The Avs let me down again yesterday and I went 3-5 to lose 2.02 units. Today we have another huge twelve game NHL slate with some day games to get it started.
Sabres vs. Islanders (12:30)
The Sabres are coming into today’s game on a three game win streak and have played great recently with four wins in their last five games. Although this season has been lousy with their 30-38-11 record, the Sabres have shown a lot of promising signs and have played very good hockey in the last month and a half to close out the season with a 12-6-3 record in their last 21 games. Their young core is giving us Sabres fans something to look forward to and build on for next year and the future. On the season, Buffalo has scored an average of just 2.8 goals per game, eleventh fewest in the NHL but in the smaller sample size of their past 16 games, the offense has actually been firing pretty well, averaging 3.55 goals per game in that span. Their goaltending sucks and they’ve allowed an eighth most in the NHL average of 3.51 goals per game. The Isles have sucked since getting eliminated from the playoffs, coming into today’s game on a three game losing streak with just one win in their last five games. They started the season horribly and as they got much better in the second half with a 14-8-2 record in their last 24 games, it was too late for them with a 35-32-10 record coming into today. The Isles defense has been very good, backstopped by Ilya Sorokin who has a 2.32 GAA, .927 save percentage and 7 shutouts this year. They’ve allowed a seventh fewest in the NHL average of just 2.77 goals per game. Offensively is where they’ve struggled, scoring an average of only 2.74 goals per game, eighth fewest in the NHL. These teams split their two previous games, with the Isles winning 4-1 on Long Island on December 30th and the Sabres winning 6-3 at home on February 15th. Although this could be a grind of a matchup for them, I like the Sabres to win this one at home today and I’ll take them for half a unit.
Red Wings vs. Penguins (12:30)
The Penguins are coming off a big 4-0 shutout win against the Bruins on Thursday night. They’re tied but have the tie breaker over the Capitals for third place in the Metro Division with a 44-23-11 record, playing for seeding in the first round of the playoffs. Pittsburgh hasn’t played great lately, with just three wins in their last nine games. They’ve been pretty good on both ends of the ice this season. They’re scoring an average of 3.27 goals per game, eleventh most in the NHL and they’ve allowed just a fourth fewest in the NHL average of 2.67 goals per game. With starting goalie Tristan Jarry out for the remainder of the regular season with a broken foot, it’s backup Casey DeSmith’s net until then. He hasn’t been great this season with a 9-5-5 record, 2.75 GAA and .915 save percentage but his play has improved recently, allowing an average of 2.25 goals per game in his last four starts. He’ll have what should be a pretty easy matchup today against Detroit. The Red Wings are 30-38-10 and they’ve played horrible in the second half of the season with only six wins in their last 23 games. They haven’t produced on either end of the ice. They’re averaging only 2.78 goals per game, tenth fewest in the NHL and they’ve allowed the second most goals in hockey, an average of 3.81 goals per game. These teams split their two previous games in Pittsburgh this season with entirely different results in both games. The Red Wings won 3-2 in a shootout on January 28th and then the Penguins scored the most goals a team has scored in a game all season, blowing out Detroit 11-2 on March 27th. I’d expect this game to be a Penguins win that falls somewhere in between those. I think the moneyline is way too expensive at -285 but I’ll go with a unit each on the Penguins in regulation and Penguins TT over 3.5.
Devils vs. Hurricanes (12:30)
The Hurricanes came back from starting their game down 2-0 to the Jets on Thursday with four unanswered goals in the last 20:30 of the game to win 4-2. Carolina’s tied in points with the Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division, but have the tie breaker over them with a 50-20-8 record. They’ve had a bunch of key injuries and have nine wins in their last 19 games and need to get healthy for the playoffs. The Canes have scored an average of 3.32 goals per game this season, tenth most in the NHL and have allowed the fewest goals in hockey, an average of just 2.44 goals per game. With Freddie Andersen still sidelined and Antti Raanta starting three of their last four games, the Canes are giving their rookie prospect Pyotr Kochetkov his first NHL start today against the Devils. New Jersey sucks this season, coming into today’s game with a 27-43-7 record, coming off a 5-2 loss to my Sabres on Thursday night and they only have five wins in their last 18 games. They’re not horrible offensively, averaging 3.03 goals per game but they’re one of the worst teams in the NHL defensively, allowing a fourth most in the NHL average of 3.64 goals per game. These teams split their two previous games this season with the Devils winning 7-4 at home on January 22nd and the Hurricanes winning 2-1 at home on January 29th. With a lot of unknowns of how Kochetkov will play in his first start, I’ll stay off a side in this game especially with the Canes priced at -225. I will go with a unit each on the Hurricanes TT over 3.5 and the over.
