Last night it was a hell of a sweat but I hit my biggest bet of the year so far, going 3-2 to win 1.65 units on a small three game slate. Let’s keep chipping away with winner’s on tonight’s eleven game NHL slate.
Sabres vs. Coyotes (7:00)
The Sabres dropped to 7-5 on the season after back to back 5-3 losses on the road on Friday in Carolina and Saturday in Tampa. Those were two very good teams that the Sabres hung in with but were definitely outplayed by better teams that could both contend to win the Stanley Cup. Buffalo’s been pretty good though this year and going up against one of the worst teams in the NHL in the Coyotes at home should be a good bounce back spot for them tonight. The Sabres offensively have been very good this season, even in their losses. They’re averaging 4.08 goals per game on an average of 31.7 shots on goal. Defensively, they’ve been okay but nothing great, allowing an average of 3.17 goals per game on an average of 31.7 shots allowed. The Coyotes are coming off a 3-2 win against the Capitals on Saturday where they came back from down 2-0 early in the third period with three straight unanswered goals with Nick Ritchie’s game winner coming with just 36 seconds left in regulation. The Yotes are still the biggest joke of the NHL though with a 4-6-1 record. They’ve scored an average of 2.82 goals per game while generating an average of only 23.4 shots per game and they’ve been bad defensively, allowing an average of 4.09 goals per game on an average of 37 shots allowed. Last season in the two games played between these teams, the Sabres won both games they played with 3-1 and 2-1 victories. I love my Sabres to win this game, but the moneyline of -240 is too expensive for me to lay on Buffalo tonight. I will take them to win in regulation for a unit. I’d lean the under but not enough to bet it, especially with how much the Sabres have trended over as of late.
Red Wings vs. Canadiens (7:00)
These were both two of the worst teams in the NHL last season and they’ve both improved in the offseason. The Red Wings are an impressive 7-3-2 on the season with a 5-1-1 home record. They’ve won their last three games in a row including a 3-2 overtime win against the Rangers on the road in MSG on Sunday. Detroit has scored of 3.08 goals per game on an average of 28.8 shots on goal. Defensively they have allowed an average of 2.92 goals per game on an average of 33.7 shots allowed. Since coming over from St. Louis in the offseason, Ville Husso, who is confirmed in goal tonight, has been fantastic with an incredible 1.86 GAA, .941 save percentage and two shutouts already this season. The Habs are 5-6-1, coming into tonight’s game on a three game losing streak, most recently losing 6-4 at home to the Golden Knights on Saturday. Montreal has scored an average of 2.83 goals per game on an average of 29.3 shots on goal and they’ve allowed an average of 3.33 goals per game on an average of 33.4 shots allowed. When these teams played in Detroit on October 14th, they shut out the Habs 3-0 in a very close game that was scoreless through two periods. The Red Wings scored 2:33 into the third and then got two empty net goals in the last 1:01 of the game to seal up the win in a game where they outshot the Canadiens 40-29. Last year Montreal won two of the three games between these teams. I think this ends up being a pretty close game but I give Detroit the edge at home with Husso in goal and will take them for half a unit to get a win tonight.
Rangers vs. Islanders (7:00)
Tonight we get the second Battle of New York City of the season. The first time these teams played on Long Island on October 26th, the Isles shut out the Rags in a 3-0 win where they got outshot 41-29 with Ilya Sorokin’s incredible performance in goal. The Isles are 8-5 on the season with six wins in their last seven games, on the second half of a back to back after a 4-3 comeback overtime win against the Flames. Calgary had a 3-1 lead going into the third period and outshot the Islanders 46-32 (easy winner on my Sorokin prop) but the Isles came back to win 4:02 into overtime on a power play goal from Noah Dobson. The Rangers seem to have taken a step back from where they were last year and come into tonight’s game with a 6-4-3 record after two losses in a row at home to the Red Wings on Sunday and Bruins on Thursday. They’ve scored an average of 2.77 goals per game on an average of 34.6 goals per game. Despite having last year’s Vezina in Igor Shesterkin, who has a 2.41 GAA and .916 GAA this season, the Rags have allowed an average of 2.92 goals per game on an average of 29.5 shots allowed. The Rangers started their backup Jaro Halak in goal on Sunday, which I hadn’t expected and missed out on the great value on the Red Wings in that game because of that, so I’d expect Igor to be between the pipes tonight. Last season these teams split their four games with three of the four games staying low scoring. I’d lean the Rangers answer back from their shutout loss with a win tonight at home, especially with Shesterkin projected to start and the Isles on the second half of a back to back. That being said, I think this is too close of a game to bet on and don’t like the -175 price on the Rags. I’ll just stay off this game entirely.
