For a small slate last night, we got some solid hockey to watch. My Sabres, who have been one of the most fun teams in hockey to watch lately (win or lose) pulled off an electric comeback, scoring five unanswered from down 4-0 to win 5-4 with just ten seconds remaining in regulation off a crazy goal with Tage Thompson breaking his stick on a shot that ended up going off the end boards, off Blackhawks goaltender Kevin Lankinen’s skate and into the net. Then the Oilers got an easy 6-1 win at home against the Coyotes to cover the puck line with no sweat. The Kings ended up fucking me to close out the night though since they were my bigger bet (and I got a lousier price on them last night vs. before face off, somehow got reverse line movement on that one) as they lost 6-1 at home to the Kraken. Either way, I ended up going 3-1, for a tiny profit on 0.07 units. A small win’s better than a loss so I’ll take it. Tonight we have a pretty good nine game slate. Let’s get some wins!
Bruins vs. Maple Leafs (7:00)
This is likely going to be a heated game between these two teams tied with a 41-19-5 record for the third playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. The Leafs got a big 5-2 win against the Panthers (double loser for me) on Sunday, bouncing back from a 4-2 loss in Montreal on Saturday. Toronto has been a pretty inconsistent team, especially lately with a 6-5-1 record in their last twelve games because they have a great offense and horrible defense and goaltending. The Leafs are averaging 3.65 goals per game, third most in the NHL but they’re allowing an average of 3.02 goals per game. Toronto’s had statistically the worst goaltending in the NHL since January 1st this year. Tonight they’ll be likely starting Petr Mrazek in goal. He’s coming off that big win against Florida where he made 34 saves on 36 shots from the best offense in hockey but he’s sucked this season with a 3.31 GAA and .890 save percentage. The Bruins have played great hockey lately on a four game win streak, coming off a dominant 6-3 win against the Islanders on Saturday afternoon (my under never stood a chance on that one) and they have a 14-2-1 record in their last 17 games. Pretty great form heading into the last month of the regular season. The B’s are scoring an average of 3.05 goals per game and they’ve been very good on the back end, allowing an average of just 2.65 goals per game, fifth fewest in the NHL. When these teams played the first time this season on November 6th in Toronto, the Leafs won 5-2. I’d expect the Bruins to answer back with a win tonight and lock down the Leafs offense, while being able to score on Mrazek. I’ll tread a little lighter on this game and go with half a unit on the B’s.
Lightning vs. Hurricanes (7:00)
Last night the Hurricanes hit the Caps with a Level 5 hurricane (get it? lol) with a 6-1 blowout win on the road in Washington for their second straight beat down after winning 7-2 in St. Louis on Saturday. Carolina’s a very good team this season with a 44-15-7 record and they’re leading the Metro Division. They have have the best defense in the NHL and are allowing the fewest goals in hockey, an average of 2.35 goals per game. They’ve been very good offensively too, averaging 3.35 goals per game, eighth most in the NHL. The Lightning are an awesome team too this season and they have a realistic chance at winning their third straight Stanley Cup. They are 41-18-6 and coming off back to back road wins as well against the Isles and Red Wings. Tampa’s also very good on both ends of the ice, scoring an average of 3.28 goals per game, tenth most in the NHL and allowing an average of 2.74 goals per game, seventh fewest in the league. Andrea Vasilevskiy’s projected to start tonight and he’s been one of the best goalies in the NHL with a 2.36 GAA and .920 save percentage. The Canes won times these teams played earlier this season with a 2-1 overtime win on November 9th in Tampa and a 3-2 win at home a week ago on March 22nd. I’d slightly lean Tampa at home with Carolina on the second half of a back to back on the road tonight but not enough to bet on it. I’d also lean the under, but not enough to bet on, so I’ll skip this game completely.
Panthers vs. Canadiens (7:00)
Florida came up way short on Sunday and gave me a big double loser on Sunday in their 5-2 loss in Toronto, which ended the Panthers’ three game win streak. This is a very good team with a 9-1-2 record in their last twelve games. They lead the Atlantic with a 44-15-6 record and they are 26-6 at home this season. Florida has the top scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 4.02 goals per game and they’ve allowed an average of 2.88 goals per game. The Habs on the other hand are the worst team in the NHL standings with an 18-37-11 record and just one win in their last four games. They have played their best hockey of the season in the last month and a half though since hiring Marty St. Louis as their head coach with a 10-4-4 record in their last 18 games. On the year, Montreal is tied with Arizona for the lowest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 2.53 goals per game and they’ve allowed the second most goals in hockey, an average of 3.71 goals per game. As you’d expect, Florida’s won both previous matchups this season against the Habs with a 5-2 win at home on New Years Day and a 4-3 win in Montreal just five days ago on March 24th. I’d expect them to easily win again at home tonight. I’m not even considering betting the -400 moneyline on this game and even the -240 regulation line is expensive. I’ll go with a unit on Florida TT over 4 and half a unit on the over on this game.
