Great bounce back night for me on yesterday’s big eleven game NHL slate, going 13-4 to win 10.95 units. Tonight we have a quick four game slate before a fully loaded weekend of hockey.
Blue Jackets vs. Senators (7:00)
I have almost zero interest in this game between two teams that have already been eliminated from playoff contention. The Blue Jackets, coming off a 3-2 loss in San Jose on Tuesday are on a three game losing streak and only have three wins in their last 14 games. They’ve been very inconsistent this season with a 35-36-6 record. Their offense is decent, averaging 3.16 goals per game, 13th most in the NHL but they have been horrible defensively, allowing a fourth most in the NHL average of 3.68 goals per game. Two of the best players for Columbus, Patrik Laine and Zach Werenski both missed practice yesterday and will likely be out of the lineup tonight. The Senators pulled off a 4-3 shootout win that ended the Canucks winning streak on Tuesday, but they suck too. They’re having a terrible season with a 29-41-7 record and they only have three wins in their last eight games. On the year, they’ve averaged just 2.7 goals per game, seventh fewest in the NHL and have allowed a tenth most in the NHL average of 3.23 goals per game. These teams split their two previous games this season with the Senators winning 2-1 in Columbus on January 23rd and the Blue Jackets winning 4-1 in Ottawa on March 16th. I’d slightly lean the Blue Jackets and the over in this game but not enough to bet on either of them, so I’ll just skip this game.
Wild vs. Kraken (8:00)
Last night the Wild took over in the third period to beat the Canucks 6-3. Minnesota’s a great team this season at 49-21-7 and they’re still holding the tie breaker over their first round opponent Blues, who they’re tied in points with. They’re playing great right now, on a three game win streak with a 15-1-3 record in their last 18 games. They have the fifth highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.69 goals per game. Their defense has struggled at points this year as they’ve allowed an average of 3.04 goals per game on the season. They’ve been better defensively lately though, allowing an average of 2.48 goals per game in their last 19 games with Talbot and Fleury feeding off each other. The Kraken are coming into tonight’s game off a shocking 3-2 win against the Avs on Wednesday (triple loser for me), where they got out to 3-0 lead in the first period and rode that out to a win. They’re on a three game win streak for the first time of their short franchise history but this hasn’t been a good inaugural season for them with a 26-44-6 record right now. Seattle has been pretty bad on both ends of the ice. They’re scoring an average of only 2.59 goals per game, fourth fewest in the NHL and allowing an average of 3.43 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL. These teams split their two previous matchups in Seattle with the Kraken winning 4-1 on October 28th and the Wild winning 4-2 on November 13th. Minnesota should win this game at home tonight pretty easily, even on the second half of a back to back but I’m not laying the -285 moneyline price. I’ll go with a unit each on the Wild in regulation and the Wild TT over 3.5. I’d lean the over but not enough to bet on it.
Oilers vs. Avalanche (9:00)
This has the potential to be a fantastic game. The Oilers have played great lately, coming into tonight’s game on a three game win streak after their 5-2 win against the Stars on Saturday. They’re 45-26-6, in second place in the Pacific Division with a two point lead and two games in hand for home ice over the Kings in the first round. Edmonton’s firing on all cylinders right now heading into the most important part of the season with a 15-3-2 record in their last 20 games. Connor McDavid leads the NHL in scoring with 113 points (tied with Huberdeau in Florida) and Leon Draisaitl is right behind him in fourth place with 106 points and only behind Auston Matthews with 54 goals. Even without much depth behind those two guys, the Oilers are averaging 3.44 goals per game, seventh most in the NHL. They’ve clearly had defensive struggles at points this season, allowing an average of 3.07 goals per game but they’ve cleaned a lot of that up lately with Mike Smith’s great play in goal recently. He’s likely to start tonight and has only allowed an average of a goal per game in his last six starts. The Avalanche have first place in the Western Conference all locked up with a 55-16-6 record and they’re just two points behind the Panthers in their tight President’s Trophy race. They’re coming into tonight’s game with two rare losses in a row. They looked like shit and lost 3-2 in Seattle on Wednesday night where they gave up three goals in the first 15 minutes of the game and couldn’t score enough to tie it up on their former goaltender. Despite their last two losses, they still have played great recently with a 14-3-1 record in their last 18 games. The Avs have the third highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.82 goals per game and they’ve allowed an average of only 2.74 goals per game, sixth fewest in the NHL. Darcy Kuemper, who’s been very good this season with a 2.43 GAA, .924 save percentage and five shutouts is projected to start in goal tonight after Francouz got the start for them on Wednesday. Both of the games these teams have played this season needed more than sixty minutes to determine a winner, with the Avs winning both games, 3-2 in overtime at home on March 21st and then 2-1 in a shootout in Edmonton on March 9th. I think Colorado’s the better team in this game and I’ll take them to win on the road for 1.5 units. I’ll also take a stab at this game to go to overtime for half a unit (which also works as a partial hedge) and the under for half a unit.
Coyotes vs. Capitals (10:30)
Alex Ovechkin showed that age really is just a number, scoring 50 goals (fourth most in the NHL) on the season once again, with two goals in the Caps 4-3 overtime loss in Vegas on Wednesday night (winner on the over for me). The Capitals are 43-23-11, in the second Wild Card spot in the East, two points back from the Penguins for third place in the Metro Division and the Bruins for the first Wild Card spot. They’ve played great lately with a 15-5-2 record in their last 22 games and only two losses in their last eight games. Ovi and his Caps are averaging 3.39 goals per game, eighth most in the NHL. Washington’s been good defensively too, allowing an average of 2.95 goals per game. The Coyotes are in last place in the NHL with a 22-49-6 record and with a ton of injuries they’re now on an eight game losing streak with only two wins in their last 17 games. Arizona has scored the fewest in hockey, an average of only 2.44 goals per game and they’re only slightly better than that defensively, allowing a third most in the NHL average of 3.79 goals per game. When these teams played in Washington DC back on October 29th, the Caps shut out the Yotes 2-0. I’d expect a very easy win for the Capitals tonight and the moneyline at -360 reflects that along with everything else on this game so juiced up that it’s tough to bet this game. I’ll go with a unit each on the Caps TT over 4 and the Coyotes TT under 2.5 in regulation. I’ll also take a same game parlay for a unit on the Caps -2.5, Caps TT over 3.5, Yotes TT under 2.5 and Ovechkin to score.
1u Wild in regulation (-167)
1u Wild TT over 3.5 (-145)
1.5u Avalanche ML (+113)
.5u Avalanche/Oilers to go to OT (+350)
.5u Avalanche/Oilers under 6.5 (-109)
1u Capitals TT over 4 (-148)
1u Coyotes TT under 2.5 in regulation (-146)
1u SGP: Capitals -2.5 & Capitals TT over 3.5 & Coyotes TT under 2.5 & Alex Ovechkin over .5 goals (+290)
Record: 780-564-30 (+39.8 units)