Yesterday after returning from the day off for Thanksgiving, I went 4-5, with a big swing on the Red Wings not getting it done in regulation as I lost 0.8 units on the day. Today we have a pretty good eight game Saturday NHL slate.
Rangers vs. Oilers (1:00)
Coming into the season both with high expectations after losing the conference championship series last year, both of these teams have been pretty disappointing in the first quarter of this season. The Oilers are coming off a 3-0 shutout loss in Long Island on Wednesday night, their second loss in a row and with only three wins in their last ten games they’ve dropped to 10-10 on the season. They have no scoring depth behind Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and their defense and the play from Jack Campbell (projected to start) in goal fucking sucks. The Rangers backstopped by Igor Shesterkin have been good defensively but their offense is nothing special. They’re a very average team that’s definitely declined from last year. They are 10-7-4 on the season, coming off giving the Ducks their first regulation win of the season in a game where the Rangers poured it on with 43 shots on goal but came up short in a 3-2 loss on Wednesday night. I’d slightly lean the Rangers get a win today on home ice in MSG and would slightly lean the over, but neither enough to bet on. I’ll just lay off this game entirely.
Hurricanes vs. Flames (4:00)
I thought both of these teams would be cup contenders this year but they’ve been disappointing as of late and both coming off losses yesterday. The Hurricanes are 10-6-5, coming into today’s game on five game losing streak after yesterday afternoon’s 3-2 overtime loss in Boston where they blew a 2-0 lead late in the second period. In their five game losing streak, four of those have been in overtime with the one that wasn’t being a 4-0 shutout at home by the Coyotes. The Flames got shut out yesterday, losing 3-0 to the Caps for their second loss in a row to drop to 9-8-3 on the year. They’ve actually been decent with their offensive play and have generated a lot of scoring opportunities but just haven’t been able to get the puck in the back of the net. Along with that, their defense that was incredible last year has taken a step back. The first matchup between these teams this year, the Flames won 3-2 in overtime in Calgary on October 22nd, coming back from down 2-0. I’d slightly lean the Flames and the under here but not enough to bet on it.
Panthers vs. Blues (6:30)
The Panthers are coming off a huge 5-2 win against the Bruins on Wednesday night to end their three game losing streak and improve to 10-8-2 on the season. Last year’s Presidents Trophy winning team has definitely taken a bit of a step back from a season ago but are still a pretty good team. Their offense has been cruising but they’ve struggled a bit on the back end. The Blues are coming off two blowout losses in a row in Tampa and Buffalo, ending their seven game winning streak and dropping them to 10-10 on the season. They’re a very streak team and they’ve struggled on both ends this year. I’d slightly lean Florida wins at home tonight but not enough to bet on it and I think the price on them at -220 is way more than it should be. I do like the over though, expecting both teams to score and I’ll take that for a unit.
Devils vs. Capitals (7:00)
Last night the Devils came to Buffalo and bounced back from their 2-1 loss to the Leafs on Wednesday night with a dominant 3-1 win over the Sabres. The Devils are one of the best teams in the NHL and it showed last night as they improved to 17-4 on the season. They’ve generated the most expected goals and high danger scoring chances in the league and their defense and goaltending has been very good too. This team’s a Cup contender. The Caps are coming off a surprising 3-0 shutout win at home against the Flames yesterday. They’re still dealing with a ton of injuries but with back to back wins they’re now 9-10-3 on the season. The Capitals actually got a surprising win against the Devils in NJ on October 24th with a 6-3 win. I’d expect the Devils answer back today with a big win at home. I’ll take NJ in regulation for two units in this Metropolitan Division matchup.