Bruins vs. Rangers (3:00)
The Rangers are playing great hockey in this closing stretch of the season, coming into today’s game on a four game winning streak with only one loss in their last eight games. They’re tied in points with Carolina for first place in the Metro Division (Canes have the tie breaker) with a 51-21-6 record. The Rags have allowed the second fewest goals in the NHL, an average of only 2.45 goals per game. Igor Shesterkin’s the best goalie in the league this year, guaranteed to win the Vezina with a 2.01 GAA, .936 save percentage and six shutouts and after getting Thursday night off, he’s confirmed in goal today. Offensively the Rangers have scored an average of 3.08 goals per game. The Bruins are coming off a 4-0 shutout loss in Pittsburgh on Thursday and they have only two wins in their last six games. They’re 47-25-5 and currently in the first Wild Card spot in the East, tied in points with the Capitals. The B’s have been very good defensively as well, allowing a fifth fewest in the NHL average of 2.69 goals per game. They’ve scored an average of 3.04 goals per game. Two of Boston’s best players, David Pastrnak and Hampus Lindholm are still out of the lineup with injuries. The Rangers won both previous games these teams (who have the potential to match up in the first round of the playoffs) played this season, with a 5-2 win on November 5th and a 2-1 shootout win at home in MSG on February 15th. The Rangers are playing better hockey right now where the Bruins are on a bit of a slump and I think they get another win on the road today. I’ll go with a unit each on the Rangers and the under 6 in this game.
Senators vs. Canadiens (7:00)
Both of these teams are terrible. The Senators are on the second half of a back to back, coming off a 2-1 shootout win in Columbus last night. Their second shootout winner in a row after they beat the Canucks 4-3 on Tuesday night. Ottawa’s pretty bad this season though with a 30-41-7 record and have four wins in their last nine games. They haven’t been great on either end of the ice, averaging just 2.68 goals per game, seventh fewest in the NHL and have allowed a tenth most in the NHL average of 3.21 goals per game. The Habs are one of the worst teams in the NHL with a 20-47-11 record and they’re on a seven game losing streak coming into tonight’s game. They’ve scored the second fewest goals in hockey, an average of 2.53 goals per game and they’ve allowed the most goals in the NHL, an average of 3.86 goals per game. Carey Price will make his fourth start since his return tonight and hasn’t been nearly as good so far as he was last year, with a 3.36 GAA and .880 save percentage in his three games he’s played. The Canadiens are 2-1 against the Sens this season, winning 2-1 in Ottawa on February 26th, winning 5-1 at home on March 19th and then losing 6-3 at home on April 5th. I’d lean the Habs and the under in this game but have zero interest in betting this matchup and I’ll lay off it completely.
Lightning vs. Predators (7:00)
The Lightning have been on a bit of a slump lately with just four wins in their last ten games (but three in their last four) but it sure didn’t look like that on Tuesday night as they blew out the Leafs 8-1 and showed that they are still the defending back to back Stanley Cup champions. The Bolts are 47-22-8 this season and they have a three point lead over the Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division. They have been good on both ends of the ice this year. They’re averaging 3.36 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL and they’ve allowed a sixth fewest in the NHL average of 2.75 goals per game. Andrei Vasilevskiy gets the night off tonight with Brian Elliot confirmed in goal. Elliot’s actually been decent this season with a 2.35 GAA and .915 save percentage and has won his last three starts. The Predators are holding onto the first Wild Card spot in the West with a 44-28-5 record. They’re coming off a 3-2 win against the Flames on Tuesday night but just have three wins in their last seven games. They Preds have been pretty good on both ends of the ice. They’re scoring an average of 3.17 goals per game, twelfth most in the NHL. Defensively, they’ve allowed an average of 2.92 goals per game. Juuse Saros is projected to start in goal tonight and has been good this season with a 2.57 GAA, .920 save percentage. The first time these cross division teams played this season in Nashville, the Lightning won 3-2. I’d slightly lean the Lightning win this game at home tonight, but not enough to bet on it. I will take the over 6 for a unit though, expecting both teams to score.
