I went 6-5 on yesterday’s NHL slate, losing 3.3 units to end my incredible winning streak over the weekend. My picks were fine, just ran into bad luck with several bets losing by a goal and Vegas hit 3-4 pipes with Andrew Hammond standing on his head and hamburglaring us on that game. Onto tonight where we have another huge ten game slate. Let’s start a new win streak and crush these games.
Maple Leafs vs. Flyers (7:00)
The Maple Leafs have played great hockey going into this closing stretch of the season with an 11-1-1 record in their last 13 games, coming into tonight’s game on a three game win streak after beating the Isles 4-2 on Sunday evening. They’re in second place in the Atlantic with a 50-20-6 record. Toronto has the second highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.86 goals per game. They have had their struggles defensively and have gotten some of the worst goaltending in the NHL in the second half of the season and they’re allowing an average of 3.08 goals per game on the year. I think they get bounced in the first round of the playoffs because of that, but they keep winning despite of it, so it is what it is. They will be without their best player, Auston Matthews tonight who is out of the lineup with injury. The Flyers have played horrible this season with a 23-42-11 record. They’re coming into tonight’s game on a five game losing streak with only two wins in their last twelve games, off back to back losses in their home and home against my Sabres on Saturday and Sunday. Philly’s horrible on both ends of the ice. They’re scoring an average of only 2.57 goals per game, third fewest in the NHL and they’re allowing an average of 3.61 goals per game, sixth most in the NHL. Tonight the Flyers are starting Martin Jones in goal who has been pretty lousy this season with a 3.51 GAA and .898 save percentage. The Leafs won both games these teams played earlier this season in Philly with a 3-0 shutout win on November 10th and a 6-3 win on March 2nd. I’d expect them to sweep the Flyers with a win tonight at home, but no shot are they worth betting at -435. I like the over though and will take the over 6.5 in this game for a unit. Even though I typically don’t bet on the Leafs, I considered the team total on them but it’s not worth betting at 4.5.
Canadiens vs. Wild (7:00)
The Habs are one of the worst teams in the NHL and have a 20-45-11 record this season. They’re coming off an 8-4 blowout loss to the Capitals on Saturday and they’re on a five game losing streak with only five wins in their last twenty games. Montreal’s allowed the most goals in the NHL, an average of 3.86 goals per game. Tonight they’ll be starting Carey Price for the second time this season after he came back from a long leave of absence from the team after his return Friday against the Islanders where the Habs lost 3-0 and he just made 17 saves on 19 shots, posting a .895 save percentage. The Canadiens offense has sucked too, averaging just 2.55 goals per game, second fewest in the NHL. The Wild have been fantastic this season with a 47-21-7 record and have played awesome in this closing stretch of the regular season with a 13-1-3 record in their last 16 games. They’re a point back from their likely first round playoff opponent Blues and are pretty much just playing for home ice against them. Minnesota’s offense is fantastic, scoring an average of 3.68 goals per game, fifth most in the NHL. They’ve had struggles defensively and with their goaltending at points this season, allowing an average of 3.08 goals per game on the year. Lately they’ve been much better on the back end though, allowing an average of 2.59 goals per game in their last 17 games. In Minnesota on January 24th, the Wild blew out the Habs 8-2. I like them to win pretty easily again tonight. I’ll go with a unit on the Wild in regulation and a half unit each on the Wild TT over 3.5 and the over 6.5.
