I swept the early games yesterday but then got swept on the late games, ending up going 5-5-1 to lose 2.61 units. Tonight we have a smaller five game NHL slate after a long weekend of hockey.
Capitals vs. Hurricanes (7:00)
The Caps are playing good hockey as of late, coming into tonight’s game with back to back 4-3 wins on Friday and Saturday against the Sabres and Devils. They have a 9-2-1 record in their last twelve games, which has improved them to 37-20-10 on the season. Washington’s been very good on both ends of the ice. They’re scoring an average of 3.27 goals per game, eleventh most in the NHL and allowing an eleventh least average of 2.82 goals per game. Carolina’s coming off a huge 7-2 blowout win in St. Louis on Saturday for their second win in their last three games. They’ve been on a bit of a slump lately with just those two wins in their last seven games but they’re having a fantastic season at 43-15-7. The Hurricanes have the best defense in the NHL, allowing the fewest goals in hockey, an average of just 2.37 goals per game. Freddy Andersen’s been one of the best goaltenders in the NHL this season, holding a 2.07 GAA and .926 save percentage. They have a very good offense as well, averaging 3.31 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL. The Capitals are 3-0 this season against Carolina with a 4-2 win on the road on November 28th, a 4-0 shutout win at home on March 3rd and a 4-3 shootout win in Carolina on March 18th. I think the Canes are the better team in this matchup but on the road tonight and with the way the Caps have played recently and how hot they’ve been lately, I’d rather completely skip this game. I’d very slightly lean the under but wouldn’t even consider betting a total on this game. I’ll lay off this game but will most likely tune in to watch it.
Blues vs. Canucks (7:30)
Especially for as good of a team as they are at 35-20-9, the Blues have really struggled a lot lately with only one win in their last six games and just three wins in their last twelve games. They’re coming off an embarrassing 7-2 blowout loss at home against the Hurricanes on Saturday night. Statistically St. Louis has been very good this season. They have the sixth highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging a really solid 3.5 goals per game. They’ve been good defensively on the season as well, allowing an average of 2.88 goals per game, twelfth fewest in the NHL. Ville Husso has been very good in goal for them with a 2.43 GAA and .922 save percentage and is confirmed in goal tonight. The 32-26-9 Canucks are coming off a solid 4-1 win in Dallas on Saturday night, scoring three third period goals to cap off their second win in their last three games after a poor stretch of getting just one win in their previous six games. Vancouver has had their struggles offensively all season, averaging just 2.82 goals per game, eleventh fewest per game. They have been good defensively though, allowing an average of just 2.81 goals per game, tenth fewest in the NHL. Jaroslav Halak will be starting in goal tonight for the Canucks. He hasn’t been great this year in his backup role behind Thatcher Demko and although he’s coming off a huge 3-1 win in Colorado last Wednesday (32 saves), on the season he has a 3.19 GAA and .894 save percentage. The first time these teams played this season, the Blues won 3-1 in Vancouver on January 23rd. The Blues are the better team in this game and at home, they should win. But they’re playing so bad lately that I’d rather just stay off of this game completely. I’d slightly lean the under but not enough to bet it with how much St. Louis has trended over lately. I’ll just skip this game completely from a betting standpoint.
