over at 7 and the Florida TT over 3 for a unit each.
Devils vs. Canadiens (7:00)
These teams both sucks. The Habs are the worst team in the NHL with an 18-37-10 record. They’re coming off a 4-2 win against the Leafs yesterday and have just three wins in their last nine games. They have played much better in the last month since hiring Martin St. Louis than they did earlier this season with a 10-4-3 record in their last 17 games. They’re statistically the worst team in the NHL on both ends of the ice, averaging only 2.54 goals per game and allowing an average of 3.74 goals per game. The Devils aren’t too much better with a 23-37-5 record and only have one win in their last six games, coming off a 4-3 loss to the Caps yesterday (double winner). Their offense has been alright, averaging 3.05 goals per game but they’ve been horrible defensively as well, allowing an average of 3.59 goals per game, fourth most in the NHL. The first time these teams played in Montreal on February 8th, the Devils blew out the Habs 7-1. I’d expect this game to stay closer and could see Montreal winning. I like the over though the best in this game, expecting both teams to be able to score with ease and will take it for a unit.
Jets vs. Coyotes (7:00)
The Coyotes are on a four game losing streak, coming off a 4-2 loss in Calgary on Friday night. They’re one of the worst teams in the NHL with a 20-40-4 record. The Yotes are pretty bad on both ends of the ice, scoring the third fewest goals in hockey, an average of just 2.58 goals per game and allowing a fifth most in the NHL average of 3.56 goals per game. They’re a pesky team that’s annoying to play against but they just don’t win games. The Jets are playing pretty good hockey lately with three wins in their last four games, coming off a 4-3 overtime win against the Blue Jackets on Friday (winner for me on the over) and they have a 9-4-1 record in their last 14 games to improve to 31-25-10 on the season. Winnipeg is 2-1 on the season against the Coyotes with a 1-0 loss at home on November 29th, a 3-1 win in Arizona on January 4th and a 5-3 win in Arizona on February 27th. I’d expect Winnipeg to win this game at home tonight, but don’t think the expensive -265 ML on them is worth it in this one. I will go with a half unit on the Jets in regulation.
1u Tampa ML (-155)
.5u Tampa/Isles under 5.5 (-110)
1u Sabres +1.5 (-120)
1u Penguins -1.5 (-134)
1u Predators in regulation (-165)
1u Avalanche/Wild over 6.5 (-113)
1u Avalanche ML (-132)
1u Florida ML (+104)
1u Florida/Toronto over 7 (-103)
1u Florida TT over 3 (-175)
1u Devils/Canadiens over 6.5 (-112)
.5u Jets in regulation (-167)
Record: 601-457-22 (-8.79 units)