Lightning vs. Red Wings (7:00)
This is a pretty huge mismatch. The Lightning, who are 46-21-8 and in third place in the Atlantic Division are coming off back to back wins after beating the Jets 7-4 on Saturday, finishing the game with five unanswered goals. The back to back Cup champs haven’t played great lately though with just three wins in their last eight games. As expected, they’ve been good on both ends of the ice. The Bolts have scored an average of 3.31 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL and have allowed a 2.76 goals per game, eighth fewest in the NHL. Andrei Vasilevskiy’s back in goal tonight after getting pulled against the Ducks last Thursday for the first time in four years. Vasilevskiy’s one of the best goaltenders in the NHL and this season has a 2.46 GAA and .917 save percentage. The Red Wings are horrible and got blown out 6-1 by Florida on Easter Sunday (easy triple winner for me). They’re 29-37-10 this season and they have only have five wins in their last 21 games (just one win in their last five games). Detroit’s been horrible on both ends of the ice. They’re allowing the second scoring in the NHL, an average of 3.8 goals per game and they’re only averaging 2.78 goals per game themselves, tenth fewest in the NHL. Tampa’s 3-0 against the Red Wings this season but none of those games have been blowouts like you’d expect. Two of those games went to overtime in Detroit with a 7-6 Lightning win on October 14th and a 2-1 Lightning win on March 26th. The Bolts got it done in regulation on March 4th at home where they won 3-1 that was just as close with Stamkos scoring on the power play with just two seconds left in the game. I obviously like the Bolts to win this game but I definitely am not betting the -475 moneyline on this game and with two of the three games they played going to overtime, I don’t feel comfortable betting the -260 regulation line or even the team total on them tonight, so I’ll just stay off this game completely. I actually see some value in the Red Wings +2.5 based on the previous games they played against the Lightning this season but with how lousy they’ve played lately, it isn’t worth betting on. I’ll just stay off this game completely. I’d slightly lean the under.
Rangers vs. Jets (7:00)
The Rangers are playing fantastic hockey right now, coming into tonight’s game off two shutout wins in a row against Detroit and Philly and they have five wins in their six games. They’re 46-21-6 on the season with a 25-8-4 record at home in MSG and they’re only two points back with a game in hand on Carolina for first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Rags have averaged 3.04 goals per game, not great but recently they’ve been scoring, scoring an average of 3.75 goals per game in their last four games. They have been one of the best defensive teams in the NHL this season, allowing a second fewest in the NHL average of 2.47 goals per game. Igor Shesterkin’s league leading play in goal is a big reason for that and he’s pretty much guaranteed to win the Vezina with a 2.05 GAA, .935 save percentage and five shutouts this season. He’s projected to start in goal tonight against the Jets. Winnipeg got blown out 7-4 in Tampa on Saturday, giving up five unanswered goals to close out that game. They’re 35-30-11 and come into tonight’s game with just two wins in their last eight games. They’ve scored an average of 3.03 goals per game and have allowed an average of 3.15 goals per game. Not spectacular and pretty inconsistent on both ends of the ice. When these teams played in Winnipeg on March 6th, the Rangers won 4-1. I’d expect a similar result tonight in MSG and will take the Rangers in regulation for a unit. I would also lean the under but not enough to bet on it with how the Jets’ games keep flying over lately.
Islanders vs. Panthers (7:30)
The Islanders were officially eliminated from the playoffs with their 4-2 loss to the Leafs on Sunday night. The Isles are 35-31-9 on the season and had such a lousy start to the season to miss the postseason but they’ve played really well lately with a 14-7-1 record in their last 22 games. This team has been very good defensively all season, allowing an average of just 2.72 goals per game, sixth fewest in the NHL. Ilya Sorokin’s had a great season with a 2.31 GAA, .927 save percentage and seven shutouts. They have struggled offensively though, averaging just 2.75 goals per game on the year, eighth fewest in the NHL. They have been slightly better lately, scoring an average of 3.14 goals per game in their last eleven games. Florida’s on a fucking warpath. They lead the Eastern Conference with a 54-15-6 record and they’re only two points behind Colorado with a game in hand for their President’s Trophy race. They have the highest scoring offense in the NHL by a large margin, averaging 4.19 goals per game. They have been good defensively as well, allowing a twelfth fewest in the NHL average of 2.85 goals per game. The Panthers blew out the Islanders both games they played in Florida earlier this season with a 5-1 win on October 16th and a 6-1 win on November 16th. I’d expect another big win for them tonight. I’ll lay the juice on Florida for a unit along with a half unit shot at Florida -2.5 and a .2 unit fun bet on the -3.5.
