Happy Halloween! I split my two games on yesterday’s small slate, pretty much breaking even. Tonight we just have three NHL games before a big twelve game slate tomorrow.
Sabres vs. Red Wings (7:00)
The Sabres are coming off a great overtime win against the Blackhawks on Saturday night, coming back from down 3-1 with ten minutes left in the game to win it 4-3 just 36 seconds into overtime on Victor Olofsson’s power play goal after Tage Thompson scored two goals to tie the game up. Really solid win for the Sabres, who outshot Chicago 45-26 and bounced back from two straight losses to Montreal and Seattle. Buffalo’s now 5-3 on the season. The Sabres have been pretty good on both ends of the ice. They’re scoring an average of 3.63 goals per game on an average of 31.5 shots per game and they’ve allowed an average of 2.75 goals per game on an average of 34.8 shots allowed. The Red Wings got a win of their own Saturday, beating the Wild to move to 4-2-2 on the season. They’re much improved on both ends of the ice from last year. Their offense has averaged 3.13 goals per game on an average of 30 shots on goal and they’ve allowed an average of 3 goals per game on the 33.9 shot average they’ve given up. Tonight they’re likely starting backup Alex Nedeljkovic in goal tonight rather than Ville Husso. Nedeljkovic is 1-1-1 in his three starts this season with a 3.96 GAA and .890 save percentage. Detroit swept the Sabres last season, all in close games needing more than 60 minutes to decide three of those games. I think Buffalo’s the better team here and should get a win tonight at home. I’ll go with my Sabres for half a unit.
Hurricanes vs. Capitals (7:00)
This should be a fun game. Caroline bounced back on Saturday with a 4-3 overtime win in Philly after getting embarrassed 6-2 at home against the Islanders on Friday. The Canes are now 5-2-1 on the season. They’ve been decent on both ends of the ice, scoring an average of 3.25 goals per game on an average of 36.4 shots generated and they’ve allowed an average of 2.88 goals per game while giving up just 26 shots against them on average. The Caps are coming off a big 3-0 shutout win in Smashville on Saturday to bounce back from getting shut out 2-0 in Dallas on Thursday. They’re now 5-4 on the year Washington has been very much a mid tier team to me. They have scored an average of 3.11 goals per game on an average of 2.89 goals per game on an average of 32.6 shots given up. Last season the Capitals won three of the four games between these Metro Division teams. I’d lean Carolina wins at home tonight but don’t think they’re worth betting on at the -205 price in what I think is a much closer matchup than that line suggests. I’ll just lay off betting this game.
Blues vs. Kings (8:00)
After starting the season 3-0, the Blues come into tonight’s game with a 3-4 record on a four game losing streak, losing all of those in multi score games by an average of 3.25 goal differential in that losing streak. Most recently, they’re coming off an embarrassing 7-4 loss at home to the Habs on Saturday night. St. Louis has struggled a bit on both ends of the ice. They’re scoring an average of 2.57 goals per game on an average of 29 shots per game and they’ve allowed an average of 3.57 goals per game on an average of 31.6 shots allowed. The Kings are 5-5, coming off a 4-2 win at home against the Leafs on Saturday night (loss for me to end my night). Their offense has been fine and actually an improvement from last year, averaging 3.5 goals per game on on average of 33.4 shots per game. Defensively though they’ve taken a huge step back, allowing an average of 4.1 goals per game on an average of 31.1 shots allowed. Likely to start in goal tonight for the Kings, Jonathan Quick, who was quite good last year, has struggled this season with a 2-4 record, 3.81 GAA and .878 save percentage. The Blues won two of the three games between these teams a season ago, winning 7-3 and in a 3-0 shutout with the loss coming 3-2 in overtime. I’d lean St. Louis wins tonight at home to get off their losing streak and find a way to score against a struggling Kings defense. I’m still trying to reduce my action with the variability of the way the NHL season starts every year to slowly get out of the hole I’m in to start the season, so this isn’t a game that I’m going to bet today. I’ll lay off it. I’d also lean the over but not enough to bet it.
.5u Sabres ML (-150)
Record: 66-63-2 (-13.45 units)
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