Penguins vs. Rangers (7:00)
This should be a fun game between two of the best defensive teams in the NHL, both allowing a third fewest in the NHL average of 2.58 goals per game. The Penguins put up the biggest fucking shit pumping of the regular season on Sunday night, beating the Red Wings 11-2. ELEVEN fucking goals in a game. The Pens are very good at 40-17-10 with a 9-3-2 record in their last 14 games. They’re scoring an average of 3.31 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL. Tristan Jarry’s been great in goal for them this season with a 2.31 GAA and .922 save percentage. The Rangers are playing great lately as well. They are 42-19-5, coming off a 5-4 overtime win against the Sabres on Sunday for their fourth win in their last five games. Georgiev got the start in that game against Buffalo (double winner for me on the over and the Sabres +1.5) so Igor Shesterkin, this year’s guaranteed Vezina winner’s confirmed in goal tonight. Shesterkin’s the best goaltender in the NHL this season with a 2.11 GAA and .936 save percentage. The Rangers are averaging 3.02 goals per game and have scored at least four goals in their last three games. These teams have played twice this season with very different results in both of those games. The Penguins won 1-0 at home on February 26th and then the Rangers answered back at home four days ago on March 25th with a dominant 5-1 win. This should be another goaltending battle here between Jarry and Shesterkin and I like it to stay low scoring. I’ll go back to the under in this matchup and take the under 6 for a unit (which pushed for me Friday night). I’d lean the Pens win this one at home but not enough to bet on it.
Blue Jackets vs. Islanders (7:00)
The Isles are coming into this game off back to back losses against Tampa (win for me) and the Bruins (loss for me on the under). They’ve played well lately with a 7-3-1 record in their last eleven games to move to 28-27-9 on the season. The playoffs are pretty much all set in the East though, so their horribly disappointing start to the season put them in too big of a hole to get out of at this point. The main problem they’ve had is scoring goals as they’ve averaged only 2.7 goals per game, eighth fewest in the NHL. They’ve been good on the back end, allowing an average of just 2.69 goals per game, sixth fewest in the NHL. Semyon Varlamov’s projected to start in goal tonight and he’s been the clear backup for the Islanders behind Sorokin with a 2.87 GAA and .913 save percentage. The Blue Jackets have been pretty much playing the opposite, good offensively but terrible defensively. They’ve been very inconsistent with a 32-29-5 record, coming into tonight’s game on a three game losing streak with just one win in their last five games and just four wins in their last 15 games. Columbus has scored an average of 3.21 goals per game on the season but they’ve allowed the third most goals in the NHL, an average of 3.7 goes per game. Elvis Merzlikins has a 3.39 GAA and .903 save percentage. Not great and his defense in front of him has been horrible. In the two games between these teams this season, the home team got the win with a 3-2 overtime win for the Blue Jackets on October 21st and a 6-0 shutout win for the Isles on March 10th. I’d lean the Islanders win this one tonight on the road but I don’t really think its worth betting on. I’d also lean the over but not enough to bet on at 6 goals.
Predators vs. Senators (8:00)
The Preds got me a great win on Sunday night as they came back from down 3-1 to beat the Flyers 5-4 with Tanner Jeannot scoring the game winner with just 1:19 remaining in the third period, to hit my regulation bet on them. Nashville’s been good this season with a 38-24-4 record currently sitting in the first Wild Card seed in the West, just a point out from the Blues for third place in the Central. They have an 8-4 record in their last twelve games, playing pretty well on both ends of the ice. The Preds offense is averaging 3.26 goals per game, eleventh most in the NHL and they’ve allowed an average of 2.91 goals per game. Juuse Saros is one of the top goalies in the NHL and has a 2.58 GAA and .920 save percentage, but hasn’t been great lately, giving up and average of 4 goals per game in his last five starts. Ottawa’s been horrible lately with just four wins in their last 15 games, coming off a 4-3 shootout loss (that I split my bets on) against Florida on Sunday to drop to 23-36-6 on the season. They’ve scored just a fourth fewest in the NHL average of 2.6 goals per game and have allowed an average of 3.25 goals per game, tenth most in the NHL. The Sens are a terrible team and the Predators should beat them pretty easily tonight in Smashville. I’ll go with a unit on the Preds in regulation and a half unit each on the Preds TT over and the over.