Blues vs. Bruins (8:00)
This is a great matchup with the two teams who met in the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals when the Blues beat the Bruins in seven games to win the Cup. St. Louis is one of the hottest teams in hockey right now and after blowing out the Predators 8-3 in Nashville on Sunday night, they’re on a nine game win streak with an 11-0-1 record in their last twelve games. The Blues are 46-20-10 on the season and they’re a point ahead for home ice over their first round playoff opponent Wild in the Central Division. Their offense has been incredible, scoring the fourth most goals in the NHL, an average of 3.76 goals per game and they’ve averaged 6 goals per game in their last five games. They’ve been good defensively too, allowing an average of 2.84 goals per game, tenth fewest in the NHL. Ville Husso’s back in goal tonight and has a 2.44 GAA and .923 save percentage this season in his starting role. The Bruins clinched their spot in the playoffs with a 46-24-5 record and they’re currently in the first Wild Card spot in the East with a pretty tight race for playoff seeds. The B’s ended their only three game losing streak of the season with a 2-1 win they grinded out against Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon (winner for me to start the day). They’ve been great defensively, allowing a fourth fewest in the NHL average of 2.68 goals per game. Jeremy Swayman’s having a solid season with a 2.34 GAA, .917 save percentage and three shutouts. Boston’s scored an average of 3.08 goals per game on the season and they win on their defensive play in low scoring games. The first time these teams played this season in Boston last week on April 12th, the Blues won 4-2. I think the Blues stay hot and keep the win streak rolling at home tonight and will take the Blues ML for a unit. I’d slightly lean the over but not enough to bet on it.
Predators vs. Flames (8:00)
The Calgary Flames have been fantastic this season with a 47-20-9 record to lead the Pacific Division. I got a huge 5.65 unit win on them last night in Chicago as they won 5-2 with two empty net goals to cash everything. They’ve played great recently with seven wins in their last eight games. The Flames have allowed the third fewest goals in the NHL, an average of 2.49 goals per game. They have been able to score pretty well too, averaging 3.57 goals per game, sixth most in the NHL. The Preds are still hanging onto their playoff spot, tied with the Stars for the two Wild Card spots in the West with a 43-28-5 record. They just have two wins in their last six games coming off an 8-3 blowout loss at home to the Blues on Sunday. The Preds have been pretty good this season, averaging 3.18 goals per game, twelfth most in the NHL and they’ve allowed an average of 2.93 goals per game, 13th fewest in the NHL. Juuse Saros will get the start for the Preds tonight and as expected, he’s played at an All Star level this season with a 2.58 GAA, .920 save percentage and four shutouts this year. The Predators got a 3-2 overtime win in Calgary on November 2nd in the first game these teams played this season on a game winner from Matt Duchene. I’d slightly lean Calgary wins tonight in Nashville but I don’t think its worth betting on with them on the second half of a back to back and with the Preds playing hard for playoff seeding. I’d slightly lean the over as well but not enough to bet on it.
Ducks vs. Kings (10:00)
The Kings are just holding on to their third place spot in the Pacific Division, three points ahead of the Golden Knights. They’re coming off a 2-1 win against the Blue Jackets on Saturday night and they’re limping into the playoffs right now with just two wins inter last six games. I’d expect that if they end up holding their spot and getting in, they’ll be an easy first round exit regardless of what team they match up based on seeding. LA’s been pretty good defensively, allowing an average of just 2.84 goals per game, twelfth fewest in the NHL. They haven’t been great offensively though, averaging 2.81 goals per game, twelfth fewest in the NHL. Like the Kings, the Ducks are also coming off a win against the Blue Jackets, beating them 6-4 on Sunday night to end their three game losing streak. Anaheim has been horrible in the second half of the season with only three wins in their last 19 games to drop to 30-33-14 on the season. They’ve been bad on both ends of the ice, scoring an average of 2.79 goals per game, eleventh fewest in the NHL and allowing an average of 3.22 goals per game, eleventh most in the NHL. The road team has won both games these teams have played this season with the Ducks winning 5-4 in a shootout in LA on November 30th and the Kings winning 4-1 in Anaheim on February 25th. I’d expect the Kings to keep their playoff push going with a win here on a their pretty close road trips, only about an hour and a half from LA. I’ll take the Kings for half a unit. I’d slightly lean the under but not enough to even consider betting it.
