Had a few bad beats yesterday, like the Avs coming a second or two too late on a buzzer beater and I ended up going 10-10 to lose 2.46 units. After that huge twelve game slate yesterday, we have just two games tonight before another gigantic 14 game slate tomorrow. Whoever runs the NHL scheduling department should be fired immediately.
Canadiens vs. Islanders (7:00)
Tonight goaltender Carey Price who shocked the hockey world taking the Habs for a hell of a run all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals last season will make his return tonight from a long leave of absence to prioritize his personal health with his first start in 283 days tonight. Last season Price had a 2.64 GAA and .901 save percentage in the regular season and was incredible in the playoffs with a 2.28 GAA and .924 save percentage. His impact on this team was huge as they rode that play all the way to the Cup Finals and then without him (and several other key players) they’ve tanked down the worst team in the NHL this season with a 20-43-11 record. Montreal comes into tonight’s game on a three game losing streak after getting blown out 5-1 in Columbus on Wednesday night and they only have five wins in their last 18 games. They’ve allowed the most goals in the NHL this season, an average of 3.81 goals per game and they’ve had horrible goaltending so who knows how much Price impacts that after such a long layoff. The Canadiens offense is bad too, averaging just 2.57 goals per game, fourth fewest in the NHL. The Isles are coming off a 6-3 loss in Pittsburgh last night (loss on the under for me with four goals in the last three minutes of the game) but they’ve played good hockey lately with a 13-6-1 record in their last 20 games. Their lousy start to the season though pretty much eliminated them from the playoffs though as they’re still 15 points behind the Capitals for the second Wild Card spot with a 34-30-9 record. The Islanders have been very good defensively this season, allowing an average of only 2.74 goals per game, seventh fewest in the NHL. They have struggled offensively at times though, scoring an average of just 2.75 goals per game, ninth fewest in the NHL. They’ve scored a good amount lately though, averaging 3.28 goals per game in their last nine games. These teams split their two previous games this season with a 6-2 Islanders win in Montreal on November 4th and a 3-2 shootout win for the Habs on Long Island on February 20th. Obviously the Islanders are the better team in this game, but with them on the second half of a road back to back and the Canadiens having the added emotion of Carey Price returning at home tonight, I don’t think there’s any value in betting this game. I considered betting the Habs, Carey Price’s saves props and the under in this game, but I ultimately don’t think anything’s worth betting here so I’ll just lay off this game entirely.
Panthers vs. Jets (7:00)
Florida is one of the best teams in the NHL this season with a 42-15-6 record and a 31-6 record at home. They’re four points back from Colorado in the President’s Trophy race and come into tonight’s game on an eight game win streak after beating the Ducks 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday (double loser for me). The Panthers have the highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 4.14 goals per game. They’ve been good defensively as well, allowing an average of 2.9 goals per game, 13th fewest in the NHL. Sergei Bobrovsky, who’s confirmed in goal tonight has been good this season with a 2.7 GAA and .911 save percentage but recently has been a bit more shaky. The Jets are 35-28-11 and have been quite shaky this year. They’re coming off back to back wins on Tuesday (4-2) in Montreal and Monday (4-3) against Ottawa but before that were on a four game losing streak. They haven’t been great on either end of the ice, averaging 3.04 goals per game and allowing an average of 3.05 goals per game. On January 25th in Winnipeg, Florida won 5-3 the first time these cross conference teams played this season. I like Florida to win again here tonight at home. The ML is too expensive to me at -285 but I’ll go with a unit on the Panthers TT over 3.5 and half a unit each on the Panthers in regulation and the over.
1u Panthers TT over 3.5 (-185)
.5u Panthers in regulation (-165)
.5u Panthers/Jets over 6.5 (-120)
Record: 733-542-30 (+13.55 units)
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