Devils vs. Flames (7:00)
These teams just played each other on Saturday night in Calgary with quite an entertaining game. After the Flames got on the board just 1:29 into the game on a goal from Nazem Kadri, the Devils scored three straight to give them a 3-1 lead going into the first intermission (and cashing my biggest bet of the season before last night on their TT over 2.5 easily). After the Flames scored a goal in each of the next two periods, the Devils won 4-3 in overtime on the power play. The Devils have been easily the most impressive team in the NHL this season, coming into tonight’s game on a six game win streak with a 9-3 record. They’ve lead the NHL in high scoring chances and expected goals. They’re scoring an average of 3.67 goals per game on an average of 39.1 shots per game. Defensively, they’ve allowed an average of 2.58 goals per game on an average of just 23.8 shots allowed. Calgary’s 5-4-2 and coming into tonight on a five game losing streak. They’re on the second half of a back to back after a game on Long Island last night. Last night the Flames blew a 3-1 lead going into the third period, allowing the Isles to come back and win 4-3 in overtime on the power play despite outshooting New York 46-32. Calgary hasn’t been bad offensively, generating a lot of scoring chances and averaging 3.18 goals per game on an average of 37.1 shots on goal. They’ve struggled defensively, allowing an average of 3.36 goals per game on an average of 28.9 shots allowed, with both of their goalies playing much worse than they did last season. Last year the Flames won both games between these teams, both in high scoring games with a 6-3 and 5-3 win. I like the Devils to win this game at home, especially with Calgary’s current struggles and that they’re on the second half of a road back to back. I’ll take NJ for half a unit and the over for half a unit.
Senators vs. Canucks (7:00)
Neither of these teams have been great. After a 4-2 start to the season, the Sens have since lost their last five games in a row to drop to 4-7 on the year. In Cam Talbot’s Ottawa debut on Saturday at home against the Flyers, they lost 2-1, outshooting Philly 34-28 but not being able to score again after Claude Giroux opened the game with Ottawa’s only goal 2:44 into the first period. The Senators offense has actually been pretty good this season. They’re scoring an average of 3.45 goals per game on an average of 32.1 shots on goal but they’ve been bad defensively, allowing an average of 3.46 goals per game on an average of 33.7 shots allowed. The Canucks started their season horrendously with an 0-5-2 start to their year. Since then, they’ve gone 3-1-1 in their last five games to improve to 3-6-3, which still isn’t great. They’re coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to the Predators at home on Saturday, where they blew a 3-0 first period lead and outshot the Preds 45-30. Similar to Ottawa, Vancouver has been pretty good offensively but horrible defensively. They’ve averaged 3.42 goals per game on an average of 3.05 goals per game. The Canucks have been absolutely terrible on the back end, allowing an average of 4 goals per game on an average of 32.6 shots allowed. These teams split their games last season with a 6-2 Canucks win and 4-3 Senators win in overtime. I’d slightly lean the Sens win at home tonight to get off their losing streak, but the Canucks have been decent enough lately that I don’t see any value on betting a side here. Both of these teams have been good offensively, but horrible defensively which makes me like the over in this game. I’m not betting the 7 but I’ll buy it down to the alternate 6.5 line for half a unit.
