Really good bounce back night for me on the NHL, going 8-3 to win 4.77 (not including another two live bets that won me over a unit to add to that). Tonight we have a quick five game slate with no late games. Let’s win again!!
Lightning vs. Bruins (7:00)
This is a solid game between these two Atlantic Division teams who are tied with 93 points for third place in the Atlantic and the first Wild Card spot in the East. The 44-21-5 Bruins are coming off a surprising 5-3 loss in Detroit on Tuesday but they’re playing great hockey right now on a 17-4-1 stretch in their last 22 games. They have been great defensively, allowing just an average of 2.69 goals per game, sixth fewest in the NHL. The B’s have averaged 3.16 goals per game on the season, 13th most in the NHL but recently they’ve been able to score without much issue, scoring an average of 4.83 goals per game in their last six games. The Bolts coming off a 4-3 loss in a fun game in Washington on Wednesday that was their third straight loss to drop to 43-20-7 on the season. Tampa has been good on both ends of the ice this season. They’re wavering 3.3 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL and they’ve allowed just an average of 2.81 goals per game, tenth fewest in the NHL. These teams have played three times already this season with a 3-2 Lightning win in overtime in Boston on December 4th, a 5-2 Bruins win in Tampa on January 8th and a 3-2 Bruins win on March 24th. I’d slightly lean the Bruins win this game on the road tonight but not enough to bet on it. I do like this to be a low scoring grind though and I will take the under 6 for half a unit.
Panthers vs. Sabres (7:00)
The Sabres gave played awesome hockey lately, especially considering that this has been another shitty season of missing the playoffs. They’re playing easily their best stretch of hockey of the season, staying in entertaining games against much better teams with an 8-3-3 record in their last 14 games but are coming off a 5-3 loss in Carolina last night. They’re 26-35-11 on the season but they’re showing good signs for the future with their play lately. The Sabres have struggled this season on both ends of the ice. They’ve averaged only 2.74 goals per game, eighth fewest in the NHL but they have scored 3.67 goals per game in their last nine games. Defensively they’ve been pretty lousy all season, allowing an average of 3.5 goals per game, sixth most in the NHL. Florida’s one of the best teams in the NHL this year. They’re 49-15-6 to lead the Eastern Conference and they were the first team to clinch a spot in the playoffs this season. They have a 29-6 record at home and are coming off a huge comeback win against the Leafs where they came back from down 5-1 to win 7-6 in overtime on Tuesday, they’re on a five game win streak with eight wins in their last nine games. The Panthers have the highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 4.16 goals per game and they’ve allowed an average of 2.94 goals per game, 14th fewest in the league. Florida is 3-0 this season against the Sabres, with a 7-4 win at home on December 2nd, a 6-1 blowout in Buffalo on March 7th and then just five days ago in Buffalo on April 3rd, they got a 5-3 win after the Sabres took two penalties in the last three minutes of the game. I think Florida wins this game to sweep the Sabres on the season, but the odds on this game are fucked with the -435 moneyline. Even the regulation line isn’t worth betting here to me at -265 or on the -182 puck line. I’ll get a little bit fancy on this game with half a unit on the Sabres +2.5. I do like the over a lot though and I’ll go with the over for a unit.
