I pretty much broke even last night on the NHL going 2-2-1 and just losing 0.15 units. In hindsight I should have probably stuck with my gut feel of just completely staying off the Devils and Stars games but oh well, not a big loss. Tonight we have a big ten game slate with some fun matchups, let’s win!
Bruins vs. Stars (7:00)
The Bruins have been on fire, starting their season 5-1. They’re coming off a 4-3 overtime win against the Wild on Saturday night. The B’s have been very good offensively, averaging 4.33 goals per game on an average of 36.7 shots on goal per game. They haven’t been as consistent defensively, allowing an average of 3.17 goals against on an average of 31.5 shots they’ve given up. The Stars are on the second half of a back to back after a 4-2 loss in Ottawa last night (loss for me there). They come into tonight’s game with a 4-1-1 record. Dallas has scored an average of 3.67 goals per game on an average of 28.2 shots per game. Defensively they’ve been a solid team with the four goals they gave up last night being the most they’ve allowed this season. They’re allowing an average of 2 goals per game on an average of 32.7 shots they’ve given up per game. Last season these teams split their games with a 6-1 blowout win for the Stars and a 3-1 win for the Bruins. I like the B’s to get the win here and stay hot, especially with Dallas on the second half of a road back to back. I’ll take the Boston ML for half a unit.
Blue Jackets vs. Coyotes (7:00)
After opening the season with three straight losses, the Blue Jackets have since won three of their last four games to improve to 3-4 on the year. They’ve been okay offensively, averaging 3.14 goals per game on an average of 30.4 shots on goal, lead by Johnny Hockey’s seven points this season (4 goals, 3 assists). Their bigger issues have been on the back end, allowing an average of 3.86 goals per game on an average of 34 shots allowed. The Coyotes are one of the worst teams in the NHL this season and will absolutely be a lottery team this year trying to get Connor Bedard. They’re 1-4 to start their season and coming into this game off back to back 6-2 losses to the Sens and Habs on Saturday and Thursday. The Yotes have been pretty bad on both ends of the ice. They’ve only averaged 24 shots on goal per game, translating to an average of 2.6 goals per game and they’ve allowed a high average of 5.2 goals per game on an average of 37.2 shots allowed. Last year Columbus won both matchups between these cross conference teams in high scoring games, 8-2 and 5-4. I think the moneyline price in this game is too expensive to trust the Jackets at -205, but I like them to get the win here at home and will take the Blue Jackets in regulation for half a unit. Along with that, I’ll take the over for half a unit.
Red Wings vs. Devils (7:00)
The Devils are now 3-3 after they ended their three game win streak with a 6-3 loss at home to the Capitals last night, despite outshooting Washington 41-22. When I had initially evaluated that game, I felt like that was a game to skip but after looking at the starting goalies I decided to add the NJ moneyline which obviously turned out to be a mistake. On the season, the Devils have scored an average of 2.83 goals per game on an average of 39.5 shots on goals per game while leading the NHL in expected goals by a significant margin. Defensively they’ve been good, limiting the shots against them to just 21.3 per game on average but they’re goaltending has been a struggle just as it was a year ago and they’ve allowed an average of 3.33 goals per game. The Red Wings have definitely improved this season and have yet to lose in regulation this season, coming into tonight’s game with a 3-0-2 record off a dominant 5-1 win against the Ducks on Sunday (easy cash for me on that one!). They’ve been very good offensively, scoring an average of 4 goals per game on an average of 32.8 shots on goal. They have definitely improved defensively, in large part due to the addition of goaltender Ville Husso in the offseason (2.00 GAA, .939 save percentage) and they’ve allowed an average of 2.4 goals per game on an average of 33.2 shots allowed. Husso will get the night off with Alex Nedeljkovic confirmed in goal. Last year the Red Wings swept New Jersey in the three games that they played a season ago and they followed up on that with a 5-2 win on the road ten days ago when these teams met the first time this season. I’d slightly Detroit gets a win at home but not enough to bet on a side in this game. I’d also lean the over but not enough to bet on it so I’ll just stay off this game completely, which I should have done with the Devils last night.
