Happy Easter!! I completely crushed yesterday’s huge 14 game slate for my best night of the NHL season, going 19-2 to win an amazing 14.66 units! For Easter Sunday today we have a decent six game slate for the holiday. Let’s crush this one again too!
Red Wings vs. Panthers (1:00)
Florida’s one of the best teams in the NHL with a 53-15-6 record and after blowing out the Jets 6-1 on Friday night, they’re on a nine game win streak with just one loss in their last 13 games and a 19-1-2 record in their last 22 games. They’re just four points with a game in hand behind the Avalanche in the race for the President’s Trophy for the best record in the NHL for the regular season. The Panthers have easily the highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging an impressive 4.16 goals per game. They’ve been good on the back end too, allowing an average of only 2.88 goals per game, 13th fewest in the NHL. The Red Wings have had a pretty lousy season and come into today’s game with a 29-36-10 record after getting shut out 4-0 by the Rangers yesterday. They’ve been horrible in the second half of the season with only five wins in their last 20 games. Detroit has been pretty terrible on both ends of the ice. They’re allowing an average of 3.77 goals per game, second most in the NHL and have only scored an average of 2.8 goals per game, eleventh fewest in the NHL. Florida won both games these teams played earlier this season with a 3-2 overtime win in Detroit on October 29th and a 6-2 blowout win at home on March 5th. I’d expect today’s game to go much like the latter with the Panthers likely getting an easy win. The moneyline on this game at -315 for Florida is way too expensive for me to bet on it, but I’m definitely getting in on some action on them here. I’ll go with a unit each on Florida in regulation and the Florida TT over 4. I looked at the Florida puck lines but even the -2.5 doesn’t have enough value here. I’d lean the game over 7 as well but not enough to bet on it and rely on Detroit to score a few.
Flyers vs. Sabres (5:00)
This game is the second half of a home and home on back to back nights for these teams after the Sabres won a fun 4-3 game in Buffalo last night where they came back from down 2-0 in the first period and today both teams head to Philly to run it back. The Sabres just have two wins in their last six games but even though that doesn’t show it they’ve been playing really good hockey lately, their best of the season with a lot of good signs from the young core of this team for the future and as a diehard Sabres fan its been a lot of fun to watch. In their last 19 games Buffalo is 10-6-3 to improve to a still abysmal 28-38-11 on the season. They’ve scored an average of only 2.74 goals per game on the year, eighth fewest in the NHL but they’ve averaged a decent 3.35 goals per game in their last 14 games. Their defense and goaltending has been pretty lousy, allowing an average of 3.53 goals per game, eighth most in the NHL. Even with how bad of a season the Sabres have had, the Flyers season has gone even worse. They’re on a four game losing streak now with only two wins in their last eleven games and have a 23-41-11 record on the season. Philly has been horrible on both ends of the ice this year, scoring the fourth fewest goals in hockey, an average of just 2.56 goals per game and allowing an average of 3.59 goals per game, sixth most in the NHL. After last night’s win the Sabres are 2-0 against Philly after getting a 6-3 win at home on January 22nd. I’d expect them to win it again and I’ll run it back with very similar bets I had on yesterday’s game between these teams. I’ll go with 1.5 units on the Sabres TT over 3 and a unit each on the Sabres ML and the over 6.
Predators vs. Blues (6:00)
Both these teams are coming off big wins yesterday. The Predators made me sweat out a 4-3 win against the Blackhawks (I went 2-1 on it). They’re 43-27-5 on the season with a 13-7-1 record in their last 21 games. The Preds are tied with the Stars in the two Wild Card spots in the tight Western Conference with a four point lead and a game in hand over the Golden Knights (although it seems like Vegas is chasing down the Kings for third in the Pacific more than a Wild Card spot). Nashville’s been pretty good on both ends of the ice. They’re scoring an average of 3.19 goals per game, twelfth most in the NHL and they’ve allowed a twelfth fewest in the NHL average of 2.87 goals per game. Juuse Saros has been very good this season with a 2.53 GAA and .921 save percentage and will get his second start in back to back days tonight. The Blues clinched their spot in the playoffs yesterday with their 6-5 overtime win against the Wild yesterday. They blew a 4-1 lead going into the third period and blew it but still ultimately got the win 56 seconds into overtime on a Brayden Schenn goal on a great move by Pavel Buchnevich behind the net. They’re in second place in the Central with a 45-20-10 record and come into today’s game on an 8 game win streak with a 10-0-1 record in their last eleven games. St. Louis has been very good on both ends of the ice. They have the fourth highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.71 goals per game and they’ve allowed an average of just 2.84 goals per game, tenth fewest in the NHL. Jordan Binnington will start today for the Blues and hasn’t been great this season in his backup role behind Husso, with a 3.14 GAA and .902 save percentage. The Blues are 2-1 against the Predators this season with a 4-3 overtime loss at home on November 11th, a 5-3 win at home on January 17th and a 7-4 win in Nashville on March 12th. I think the Blues keep their winning streak going with a win here today, especially with Saros starting two days in a row in goal for the Preds and will take them for a unit today. Along with that, I’d expect both teams to be able to score and will take the over 5.5 in this game for 1.5 units.