Wild vs. Flyers (8:00)
The Minnesota Wild are on a warpath, coming off a 3-2 overtime win against the Avs on Sunday (double loser for me on Colorado and the over) for their sixth straight win and third straight 3-2 win in overtime (two previous against Columbus and Vancouver). They’re 40-20-4 on the season with an 8-1-1 record in their last ten games. Minnesota has the fourth highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.63 goals per game. On the season they’ve allowed an average of 3.09 goals per game but they’ve locked it down on the back end recently in their last six, allowing an average of just 1.5 goals per game in that span. Marc Andre Fleury is confirmed in goal tonight for his second start on the Wild after his 3-2 overtime win over the Blue Jackets in his debut. On the season, the reigning Vezina winner has a 2.93 GAA and a .908 save percentage with four shutouts…which is very good considering the fact that he had an almost non-existent defense in front of him in Chicago for most of the season before getting traded over at the deadline. The Flyers on the other hand are a horrible team. They’re 21-34-11 with just three wins in their last ten games. They’ve only averaged 2.59 goals per game, third fewest in the NHL and allowing an average of 3.47 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL. When these teams played earlier this month on March 3rd in Philly, the Wild won 5-4 in a tight back and forth game. I’d assume the win comes much easier for them tonight. The price on this game is too expensive at -315 to bet on straight so I’ll take a bit of a risk here considering that all of the last three wins for the Wild came in OT but I’ll take the Wild in regulation for a unit.
Flames vs. Avalanche (9:00)
These are easily the two best teams in the West and tonight’s game could be a preview of the Western Conference Finals this season between the Central leading Avalanche and the Pacific leading Flames. The Avs are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss in Minnesota on Sunday (double loser for me) for their second loss in their last three games. Colorado’s pretty much got first place in the Central locked up with a 46-14-6 record. They have the second highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.79 goals per game and they’ve allowed an eighth fewest in the NHL average of 2.77 goals per game. They might struggle a bit though as they are now without Nathan MacKinnon,
now out of the lineup with a hand injury…likely from his fight with Matt Dumba on Sunday to go along with Gabriel Landeskog, Sam Girard, Bowen Byram and Ryan Murray who were all already out. Lot of key guys out of that lineup. Tonight they visit the Pacific leading Calgary Flames, who are 40-17-8 on the season with an impressive 20-4-2 record in their last 26 games. They are coming off an impressive 9-5 win in the regular season finale of the Battle of Alberta at home against the Oilers. The Flames have allowed the second fewest goals in hockey, an average of just 2.46 goals per game and Jacob Markstrom’s been one of the best goalies in the NHL this season with a 2.16 GAA, .925 save percentage and 9 shutouts. Calgary’s been great offensively too, averaging 3.52 goals per game, fifth most in the NHL. In what might be a previous of the Western Conference Finals this season, these teams have played twice this season, both in the past month in Colorado and split those games. In what was likely one of the most entertaining games of the season, the Flames won 4-3 in overtime on March 5th and then the Avs answered back a week later on a March 13th with a 3-0 shutout win. I think the Flames get a win tonight at home, especially with the Nate Dogg out now and will take them for a unit along with half a unit on the alternate under 6.5.
Ducks vs. Stars (10:00)
The Ducks have been horrible lately, a big drop off from their surprisingly hot start to the season. They come into tonight’s game on a nine game losing streak, falling to 27-29-11 on the season off a 4-1 loss in San Jose on Saturday. Anaheim has scored an average of just 2.76 goals per game, tenth fewest in the NHL and they’ve given up the twelfth most goals in hockey, an average of 3.18 goals per game. The Stars are coming off a 4-1 loss at home to the Canucks on Saturday night but they’re having a decent season at 36-25-3 with four wins in their last six games. They’re currently sitting a point outside of the Golden Knights with four games in hand for the final Wild Card spot in the tight Western Conference playoff race, so every point matters. Dallas has averaged 2.89 goals per game and allowed an average of 2.97 goals per game. The Stars haven’t been great on the road where they only have a 15-16-2 record but they should be able to get a bounce back win in Anaheim tonight and I’ll take them for a unit here to cap off the night. I’d lean the under, but not enough to bet on it.
.5u Bruins ML (-143)
1u Florida TT over 4 (-150)
.5u Florida/Montreal over 6.5 (-118)
1u Penguins/Rangers under 6 (-130)
1u Predators in regulation (-129)
.5u Predators TT over 3.5 (-117)
.5u Predators/Senators over 6 (-110)
1u Wild in regulation (-195)
1u Flames ML (-145)
.5u Flames/Avalanche under 6.5 (-136)
1u Dallas ML (-167)
Record: 609-463-23 (-11.47 units)
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