Penguins vs. Maple Leafs (7:00)
Both of these teams have had their struggles at points this season but they’re both playing really solid hockey right now. The Penguins, coming off an easy 4-1 win against their rivals in Philly yesterday are now on a five game win streak with a 7-1-1 record in their last nine games to improve to 11-7-3 on the season after going on a seven game losing streak last month. Their offense has been fantastic all season and they’ve been much better defensively as of late. Coming off a 4-3 win in Minnesota last night, the Leafs have picked up points in each of their last seven games to improve to 12-5-5 on the season. I still think they look like a team that will be a first round exit from the playoffs though. These Eastern Conference playoff teams from last year have already played twice this season with the road team winning both games, a 4-2 Penguins win in Toronto on November 11th and a 5-2 Leafs win in Pittsburgh four days later to answer bet. I’d slightly lean the Penguins win this one at home in the last regular season matchup between these teams and would slightly lean the under, but not enough to bet on either. I’ll just skip this game.
Islanders vs. Flyers (7:30)
The Islanders are on a three game win streak after a 3-2 win in Columbus last night that was more of a sweat than I would have liked. That win improves the Isles to 14-8 on the season with a 7-3 record at home. They’ve been very good on both ends of the ice but are projected to give Ilya Sorokin the night off and will likely go with Varlamov in goal tonight. The Flyers have been horrible and after their 4-1 loss at home to the Penguins last night, they’ve dropped to 7-9-5 on the season, coming into tonight’s game on a nine game losing streak. Philly hasn’t been able to generate any offense this season and even Carter Hart’s solid play in goal can’t save them when their offense is only scoring an average of 2.43 goals per game. If Sorokin was playing, I would be hammering the Isles here in this Metro Division matchup. I still expect them to win with Varlamov but I won’t go as heavy on it and will take the Islanders in regulation for a unit.
Avalanche vs. Stars (9:00)
This is easily the best matchup on today’s slate to me between two teams playing really good hockey to start the year and coming off losses. The Avalanche got an extra day off due to a water main break in Nashville yesterday and they’re coming off a disappoint 4-3 loss at home against the Canucks on Wednesday night. The Stanley Cup champs are 11-6-1 on the season, playing really good on both ends of the ice. Last night the Stars lost 5-4 in overtime to the Jets but haven’t lost in regulation in their last seven games, coming into tonight’s game with a 12-5-4 record with a 4-0-3 record in their last seven. I thought Dallas would be a bubble team looking for a Wild Card spot but they’ve been much better than I expected, playing very well on both ends of the ice. The first time these Central Division teams played this season, less than a week ago on November 21st in Dallas, the Avs won 3-2 in a shootout in a game they outshot the Stars 35-24 and Dallas forced overtime with just 26 seconds left in regulation on a Jason Robertson goal. I’d lean Colorado and the over in this game but not enough to bet either.
Golden Knights vs. Canucks (10:00)
Last night the Golden Knights lost 4-2 at home to the Kraken in a game that I’m glad that I’m glad I just stayed off betting. Vegas has been fantastic this season, leading the Western Conference with an impressive 16-5-1 record and playing great hockey on both ends of the ice. The Canucks are 7-10-3 and playing better hockey recently with three wins in their last four games, including a surprising 4-3 win in Colorado on Wednesday night. Vancouver’s offense has actually been pretty good but they’ve sucked defensively. These teams played five days ago with a 5-4 Golden Knights win coming back from a 4-2 deficit in the third period with three straight unanswered goals in a game that they outshot the Nuks 38-29. I like the Knights to win here again and will take Vegas for 1.5 units.
1u Panthers/Blues over 6.5 (-130)
2u Devils in regulation (-114)
1u Islanders in regulation (-143)
1.5u Golden Knights ML (-175)
1u Boston Bruins – Stanley Cup Champions (+1000)
1.5u Boston Bruins – Stanley Cup Champions (+1100)
2u Vegas Golden Knights – Stanley Cup Champions (+1200)
1.5u Carolina Hurricanes – Stanley Cup Champions (+1300)
1u New Jersey Devils – Stanley Cup Champions (+1600)
Record: 141-134-2 (-22.36 units)
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