Flyers vs. Blues (7:00)
Last night the struggling Blues hung in with the Bruins, really making me sweat out my biggest bet of the year so far, in a 1-1 game until the Bruins broke the tie 12:45 into the third period on their way to a 3-1 win, cashing my Boston regulation and puck line bets. The Blues were the inferior team in that game, getting outshot 37-26. St. Louis started their season 3-0 and they’ve lost their last seven games in a row to drop to 3-7. They’ve struggled a ton on both ends of the ice. They’re scoring an average of 2.2 goals per game on an average of 29.1 shots per game and allowing an average of 3.8 goals per game on an average of 31.8 shots allowed. The Flyers, coming off a 2-1 win in Ottawa on Saturday to end their three game losing streak and they’re now 6-3-2 on the season. They’re over exceeding expectations, both scoring an allowing an average of 2.55 goals per game while getting outshot by an average of 26.5-36.5. Carter Hart, confirmed in goal tonight has been incredible for Philly, stealing wins for them on his own. He has a 6-0-2 record with a 1.97 GAA and .946 save percentage. These teams split their two games last season with. 4-1 Blues win and a 5-2 Flyers win. No chance I’m betting this game. The Flyers still suck and they’re just outperforming expectations where I think the Blues are underperforming. I’d slightly lean Philly but not enough to bet on it.
Maple Leafs vs. Golden Knights (7:00)
The Golden Knights have been easily the best team in the Western Conference this season with a 11-2 record to start the season after missing the playoffs last year for the first time in their franchise history. They come into tonight’s game on a seven game win streak after a 6-4 win in Montreal on Saturday night. They’ve been very good on both ends of the ice. Offensively, they’re second only to the Devils in high danger chances this season. They’re scoring an average of 3.54 goals per game on an average of 34.2 shots on goal per game. On the back end, new head coach Bruce Cassidy has gotten much better defensive play from this team compared to how they played last year. Vegas has allowed an average of just 2.08 goals per game on an average of 29.8 shots allowed per game. The Leafs are 7-4-2 on the season with a 5-1 record at home, coming off a 3-1 win in Carolina on Sunday (loss for me) to go on a three game win streak. They’ve had their issues though this year. They’re scoring an average of 2.85 goals per game on an average of 31.3 goals per game. On the back end, they’ve allowed an average of 2.62 goals per game on an average of 27.9 shots allowed. Third string goalie Erik Kallgren is confirmed in goal tonight. He’s 1-1-2 on the season with a 2.76 GAA and .904 save percentage which is over performing what I’d expect from him. These teams already played in Vegas this season on October 24th with a 3-1 Knights win at home after the Leafs won both games between these teams last year. I’d lean the Golden Knights win this game on the road to keep their win streak going. I do think this ends up being a pretty close game though in Toronto but I think Vegas has a clear edge here offensively on Kallgren and with them at even money, I’ll take VGK for half a unit.
Lightning vs. Oilers (7:30)
The Oilers are on the second half of a back to back on the road tonight after a 5-4 loss in Washington last night. Their penalty kill was awful, allowing four of the five goals the Capitals scored on the power play. They gave me my only loss of last night and they’re now 7-6 on the season, coming in on a three game losing streak. Connor McDavid, who scored a dazzling highlight reel goal last season, leads the NHL with 27 points and 13 goals. With him and Draisaitl’s play (17 assists), Edmonton’s offense has been fantastic, averaging 3.85 goals per game on an average of 34.5 shots per game. They’ve been quite lousy defensively though, allowing an average of 3.62 goals per game on an average of 34.5 shots allowed. Jack Campbell, who’s projected to start tonight after having last night off, has been horrible this season with a 4.2 GAA and .874 save percentage. The Lightning, the Eastern Conference Champions for the past three seasons in a row have been quite good lately with a 6-1-1 record in their last eight games and 4-0-1 record in their last five to move to 7-4-1 on the season. They’re coming off a 5-3 win against my Sabres on Saturday where they were just the better overall team, bouncing back from a 4-3 shootout loss to the Hurricanes last Thursday. The Bolts have been good offensively this season, scoring an average of 3.33 goals per game on an average of 30.7 shots per game. Defensively, they’ve allowed an average of 3.08 goals per game on an average of 32 shots allowed and they should have Andrei Vasilevskiy back in goal tonight after he got the night off Saturday. Last year these teams split their two games with a 5-3 Bolts win and a 4-1 Oilers win. I’d expect the Lightning to win this game at home but think it ends up being a close game. I’ll take the Lightning ML and the over in this game for half a unit each.
