I lost again on the NHL last night going 3-5 to drop 1.93. Tonight we have some favorable matchups on a six game slate.
Golden Knights vs. Ducks (6:00)
A rare 6:00 game to start tonight’s slate between the Golden Knights and the Ducks. Vegas has played great hockey to start this season under new head coach Bruce Cassidy, coming into tonight’s game with a 6-2 record. They’re coming off a 4-2 win in San Jose on Tuesday where they scored three goals in the third period and Phil the thrill Kessel scored his 400th career goal on the same night that he broke Keith Yandle’s record to become the NHL Ironman playing in his 990th consecutive game. The Knights have been a solid team this year on both ends of the ice. They’re scoring an average of 3.25 goals per game on an average of 33.8 shots on goal while allowing an average of just 2 goals per game on an average of 29.6 shots allowed. The Ducks on the other hand are terrible this season. Coming into tonight off a 4-2 loss to the Bolts on Wednesday, they’re on a six game losing streak and 1-5-1 on the season. Pretty terrible on both ends of the ice, they’re only scoring an average of 2.29 goals per game on a pathetic average shot total of 25.3 per game and they’ve allowed an average of 4.43 goals per game while giving up an average of 39.6 shots per game. Last year the Golden Knights won three of the four games between these Pacific Division opponents and three of the four games they played easily hit the over. Vegas should smoke the Ducks at home in the fortress tonight. The moneyline is too expensive but I’ll take the Golden Knights in regulation and the Golden Knights TT over 3.5 for half a unit each. I’d lean the over on this one as well but not enough to bet on it and trust Anaheim to score.
Hurricanes vs. Islanders (7:00)
Solid Metropolitan Division matchup between these teams tonight. The Hurricanes are my pick to go to the Cup Finals out of the Eastern Conference (even though I hate them). The Canes were in a get right spot in Vancouver on Monday after losses to the Flames and Oilers and they got a 3-2 win to move to 4-1-1 on the season. Carolina’s been pretty good on both ends of the ice, scoring an average of 3.33 goals per game on an average of 36.3 shots on goal and have allowed an average of 2.33 goals per game while limiting their opponents to an average of 25.8 shots on goal. The Islanders are coming off a big 3-0 shutout win against their rival Rangers at home on Wednesday night to bounce back from three straight losses. New York has scored an average of 3.14 goals per game on an average of 32 shots on goal and they’ve allowed an average of 2.57 goals per game on an average of 31.7 shots they’ve given up. Last season the Canes won two of their three games against the Isles, both in high scoring wins with the Isles grinding out a 2-1 win for the one that they won. I think this ends up being a pretty close and low scoring game that I’d lean the Canes win at home, I just don’t think they’re worth the -186 odds on the moneyline. The play I like better on this game though is the under with a likely Andersen vs. Sorokin goalie matchup. I’ll take the alternate under 6 here for half a unit (don’t love the 5.5 as much).
Blue Jackets vs. Bruins (7:00)
Last night the Bruins got their fourth straight win, beating up on the Red Wings 5-1 to easily cash my B’s in regulation bet and move to 7-1 on the season, one of the best teams in the NHL right now. They’ve been very good offensively, scoring an average of 4.25 goals per game on an average of 35.3 shots on goal. They’ve allowed an average of 2.63 goals per game on an average of 31.1 shots allowed. Columbus is coming off a 6-3 loss to the Coyotes on Tuesday (loss for me, but win on the over). They’re 3-5 on the season with solid offense and terrible goaltending. They have scored an average of 3.13 goals per game on an average of 30.8 shots on goal and have allowed an average of 32.1 shots against them per game but they’ve struggled with their goaltending, allowing an average of 4.13 goals per game. Last year the B’s swept the Blue Jackets in the four games they played. I like the Bruins to win this game and the price is definitely reasonable at just -145 and even on the second half of a back to back on the road and I’ll take them for half a unit. Along with that, I’ll take the Bruins TT over 3. I’d lean the over as well but not enough to bet either.