Canadiens vs. Wild (7:00)
The start to the Minnesota Wild’s season has been nothing short of disappointing so far at 1-3-1, entirely thanks to their goaltending and defense. They’re coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to the Bruins (winner on my over there) on Saturday night. The Wild offense hasn’t been bad at all, easily the best in the NHL for a team that only has one win so far. They’re scoring an average of 3.8 goals per game on an average of 34.8 shots on goal. Minnesota is just completely bleeding away goals against them, allowing a very high average of 5.4 goals per game on an average of 35.2 shots on goal. Vezina winner from two seasons ago, Marc Andre Fleury has a horrible 5.25 GAA and .847 save percentage so far this year. The Habs have been slightly better than I expected them to be this season, coming into tonight’s game with a 3-3 record with a 3-1 record at home. They’ve scored an average of 2.67 goals per game on an average of 29.5 shots per game and have allowed an average of 3 goals per game on an average of 31 shots allowed. Last season the Wild dominated both games these teams played with an 8-2 win and a 2-0 win. Even though their records don’t look like it, Minnesota’s the way better team in this game. That being said, they should not be -210 to win this one tonight with the way they’ve started this season and I don’t trust them enough to bet. I would have loved to bet the Wild TT if it was at 3, but at 3.5 even that isn’t a number worth betting to me. I’d lean the Wild win this game and would lean the over as well but the right play here is to just skip betting this game entirely.
Rangers vs. Avalanche (8:00)
This should be a very fun game between the defending Stanley Cup champs on the road against the Eastern Conference runner ups. The Rangers are 3-2-1 and coming off a surprising 5-1 blowout loss to the Blue Jackets at home on Sunday and a 3-2 overtime loss to the Sharks before that on Thursday night at home in MSG. Not teams you’d think they’d lose to. The Rags have both scored and allowed an average of 3.33 goals per game while outshooting their competition by an average of 35.3-27.7. The Avalanche are 3-2-1 and have taken a bit of a step back from last year with a Cup hangover, but they’re coming off a big 3-1 win in Vegas on Saturday night. Their offense has scored an average of 3.67 goals per game on an average of 29.3 and they’ve allowed an average of 3.17 goals per game on an average of 30.7 shots on goal. Alexandar Georgiev is confirmed in goal for the Avs tonight, looking to get revenge against his former team. Last year Colorado won both games between these cross conference team with a 7-3 win and 4-2 win. I’d lean the Rangers and the under here but think both the side and the total are pretty much coin flips in this game to me. I’ll stay off both and I’m not betting this game.
Blackhawks vs. Panthers (8:30)
The Panthers are 4-1-1 to start their season, bouncing back from their 3-2 overtime loss in the Battle of Florida on Friday night with a 3-2 win against the Islanders on Sunday. They’ve scored an average of 3.17 goals per game on an average of 35.5 shots on goal and have allowed an average of 2.83 goals per game on an average of 30.7 shots on goal. The Blackhawks somehow have won their last three straight games, beating the Sharks, Red Wings and most recently the Kraken with a 5-4 comeback win on Sunday (loss for me). I thought this team was a lottery team and they still might be but 3-2 is a solid start for Chicago. They’ve averaged 3.2 goals per game on an average of just 25 goals per game and they’ve allowed an average of 3 goals per game on an average of 32 shots allowed per game. Last year it was no surprise that Florida smoked the Hawks both times they played, winning 5-2 and shutting them out 4-0. I like the Panthers to win tonight and end Chicago’s win streak. I won’t lay the -250 moneyline but I’ll take them to win in regulation for half a unit. I’d lean the over as well but not enough to bet the 6.5 and the alternate 6 is too pricey for me at -140.
Flames vs. Penguins (9:00)
The Penguins are on the second half of a back to back tonight in Alberta after losing 6-3 to the Oilers, Pittsburgh’s first regulation loss of the season (I went 1-0-1 on that game with the Pens not able to get a fourth goal after having two in the first period). Pittsburgh’s looked great in their 4-1-1 start to the season, especially offensively. They’re pouring on an average of 39 shots per game, generating an average of 4.83 goals per game. Defensively they’ve given up a lot of shots, an average of 37 per game and allowing an average of 2.83 goals per game with pretty good goaltending. The Pens are projected to start backup Casey DeSmith in goal tonight with Tristan Jarry having played in last night’s game. The Flames are still my pick to win the Stanley Cup this season and they’re 4-1 to start the year, with their only loss coming to my Buffalo Sabres. They bounced back from their home loss to Buffalo with a 3-2 overtime win against Carolina late Saturday night. This season Calgary has scored an average of 3.6 goals per game on an average of 36.8 shots on goal. Defensively they’ve allowed an average of 3.2 goals per game on just 26.8 shots on goal allowed with Jacob Markstrom not playing great so far (yet he’s 3-0). Markstrom’s a top notch goaltender who was a Vezina candidate last year and I expect him to continue to improve and get much closer to the level he played last year (with his stats skewed a bit from the Sabres loss). Last year the Flames beat the Pens both games they played with a 4-0 shutout win and a 2-1 grind of a win. With the way both of these teams have played this year, I really like the over in this game, expecting both teams to be able to generate offense. I’ll take the over 6.5 here for half a unit. With the Penguins on the second half of a road back to back, I like the Flames to get a win at home tonight and will take them for half a unit.