Wild vs. Sharks (6:00)
Yesterday the Wild crawled back from down 4-1 going into the third period to force overtime in St. Louis before eventually losing 6-5 in overtime. Minnesota’s 46-21-7 on the season and comfortably in third place in the Central Division, a point back from their likely first round opponent Blues, with a game in hand. The Wild have been fantastic in this closing stretch of the season with a 12-1-3 record in their last 16 games. They have scored an average of 3.66 goals per game, fifth most in the NHL. Defensively they’ve had issues at times this season and have allowed an average of 3.07 goals per game. In their last 16 games they have only allowed an average of 2.5 goals per game, much better than that season average. They’ll be starting the reigning Vezina winner Marc Andre Fleury today, who has been great since getting traded to the Wild from the Blackhawks at the deadline. The Sharks have been horrible. After last night’s 2-1 loss in Dallas, they’re on a nine game losing streak with just seven wins in their last 31 games to drop to 29-34-11 on the season. They have been abysmal on both ends of the ice. They’ve scored just the second fewest goals in hockey, an average of only 2.55 goals per game and they have allowed an average of 3.15 goals per game, twelfth most in the NHL. These teams split their previous games with the road teams winning both, a 4-1 Sharks win on November 16th in Minnesota and a 5-2 Wild win in San Jose on December 9th. I’d expect the Wild to blow out the Sharks today at home, but the -315 moneyline is way too expensive to bet on. I’ll take the Wild TT over 3.5 for 1.5 units and the Wild in regulation for a unit.
Maple Leafs vs. Islanders (7:30)
On Friday night the Islanders ruined Carey Price’s return with a 3-0 shutout win in Montreal. The Isles started the season way too lousy so even though they’ve been pretty good in the second half of the season with 14-6-1 record in their last 21 games they’re still just 35-30-9 on the season and will need a miracle to catch Washington who’s 15 points ahead of them with just eight games remaining for the Islanders. They’ve been really good defensively all season, allowing a fifth fewest in the NHL average of 2.7 goals per game. Ilya Sorokin’s had a great season between the pipes with a 2.29 GAA and .928 save percentage. They’ve struggled offensively this season, averaging only 2.76 goals per game, tenth fewest in the NHL but they’ve scored an average of 3.25 goals per game in their last ten games. The Leafs came back from down 3-1 in Ottawa last night to beat them 5-4 in an overtime thriller. Toronto already punched their ticket to the playoffs with a 49-20-6 record, in second place in the Atlantic Division. They’ve played really well lately with a 10-1-1 record in their last eleven games, with the regulation loss coming against my Sabres (love it). They have the third highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.85 goals per game. They’ve had their issues with goaltending and defense in the second half of the season, allowing an average of 3.09 goals per game on the year. Toronto won both games they played on Long Island earlier this season, winning 3-0 on November 21st and 3-1 on January 22nd. I’d lean the Leafs win this game at home tonight, even on the second half of a back to back, but wouldn’t bet on it. I’d also slightly lean the over, but not enough to bet on it at 6.5 with the way the Isles have played defensively and the way both previous games these teams played went.
Ducks vs. Blue Jackets (8:30)
What a lousy game to close out today’s slate. The Ducks are coming off back to back overtime losses in the state of Florida but they’ve been horrible in the second half of the season and have just two wins in their last 18 games to drop to 29-33-14 on the season. They’ve been pretty bad on both ends of the ice, scoring an average of just 2.75 goals per game, ninth fewest in the NHL and allowing an average of 3.21 goals per game, eleventh most in the NHL. The Blue Jackets are 35-34-6 and one of the most inconsistent teams in the NHL, coming off a 2-1 loss in a grind of a game in LA last night. They have three wins in their last five games but those were their only wins in their last twelve games. Their offense isn’t bad, averaging 3.16 goals per game 13th most in the NHL but they have one of the worst defenses in the NHL, allowing an average of 3.65 goals per game, fourth most in the NHL. They’ll be starting Jean-Francois Berube in goal today for the first time since February who has a 3.25 GAA and .924 save percentage in his four games this season. When these teams played in Columbus on December 9th, the Ducks won 2-1 in a shootout. I’d lean the Ducks win here again today at home, but no shot I’d bet on them with the way that they have played. I’d also lean the over, but not enough to bet on it.
1u Florida in regulation (-175)
1u Florida TT over 4 (-155)
1.5u Sabres TT over 3 (-136)
1u Sabres ML (-106)
1u Sabres/Flyers over 6 (-132)
1.5u Blues/Predators over 5.5 (-136)
1u Blues ML (-110)
1.5u Wild TT over 3.5 (-145)
1u Wild in regulation (-170)
Record: 745-544-30 (+30.21 units)