Panthers vs. Maple Leafs (7:00)
This should be a very fun game between the top two teams in the Atlantic Division. Florida is one of the best teams in hockey, tied in points with the Colorado Avalanche with a game in hand on their President’s Trophy race for the best regular season team in the NHL with a 56-15-6 record. They’re on a fucking warpath, coming into tonight’s game on a twelve game win streak with a 19-2-1 record in their last 22 games. The Panthers have the highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 4.18 goals per game and they’re allowing a twelfth fewest in the NHL average of 2.83 goals per game. The Leafs are coming off an 8-1 blowout loss in Tampa on Thursday night that ended their four game win streak, but they’ve played very good hockey lately with a 12-2-1 record in their last 15 games. They’re in second place in the Atlantic with a 41-21-6 record. Toronto has the second highest scoring offense in the league, averaging 3.83 goals per game. They’ve had their struggles defensively and with goaltending, especially in the second half of the season, allowing an average of 3.13 goals per game. Not great and an easy indicator that they probably get bounced early in the playoffs. Both games these teams played this season with high scoring, with the Leafs winning 5-2 in Toronto on March 27th and Florida coming back from down 5-1 and winning 7-6 in overtime at home on April 5th. I like Florida to win this game again at home tonight and will take them for a unit. I also love the over and even with it juiced up at a high total, I’ll take the over 7 for 1.5 units.
Stars vs. Kraken (8:00)
The Dallas Stars are still holding onto their the second place Wild Card spot in the Western Conference with a 43-20-5 record with a two point lead over the Golden Knights. They’re coming into tonight’s game on a three game losing streak after back to back losses in Alberta and only one win in their last five games. They have been decent lately with 10-6-2 record in their last 18 games. Dallas hasn’t been great on either end of the ice but they’re still winning games so that doesn’t really matter. They’ve scored an average of only 2.83 goals per game, twelfth fewest in the NHL and allowing an average 3 goals per game. The Kraken have sucked this inaugural season with a 26-45-6 but they’ve played decent lately with three wins in their last four games, coming off a 6-3 loss to Minnesota last night where they blew a 2-0 lead in the first period before giving up six straight goals. They’ve been pretty bad on both ends of the ice this season, scoring an average of only 2.6 goals per game, fourth fewest in the NHL and allowing an average of 3.47 goals per game, ninth most in the NHL. These teams split their two previous matchups this season with Dallas winning 5-2 at home on January 12th and Seattle winning 4-1 at home on April 3rd. I’d lean the Stars keep the playoffs in their own hands with another win tonight and although I think the moneyline is too expensive, I’ll take the Stars in regulation for a unit.
Sharks vs. Blackhawks (8:00)
These two teams have been two of the worst in the second half of this season. The Sharks are coming off a 3-1 loss at home against the Blues on Thursday night that was a bit of a sweat for me, which was their eleventh loss in their last twelve games. They’re 30-25-12 this season and have been one of the worst teams in the NHL in the second half of the year with just eight wins in their last last 34 games. San Jose’s offense is one of the least productive in the NHL, averaging only 2.57 goals per game, third fewest in the league and they’re only a bit better defensively, allowing a twelfth most in the NHL average of 3.16 goals per game. The Blackhawks are actually even worse. They’re 26-41-11 on the season with only two wins in their last 13 games. They’ve been horrible on both ends of the ice as well, averaging just 2.62 goals per game, sixth fewest in the NHL and allowing an average of 3.56 goals per game, seventh most in the NHL. Their goaltending has gotten way worse since they got rid of Fleury at the trade deadline and Kevin Lankinen, who’s starting in goal tonight has a terrible 6-14-6 record, 3.61 GAA and .889 save percentage this year. These teams split their two previous games this year in Chicago with the Sharks shutout out the Blackhawks 2-0 on November 28th and then Chicago betting the Sharks 5-4 in a shootout in San Jose on April 14th. I’d slightly lean the Sharks win this game tonight and would lean the over as well, expecting both lousy defenses to give up a good enough share of goals even with two lousy offenses but wouldn’t bet anything on this shitty matchup. Would rather just stay away from it but this could be a relatively fun game to watch.
