Ended up pretty much breaking even yesterday on the NHL, going 5-5 to lose 0.37 units. Tonight going up against the NCAA National Championship we just have a quick four game hockey slate.
Blue Jackets vs. Bruins (7:00)
This game is the second half of a home and home between these teams, who are on completely different trajectories, coming off 5-2 Bruins win at home on Saturday and now these teams head to Columbus for their third and final matchup of the year. The other previous game these teams playing in Columbus on March 5th, the Jackets forced overtime with just three seconds left in regulation before the Bruins won 5-4 in a shootout. The Bruins are playing great hockey as of late and they’re one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now, coming into tonight’s game with a 16-3-1 record in their last 20 games to improve to 43-20-5 on the season. They’re comfortably in the first Wild Card spot in the East, just two points out from the Leafs and Lightning (who plays each other tonight) who are tied for second in the Atlantic. The B’s have been one of the best defensive teams in hockey this season, allowing an average of 2.66 goals per game, sixth fewest in the NHL. They’ve scored an average of 3.16 goals per game. The Blue Jackets on the other hand are terrible lately, coming into today’s game on a six game losing streak with a 32-32-5 record on the season. They’re averaging 3.17 goals per game but they’ve allowed the third most goals in the NHL, an average of 3.74 goals per game. The Bruins should sweep the Jackets on the season with a win here on the road tonight. I’ll go with a unit on each on the Bruins in regulation, Bruins TT over and the over.
Lightning vs. Maple Leafs (7:30)
These two teams are currently tied for second place in the Atlantic Division and they’re both pretty much locked into the playoffs. The Lightning are 43-18-7 and are coming off a surprising 5-4 shootout loss to the Canadiens on Saturday night that ended their four game win streak. They’ve been good on both ends of the ice, averaging 3.32 goals per game, eighth most in the NHL and they’re allowing an average of 2.75 goals per game, eighth fewest in the NHL. With Brian Elliot starting for the Bolts against the Habs on Saturday, Andrei Vasilevskiy, one of the best goalies in the league with a 2.37 GAA and .919 GAA is expected to start tonight. The Leafs are on a solid four game win streak with a 7-2 record in their last nine games to improve to 44-19-5 on the year. They’ve been one of the best offensive teams in hockey, averaging 3.76 goals per game, second most in the NHL. What they’ve lacked in is keeping pucks out of their own net which I expect to be their demise in the playoffs. Since January 1st, Toronto has seen the worst goaltending in the NHL and on the season they have allowed an average of 3.03 goals per game. Jack Campbell’s back in goal tonight after his 6-3 win against Philly on Saturday when he returned from injury. These teams split their two previous games this season in Toronto with a 2-1 overtime win for the Leafs on November 4th and a 5-3 win for the Bolts on December 9th. I like Tampa to win this one at home tonight in what could likely be a preview of the first round playoff matchup where I’d expect the Leafs to get bounced in probably five games. I’ll take the Lightning for a unit. I like the over as well, which I’ll take for half a unit.
Blues vs. Coyotes (8:00)
After going on a pretty lousy run with only three wins in a span of twelve games, the Blues have since gone 3-0-1 in their last four games, coming off a huge 6-4 win in Calgary on Saturday night (split that game with a win on the over and a loss on the Flames in regulation). On the season, St. Louis has been pretty good at 38-20-10 and they’re currently in third place in the Central. They’ve been good on both ends of the ice, averaging 3.57 goals per game, fifth most in the NHL and they’ve allowed an average of 2.91 goals per game. Although he hasn’t been great lately, Ville Husso has solidified him as a decent, starting caliber goaltender in the NHL with a 2.45 GAA and .922 save percentage. The Coyotes have been one of the worst teams in the NHL this season with a 22-42-5 record. They bounced back from a 5-0 shutout loss at home to Anaheim on Thursday with a 3-2 win in Chicago last night and have two wins in their last three games. They’ve been very bad on both ends of the ice and all of their key players are pretty much all out injured. The Yotes are tied with the Habs for the lowest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging just 2.54 goals per game and they’ve allowed a fifth most in the NHL average of 3.55 goals per game. Ivan Prosvetov will make his third start in goal this season tonight. He’s sucked in his first two games with a 3.84 GAA and .893 save percentage. These teams split their two previous games this season with the road team winning each game, a 7-4 Blues win on October 18th and a 3-2 Coyotes win on November 16th. The Blues should easily win this game tonight at home and the price reflects it with the ridiculous -435 moneyline. I’ll go with a unit on the Blues TT over 3.5 in regulation only and half a unit on the over 6 in this game.
Kings vs. Flames (10:30)
Calgary’s one of the best teams in the West this season, leading the Pacific Division with a 40-19-9 record but they come into tonight’s game on a three game losing streak after losing 6-4 at home to the Blues on Saturday night (split that one, hitting the over and losing on the Flames in reg). They’ve allowed the second fewest goals in hockey, an average of just 2.5 goals per game and Jacob Markstrom, who’s likely to start in goal tonight has been one of the best goalies in the NHL with a 2.19 GAA, .924 save percentage and 9 shutouts on the season. Their offense has been good too, scoring a seventh most in the NHL average of 3.47 goals per game. The Kings are right behind them, three points back and currently in second place in the weak Pacific Division with a 38-23-10 record with the Oilers right behind them just a point back. They’re coming off back to back 3-2 wins on the road. LA’s been good defensively this year, allowing an average of 2.75 goals per game, eighth fewest in the NHL. They’ve struggled offensively though, averaging just 2.8 goals per game, twelfth fewest in the NHL. Both games these teams played this season ended with a 3-2 score with the road team winning each game. The Flames won on December 2nd and the Kings won in a shootout just last Thursday. I like Calgary to win this one on the road and I’ll take them for half a unit along with the under for half a unit. I’ll also take a small .2 unit shot on the exact score of this to end 3-2 Calgary.
1u Bruins in regulation (-139)
1u Bruins TT over 3.5 (-143)
1u Bruins/Blue Jackets over 6.5 (-112)
1u Lightning ML (-132)
.5u Lightning/Maple Leafs over 6.5 (-105)
1u Blues TT over 3.5 in regulation (-172)
.5u Blues/Coyotes over 6 (-130)
.5u Flames ML (-170)
.5u Flames/Kings under 6 (-118)
.2u Exact score: Flames 3-2 (+1200)
Record: 661-481-26 (+11.61 units)
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