Jets vs. Stars (8:00)
Both of these Central Division teams have played good hockey to start their seasons. The Jets are 7-3-1, coming off a 4-0 shutout win against the Blackhawks on Saturday have a 5-0-1 record in their last six games. Winnipeg has scored an average of 3 goals per game on an average of 30.9 shots on goal. They’ve been very good defensively, allowing an average of 2.46 goals per game on an average of 30.9 shots allowed per game. Connor Hellebuyck’s likely to start in goal tonight and has been one of the best goalies in the NHL this season with a 2.09 GAA, .936 save percentage and two shutouts already in his nine starts so far this year. Dallas has been awesome this year on both ends of the ice, coming into tonight’s game with an 8-3-1 record on a three game win streak after crushing the Oilers 6-2 on the road on Saturday. Offensively the Stars have been much better than they were last year, averaging 3.83 goals per game on an average of 31 shots per game, scoring at least five goals in each of their last three games. They’ve been exceptional on the back end, allowing an average of just 2.25 goals per game on an average of 30.9 shots allowed. When these teams play on October 17th in Dallas, the Stars got a 4-1 win at home, scoring four unanswered goals after giving up Mark Scheifele’s goal just 3:28 into the first period. The Stars won three of the four games between these Central Division teams last season, which all needed overtime to decide. I’d slightly lean Dallas wins tonight on the road but not enough to bet on it. I do like the under though with two good defensive teams and will take the alternate under 6.5 here for half a unit.
Kraken vs. Predators (10:00)
The Kraken had a horrible first season last year as an expansion and have improved a lot in the offseason, coming into tonight’s game with a 7-4-2 record and on a four game win streak after beating the Penguins 3-2 on Saturday. Their offense has improved from a season ago, scoring a pretty good average of 3.46 goals per game on an average of 30.8 shots on goal. They’ve been okay defensively, allowing an average of 3.08 goals per game on an average of 27.7 shots allowed. The Predators are on their first two game win streak since their opening games of the season, beating the Canucks 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday to improve to 5-6-1 on the year. They’ve struggled on both ends of the ice to start their year off. They’ve scored an average of 2.75 goals per game on an average of 30.3 shots on goal and they’ve allowed an average of 3.25 goals per game on an average of 33.3 shots allowed despite having a very good goalie in Juuse Saros. Last year Seattle won two of their three games against the Preds. I’d slightly lean the Kraken win this game at home and the over, but not enough to bet on either of them. This could be a sneaky fun game between two teams that I don’t think are all that good.
Kings vs. Wild (10:30)
Both of these teams have played pretty similar hockey this season with solid offense and bad defense and goaltending. The Kings are 7-6-1 on the season after a 5-4 win over the Panthers on Saturday night. They’ve improved a lot offensively from last year and they’re averaging a good 3.43 goals per game on an average of 33.4 shots per game. They’ve declined mightily for how good they were on the back end last year, allowing a very high average of 3.79 goals per game on an average of 31.1 shots allowed. The Wild got shut out 4-0 at home by the Kraken last Thursday. They were one of the best offensive teams in the NHL last year and are still pretty good offensively, averaging 3.09 goals per game on an average of 33.1 shots on goal. Defensively they’ve been terrible though with surprisingly bad goaltending from Mark Andre Fleury, as they’ve allowed an average of 3.64 goals per game on an average of 31 shots allowed. These teams played a very fun game on October 15th in Minnesota on the first week of the season, trading goals in a 7-6 Kings win that saw six goals in the first period. Last year Minnesota won two of their three games against the Kings. I’d lean the Wild here but this is a crapshoot of a game to bet with them on the road between these two underperforming teams. I like the over though, expecting both teams to be able to score while giving up more goals than they likely should. I’ll take the over for half a unit.
1u Sabres in regulation (-148)
.5u Red Wings ML (-155)
.5u Devils ML (-145)
.5u Devils/Flames over 6.5 (-130)
.5u Senators/Canucks over 6.5 (-141)
.5u Golden Knights ML (+100)
.5u Lightning ML (-170)
.5u Lightning/Oilers over 6.5 (-125)
.5u Stars/Jets under 6.5 (-136)
.5u Kings/Wild over 6.5 (-110)
Record: 90-80-2 (-10.61 units)
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