Canucks vs. Senators (10:00)
The Canucks are on a great run right now and after a big 6-2 win against the Stars last night, they come into tonight’s game on a six game win streak. They have a 38-28-10 record and still have a shot at the playoffs, just four points back from LA in the Pacific Division with a game in hand. Bruce Boudreau has this team rolling right now and although they’ve only scored an average of 2.99 goals per game on the season, that’s not the case right now as they’ve averaged 5.33 goals per game in their last six games. They’ve been very good defensively all season, even during their low points and have allowed an average of 2.76 goals per game, eighth fewest in the NHL. On the second half of a back to back, they’ll be starting backup Jaroslav Halak in goal tonight. Jaro hasn’t been great this season with a 4-7-2 record, a 3.01 GAA and .899 save percentage but he’ll have a relatively easy matchup tonight against the Sens. Ottawa is on the second half of a back to back as well after their 4-2 loss in Seattle last night and they have only two wins in their last seven games and an abysmal 28-41-7 record on the season. They’ve been pretty lousy on both ends of the ice. They’ve scored the seventh fewest goals in the NHL, averaging 2.7 goals per game and they’ve allowed a tenth most in the NHL average of 3.24 goals per game. In Ottawa on December 1st, the Canucks blew out the Sens 6-2. I’d expect another relatively easy win for them tonight and I’ll go with a unit each on the Canucks in regulation and the Canucks TT over 3.5. In addition, I’ll take the over for half a unit.
Sharks vs. Blue Jackets (10:30)
This game sucks to close out the night between two lousy teams. The Blue Jackets are coming off back to back losses in their California trip, losing 6-4 in Anaheim on Sunday and 2-1 in LA on Saturday. They’re one of the most inconsistent teams in the NHL with a 35-35-6 record and they only have three wins in their last 13 games. The Jackets have allowed the fourth most goals in the NHL, an average of 3.68 goals per game but they’ve been been pretty good offensively, averaging 3.17 goals per game, 13th most in the league. The Sharks have been one of the worst teams in the NHL in the second half of the season with only seven wins in their last 32 games. They played a solid game in Minnesota on Sunday, taking them to overtime (I lost my bet on that game since I had the Wild to win in regulation) but ultimately lost 5-4 for their tenth loss in a row. San Jose’s offense has been one of the worst in the NHL, scoring a third fewest in the league average of 2.57 goals per game and they’re just a bit better defensively, allowing a twelfth most in the NHL average of 3.17 goals per game. When these teams played the first time this season in Columbus on December 5th, the Blue Jackets won 6-4. I’d lean the Jackets and the over in this game but not enough to want to consider betting on this game so I’ll just lay off it entirely.
1u Leafs/Flyers over 6.5 (-148)
1u Wild in regulation (-160)
.5u Wild TT over 3.5 (-155)
.5u Wild/Canadiens over 6.5 (-107)
1u Rangers in regulation (-130)
1u Panthers ML (-200)
.5u Panthers -2.5 (+215)
.2u Panthers -3.5 (+540)
1u Blues ML (-130)
.5u Kings ML (-160)
1u Canucks in regulation (-148)
1u Canucks TT over 3.5 (-150)
.5u Canucks/Senators over 6.5 (-115)
Record: 759-550-30 (+34.71 units)