Blackhawks vs. Sabres (8:30)
My Sabres played yet another very entertaining game last night, ending up losing 5-4 in overtime against the Rangers in MSG (cashed my Sabres +1.5 puck line though!) in their fifth straight game to need more than sixth minutes to decide. Buffalo’s playing their best hockey of the season right now, with a 5-1-2 record in their last eight games, but they’re still only 23-33-10 on the season…not great. The Sabres are allowing an average of 3.49 goals per game, seventh most in the NHL. They’re scoring an average of 2.65 goals per game on the season, tied with Chicago for seventh fewest in the NHL. Recently they’ve been able to score though, averaging 3.5 goals per game in their last four. The Blackhawks are coming off a very entertaining overtime loss as well, losing 5-4 in overtime in Vegas on Saturday afternoon in a game that they blew a 3-0 lead. They’ve been horrible this season with a 24-32-10 record. On the season they’ve averaged 2.65 goals per game, tied for seventh most in the NHL with the Sabres, but they’ve been able to score as of late too, scoring four goals in each of their last four games. On the season, they have allowed an average of 3.44 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL. A lot of that was with Marc Andre Fleury between the pipes and since he got traded last Monday at the deadline to Minnesota, I’d expect the Blackhawks to bleed away more goals as the season continues. Tonight they’ll be starting Kevin Lankinen in net, who hasn’t been good at all, with a 3.5 GAA and .889 save percentage. This has the potential to be another very entertaining game between two teams that both aren’t very good. I’d slightly lean the Sabres on the road here but there isn’t enough value for me to bet them on the ML at just +140 on the second half of a back to back. I do like the puck line though at +1.5 for less than -200 and will take it for a half unit along with the alternate over 5.5 for half a unit (I’d also be comfortable taking the 6, but at -139 I like the 5.5 better to need one less goal to win).
Oilers vs. Coyotes (9:30)
Last night the Yotes grinded out a low scoring game in Winnipeg, ultimately losing 2-1 in overtime (I also lost my bet on that game with the Jets in regulation) for their fifth straight loss. Prior to their five game losing streak, the Coyotes were playing solid hockey going on a stretch of winning six of seven games. Statistically they’ve been a terrible team on both ends of the ice this season. They’ve allowed an average of 3.44 goals per game, sixth most in the NHL and they’ve only scored an average of 2.55 goals per game, second fewest in the NHL, only better than the Habs. The Oilers are coming off an embarrassing 9-5 loss in the final Battle of Alberta of the regular season in Calgary on Saturday night. They are 36-25-5 and have just one win in their last four games but a decent 6-2-1 record in their last nine games. Edmonton doesn’t have a ton of depth offensively, but Connor McDavid (97 points, 62 assists) and Leon Draisaitl (94 points, 47 goals) are so fucking good that the Oilers as a team have scored the seventh most goals in hockey, an average of 3.39 goals per game. They haven’t been good on the back end though, allowing a tenth most in the NHL average of 3.26 goals per game. Both times these teams played previously this season in Arizona the Oilers won, with a 5-1 win on October 21st and a 5-3 win on November 24th. Especially with the Coyotes on the second half of a back to back on the road, the Oilers should sweep Arizona on the season tonight. They’re not by any means worth betting on at -420. No team’s worth that price in any matchup, especially not a team like the Oilers that can be so inconsistent at times. Even the regulation line is too expensive to me at -250. I don’t even like the juiced up -143 price on the Oilers TT over 4. If it was 3.5 at a price under -200, I’d be all over that but I’d rather just lay off that. They should win pretty easily at home and I feel like I have to get some action on this game but the prices make it tough, so I’ll go with a half unit on Edmonton on the puck line. I’d lean the over in this game as well, expecting the Coyotes to score a couple as well, but not enough to bet on it.
Kings vs. Kraken (10:30)
These two teams just played two nights ago on Saturday where the Kings got their second win against the Kraken this season, winning 4-2 at home (easy win for me) after their 3-1 win in Seattle on January 15th. The Kings are a solid team in the weak Pacific Division this season with a 36-22-9 record. Their defense has been quite good, allowing an average of just 2.72 goals per game, seventh fewest in the NHL. They haven’t been great offensively though, scoring an average of 2.84 goals per game. Seattle has had a pretty terrible inaugural season at 20-39-6 and they were big sellers at the deadline, trading away a lot of assets for draft picks. They have three wins in their last five games but only four wins in their last 17 games. The Kraken have been a bottom five team in the NHL on both ends of the ice. They’ve only been able to score an average of 2.58 goals per game, third least in the NHL and they’ve allowed an average of 3.55 goals per game, fifth most in the NHL. Not great. I’d expect the Kings to win this game again tonight at home and will take them in regulation for a unit.
.5u Sabres/Blackhawks over 5.5 (-139)
.5u Sabres +1.5 (-177)
.5u Oilers -1.5 (-157)
1u Kings in regulation (-143)
Record: 606-462-23 (-11.4 units)