Hurricanes vs. Islanders (7:00)
Last night the Carolina Hurricanes came back from down 3-1 at home to my Buffalo Sabres to beat them 5-3. The Canes lead the Metropolitan Division with a 46-17-8 record, two points ahead of the Rangers but they haven’t played great lately with just five wins in their last 13 games. Carolina leads the league defensively, allowing the fewest goals in the NHL, an average of just 2.38 goals per game. Fredereik Andersen’s been awesome this year with a 2.07 GAA and .926 save percentage. Their offense has been very good as well, averaging 3.32 goals per game, eighth most in the NHL. The Islanders are coming off a 3-2 loss in Dallas on Tuesday night but they’ve been playing great lately with eleven wins in their last 16 games. Too bad its likely way too late for them to get hot after their lousy run to start the season, as they’re likely out of the playoffs with a 32-28-9 record on the season. The Isles have been great defensively this season, allowing an average of 2.65 goals per game, fourth fewest in the NHL. Ilya Sorokin is confirmed in goal tonight for the first time since March 27th, coming off injury. Sorokin’s been awesome in between the pipes this year with a 2.3 GAA and .927 save percentatge with six shutouts on the year. The issue with the Islanders has been the offense and they’ve only scored an average of 2.77 goals per game, tenth fewest in the NHL. Lately they’ve lit the lamp a decent amount though, averaging 3.7 goals per game in their last five games. The first time these teams met this season in Carolina on October 14th in the first week of the season, the Canes won an easy 6-3 game. I’d expect, especially with Carolina on the second half of a back to back, this game ends up being closer tonight. The Isles have been playing great hockey and although I’d lean the Canes win, don’t think its worth betting. I do expect this to be a defensive grind though and I’ll take the under for a unit.
Blues vs. Wild (8:00)
This will likely be a preview of the first round playoff matchup coming out of the Central Division. The Wild are coming off a 6-2 blowout loss in Nashville on Tuesday night but they’ve played phenomenally lately. With a 9-1-1 record in their last eleven games, they’ve improved to 43-21-5 on the season, currently sitting in second place in the Central, a point ahead of the Blues. The Wild have been incredible offensively, averaging 3.61 goals per game, fourth most in the NHL. They’ve had their struggles on the back end at times this season, as they’ve allowed an average of 3.06 goals per game. Recently they’ve shored that up a ton though and it hasn’t been an issue at all and in their last eleven games they’ve allowed an average of just two goals per game, only allowing more than two goals in one of those last eleven (that 6-2 loss against the Preds on Tuesday. After a lousy stretch of hockey for a while, the Blues have since figured out their problems with a 5-0-1 record in their last six games to improve to 40-20-10 on the year. They’re now just a point behind Minnesota with tonight’s game possibly determining home ice in that first round playoff series. The Blues are just behind the Wild on offense, averaging 3.6 goals per game, fifth most in the NHL. They’ve been good defensively too, allowing an average of 3.86 goals per game, eleventh fewest in the NHL. Ville Husso, who’s confirmed in goal tonight went from being a complete liability last year every time he backed up Binnington to being a solid starter this year with a 2.36 GAA and .924 save percentage. The first time these teams played this year in Minny for the Winter Classic, outdoors on New Year’s Day, the Blues won 6-4. I’d lean the Wild win this game and would lean the over as well, but not enough to bet on either of them. So while I will most likely tune into this one, I won’t be betting on it at all.
Jets vs. Avalanche (8:00)
The Avs are in the standings the best team in the NHL with a 50-14-6 record, coming into tonight’s game on a four game win streak off back to back wins against the Penguins on a home and home on Tuesday and Saturday. In their last eleven games they have a 9-1-1 record. Colorado’s offense is awesome, averaging 3.79 goals per game, third most in the NHL and they’ve much improved defensively as well, allowing an average of 2.74 goals per game, seventh fewest in the league. The Jets have been very inconsistent and come into tonight’s game on a three game losing streak with a 33-28-10 record. Before that losing streak, they were playing some decent hockey with a 9-3 record in their previous twelve games. They’ve played boring hockey all season, averaging 3 goals per game and allowing an average of 3.04 goals per game. The Avalanche have scored with ease in both games they played earlier this year at home against the Jets, with a 7-1 win on January 6th and a 6-3 win on February 25th. They should win again pretty easily on the road tonight. I’ll go with a unit each on the Avs ML and Avs TT over 3.5 here. I’d lean the over, but not enough to bet on it.
.5u Lightning/Bruins under 6 (-120)
.5u Sabres +2.5 (-107)
1u Sabres/Panthers over 7 (-103)
1u Hurricanes/Islanders under 5.5 (-106)
1u Avalanche ML (-180)
1u Avalanche TT over 3.5 (-115)
Record: 683-502-27 (+12.09 units)