Flames vs. Canucks (10:00)
On Friday night the Flames got a nice 4-2 win against the Stars which clinched them first place in the Pacific Division. Calgary has been fantastic this season with a 48-20-10 record and eight wins in their last ten games. They’ve been great on both ends of the ice, averaging 3.55 goals per game, sixth most in the NHL and allowing the third fewest goals in the league, an average of only 2.47 goals per game. The Canucks just lost 6-3 in Minnesota on Thursday night (winner for me), giving up three goals in the third period for their second loss in a row. They still have an outside shot at making the playoffs with a 38-29-11 record, four points back from Dallas for the second Wild Card spot in the West and they have six wins in their last eight games. Defensively Vancouver has been good all season, allowing an average of 2.81 goals per game, tenth fewest in the NHL. Thatcher Demko, who’s starting in goal tonight has been solid with a 2.68 GAA and .916 save percentage this season. Offensively on the year they haven’t been very good, averaging 2.99 goals per game but in their last eight games they have scored an average of 4.75 goals per game in that span. Calgary is 2-1 in the three very different games these teams played this season, winning 1-0 in overtime at home in a double shutout on January 29th, getting blown out to lose 7-1 in Vancouver on February 24th and then winning 5-2 on the road on March 19th. I like the Flames to win again tonight at home and will take them to win in regulation for a unit.
Coyotes vs. Blues (10:00)
The Blues are one of the hottest teams in hockey right now, coming into tonight’s game with an impressive 12-0-2 record in their last 14 games. They’re 47-20-11 on the season and are two points behind the Wild for home ice in the first round against them. St. Louis has been very good on both ends of the ice. They’re scoring an average of 3.73 goals per game, fourth most in the NHL and they’ve allowed an eleventh fewest in the NHL average of 2.82 goals per game. Jordan Binnington, who took more of a backup role behind Ville Husso this season will be starting tonight again. He has a sort of crappy 3.08 GAA and .904 save percentage this season but he’s won his last four starts and has allowed an average of less than two goals per game in those games. The Coyotes are the worst team in the NHL and after last night’s 2-0 shutout loss to the Capitals last night, they’re 22-50-6 and on a nine game losing streak with only two wins in their last 18 games. Arizona has scored the fewest in hockey, an average of only 2.41 goals per game and they’re only slightly better than that defensively, allowing a third most in the NHL average of 3.77 goals per game. Third string goalie Harri Sateri (pretty convinced that’s a fake name) is getting his third start this season and has been horrendous with a 6.33 GAA and .809 save percentage in his previous appearances. The Blues are 2-1 this season against the Yotes, winning 7-4 in Arizona on October 18th, losing 3-2 at home on November 16th and then winning in a 5-1 blowout at home on April 4th. I’d expect another easy win for them on the road in the dirty desert tonight but the moneyline price and even the regulation or puckline prices on this game are too expensive for me to bet. I’ll go with 1.5 units on the Blues TT over 4 and a unit on a the Coyotes TT under 2.5 in regulation. I’d slightly lean the under but not enough to bet on it while I expect the Blues to score pretty easily.
Kings vs. Ducks (10:30)
The Kings have a five point lead over Vegas for the third and final playoff spot in the Pacific Division with a 42-27-10 record and they’ve played well lately, coming into tonight’s game on a three game win streak with four wins in their last five games. They haven’t played all that great lately though and have had some easy competition which makes me think they likely get bounce in the first round. Their defense and goaltending has been good this season, allowing a ninth fewest in the NHL average of 2.8 goals per game. Offensively they haven’t been very good though, averaging 2.81 goals per game, eleventh fewest in the NHL. These rivals, who play less than an hour and a half from each other just played in LA on Tuesday, with the Kings winning a low scoring 2-1 game. The Ducks have been horrible in the second half of the season with only three wins in their last 20 games and they’re 30-34-14 on the year. They’ve been bad on both ends of the ice, scoring an average of 2.77 goals per game, ninth fewest in the NHL and allowing an average of 3.21 goals per game, tenth most in the NHL. The road team has won all three games these teams have played this season with the Ducks winning 5-4 in a shootout in LA on November 30th, the Kings winning 4-1 in Anaheim on February 25th and then again last Tuesday. I think they win again pretty easily tonight at home and I’ll take LA in regulation for 1.5 units.
.5u Sabres ML (+116)
1u Penguins in regulation (-170)
1u Penguins TT over 3.5 (-165)
1u Hurricanes TT over 3.5 (-140)
1u Hurricanes/Devils over 6.5 (-110)
1u Rangers ML (+140)
1u Rangers/Bruins under 6 (-138)
1u Predators/Lightning over 6 (-132)
1u Panthers ML (-130)
1.5u Panthers/Leafs over 7 (-145)
1u Stars in regulation (165)
1u Flames in regulation (-127)
1.5u Blues TT over 4 (-165)
1u Coyotes TT under 2.5 in regulation (-182)
1.5u Kings in regulation (-155)
Record: 783-569-30 (+37.78 units)
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