Kraken vs. Sabres (10:00)
The Sabres look to finish off a sweep of their west coast road trip tonight in Seattle after big wins in Vancouver (5-1), Calgary (6-3) and Edmonton (4-2) with Rasmus Dahlin extending his record with five goals in the first five games to start a season, the most ever from a defenseman. They’re easily the biggest surprise in the NHL and I absolutely love to see it. We’re on a warpath!! Buffalo’s offense has been buzzing at a very efficient rate, averaging 4.4 goals per game on an average of 29.2 shots per game. The unlikely goaltending tandem of Eric Comrie and Craig Anderson have played very well so far this year, allowing just a 2.2 goals per game average on a high average of 38.8 shots on goal allowed. The Kraken come into tonight’s game with a 2-3-2 record after a 5-4 loss in Chicago on Sunday night (loss for me) and they’ve now lost four of their last five games. Seattle has scored an average of 3 goals per game on an average of 33.3 shots per game game but their goaltending has been a struggle for them, allowing an average of 3.86 goals per game on an average of just 27.6 shots allowed. Last year the Kraken won both of their games against the Sabres, both by three goals with a 5-2 win and 7-4 win. I’d expect Buffalo to stay hot and keep it rolling tonight to go back home with a sweep of this west coast road trip. With the books still giving us + money on the Sabres, I’m all about it and will take the Sabres for half a unit. I also like the over in this game which I’ll take for a half unit as well. Let’s Go Buffalo!!!
Kings vs. Lightning (10:30)
The Lightning started their season 1-3 but with big wins on back to back nights against the Panthers and Islanders on Friday and Saturday, they now come into tonight’s game with a 3-3 record. The defending three time Eastern Conference champions have scored an average of 3 goals per game on an average of 32.8 shots on goal per game. Andrei Vasilevskiy is still one of the best goalies in the NHL and the Bolts have allowed an average of 3.17 goals per game on an average of 34.8 shots allowed. The Kings are 3-4 to start their year, coming off road losses to the Capitals (4-3 on Saturday) and Penguins (6-1 on Thursday). They’ve been good offensively, averaging 3.29 goals per game on an average of 32.6 shots per game but they’ve had terrible goaltending to start their year, the opposite of how they were playing last season. LA has allowed an average of 4.43 goals on an average of 34.1 shots allowed. The Bolts won both games between these two cross conference teams with a 3-2 win and 6-4 win. I like the Lightning to get a win on the road tonight and will take them for half a unit.
Sharks vs. Golden Knights (10:30)
The Golden Knights are on the second half of a back to back at home tonight after getting a big 3-1 win against the Maple Leafs last night in the Fortress. They’re off to a solid start at 5-2 under new head coach Bruce Cassidy. They’ve scored an average of 3.14 goals per game on an average of 34.1 shots per game and have allowed an average of just 2 goals per game on 29.4 shots per game with really solid play in goal from Logan Thompson and Adin Hill (who should start tonight). Tonight they go on the road to San Jose to face their biggest rival in their short franchise history in the Sharks. San Jose is far, far worse than the Sharks teams that started that rivalry in the playoffs several years ago. They might be one of the worst teams in the NHL this year and come into tonight’s game with a 2-6 record, coming off a 3-0 shutout win in Philly on Sunday. San Jose’s defense hasn’t been too bad, allowing an average of 2.88 goals per game on an average of 30.6 shots allowed but they’re horrendous offensively, scoring just 1.88 goals per game and generating an average of just 26.4 shots on goal. Last year these Pacific Division rivals split their games with a 3-1 Golden Knights win and a 5-4 Sharks win. Vegas is the way better team in this matchup this season and although it might be closer than expected, the Golden Knights should still get the win on the road, even on the second half of a back to back. I’d lean the under in this game but not enough to bet on it, so I’ll just stick with the Knights ML for half a unit.
.5u Bruins ML (-150)
.5u Blue Jackets in regulation (-136)
.5u Blue Jackets/Coyotes over 6.5 (-120)
.5u Panthers in regulation (-152)
.5u Flames ML (-175)
.5u Flames/Penguins over 6.5 (-120)
.5u Sabres ML (+116)
.5u Sabres/Kraken over 6.5 (-130)
.5u Lightning ML (-132)
.5u Golden Knights ML (-170)
Record: 48-40-2 (-6.55 units)
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