Devils vs. Avalanche (7:00)
The Devils are 4-3 on the season but they’ve actually been one of the teams in the NHL who are better than their record shows when you look at their underlying statistics. They’ve scored an average of 3.29 goals per game on an average of 39.7 shots on goal, leading the NHL in expected goals (69.16%). They have limited their opposition to just 21.4 shots on goal per game on average but have allowed an average of 3.14 goals off that. The defending Cup champion Avalanche are 4-2-1 after a 3-2 shootout win in MSG on Tuesday night. They’ve taken a bit of a step back from last year as expected but they’re still a very good team. They’re scoring an average of 3.43 goals per game on an average of 31.4 shots per game. They’ve allowed an average of 3 goals per game on an average of 32.9 shots allowed. Last year these teams split their two games with a 5-3 Devils win and 3-1 Avs win despite the Avalanche being the way better team. I’d slightly lean Colorado gets another win on the road and the over, but I’ll stay off betting this one completely. This is sneaky the best game on the slate.
Canucks vs. Penguins (10:00)
The Canucks finally got their first win of the season last night in Seattle, beating the Kraken 5-4 in a close game while getting outshot 36-19 (split for me on the Kraken and the over). They’re still a mess at 1-5-2. They’ve struggled on both ends of the ice. They’re scoring 2.88 goals per game on an average of 27.8 shots on goal and they’ve allowed an average of 4.25 goals per game on an average of 32.3 shots allowed. Thatcher Demko was good last season but has been bad this year with a 4.05 GAA and .874 save percentage with bad defensive play in front of him. He’s projected to start tonight. The Penguins are 4-2-1, coming into tonight’s game looking to get right after back to back losses in Edmonton (6-3) and Calgary (4-1) on Monday and Tuesday after a very weak team in Vancouver on the second half of a back to back. The Pens veteran lead offense has been fantastic, scoring an average of 4.29 goals per game on an average of 38.1 shots on goals per game. Defensively they’ve allowed an average of 3 goals per game on an average of 36.9 shots allowed per game. Tristan Jarry is confirmed in goal and has been solid so far this season with a 2.81 GAA and .923 save percentage. Last year the Pens won 4-1 in both matchups they had against the Canucks. I’d expect a similar easy result tonight and love this spot. Wish I had locked this one in last night but I’ll take the Penguins for a unit. I’d lean the over but not enough to bet on it.
Coyotes vs. Jets (10:30)
The Coyotes play their first home game of the season tonight in the biggest joke of an arena in the NHL, a 5000 person capacity in a college rink at Arizona State with locker rooms that are comparable to ones I’ve played beer league games in. A pathetic excuse for an NHL venue that just makes you feel bad for the guys that grinded playing hockey their whole life to get to this level just to deal with this nonsense as a pro. The Yotes are a lottery team this year, one of the worst teams in the NHL, coming into tonight’s game with a 2-4 record off a big 6-3 win in Columbus on Tuesday night. Arizona’s offense has been fine, averaging 3.17 goals per game despite only generating 23.2 shots on goal per game on average. Defensively they’re horrible, giving up an average of 4.83 goals per game on an average of 36.5 shots allowed. The Winnipeg Jets are 4-3 on the season, coming off a big 6-4 win in LA last night against the Kings. On the season Winnipeg has scored an average of 3.14 goals per game on an average of 29.7 shots on goal and they’ve allowed an average of 3 goals per game on an average of 33.1 shots allowed. On the second half of a back to back after starting Hellebuyck last night, the Jets will likely be starting David Rittich in goal, who’s one of the worst goalies in the league and had a 4.23 GAA and .871 save percentage in his only start of the season giving up four goals in the first 15 minutes in their 5-2 loss to Vegas a week ago. Winnipeg won three of the four game these Central Division teams played last season with three of the four games staying very low scoring. The Jets are the better team here and should win but I don’t trust Rittich at all to bet on them. I’ll take the over 6 in this game for half a unit, expecting both teams to bleed away goals.
.5u Golden Knights in regulation (-167)
.5u Golden Knights TT over 3.5 (-155)
.5u Hurricanes/Islanders under 6 (-132)
.5u Bruins ML (-143)
.5u Bruins TT over 3 (-162)
1u Penguins ML (-182)
.5u Jets/Coyotes over 6 (-136)
Record: 56-52-2 (-10.37 units)
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