Pretty much broke even on last night’s NHL slate, going 3-3 to lose just 0.28 units, ending my four day win streak. Let’s bounce back on tonight’s eight game slate starting with an early game!
Maple Leafs vs. Flyers (2:00)
This is a pretty huge mismatch to start off the day. The Leafs are very good this season, coming into tonight’s game with a 20-7-6 record after their 4-1 win at home on Tuesday against the Lightning. Toronto’s offense has been pretty good this season and their defense and goaltending has been surprisingly spectacular. The Flyers have sucked this season with an 11-15-7 record and they only have four wins in their last 21 games. They’re coming off a 5-3 win against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday, their second win in their last three games. They’ve sucked on both ends of the ice, especially offensively. The first game this season between these teams on November 2nd in Toronto, the Leafs got an easy 5-2 win. I’d expect the same thing today in this matinee. The moneyline is way too expensive at -335 and even the -200 regulation line is expensive, but I’ll take the Leafs -1.5 puck line for a unit.
Bruins vs. Jets (7:00)
This is a phenomenal cross-conference matchup between two great teams this season. For my new side job at StatSalt.com, I broke this game down in depth. Like I said in that article, I’d expect the Bruins to win at home in a low scoring game. For that site, we stick to basic plays (totals, puck lines, moneylines) but my actual bets on this game will be a half unit each on the Bruins in regulation and the alternate under 6.5.
Rangers vs. Islanders (7:00)
These two New York rivals meet for the third and final regular season matchup between these teams this season. They come in on different trends that they did in the two previous games. The Isles won both games, as they beat the Rangers in a 3-0 shutout on Long Island on October 26th and then on November 8th they came back with three third period goals to win 4-3. The 18-11-5 Rangers are playing their best hockey of the season right now, with their seven game win streak coming to an end on Tuesday with a 3-2 loss in Pittsburgh. The Islanders are 18-13-2 on the season and in a bit of a slump right now. Coming off a double shutout 1-0 shootout loss in Colorado on Monday night, the Isles have only one win in their last five games and just three in their last ten. These teams match up pretty evenly from a statistical standpoint. I’d lean the Rangers get a win at home tonight and would slightly lean the over, but don’t think there’s any value in betting this game, so I’ll just stay off it.
Senators vs. Capitals (7:00)
Both of these teams are playing their best hockey of the season right now. The Senators have lost their last two games in a row, coming off a 5-1 loss in Winnipeg on Tuesday night and come into tonight with a 14-16-2 record. Prior to those two games, Ottawa was on a four game win streak with an 8-2-1 record in their eleven games before the losses to the Wild and the Jets. Their offense has been pretty good this season but their defense and goaltending has struggled. The Caps, coming off a 4-3 comeback win in overtime against the Red Wings on Monday night have won seven of their last eight games to improve to 17-13-4 on the season. They’re getting healthier each day with Tom Wilson now back to full practice. Their offense and defense have both improved over this successful span of games. Ottawa won the first game between these teams this season, winning 5-2 at home in a game where they scored five straight and outshot the Caps 44-24. I’d expect the switch to flip on this game. I’ll take the Caps for half a unit and the alternate over 6 for half a unit.
Penguins vs. Hurricanes (7:00)
These are two phenomenal teams playing really great hockey right now. The Penguins are 19-9-4 with a 10-3-2 record at home. Coming off a 3-2 win against the Rangers on Tuesday, Pittsburgh has won eight of their last nine games with a 12-2-1 record in their last 15 games, with two of those three losses coming against this Carolina team. They’ve played awesome on offense all season and their defense and goaltending has improved a ton recently. The Hurricanes are on a six game win streak after a 4-1 win against the Devils on Tuesday. They’ve picked up a least a point in each of their last twelve games with a 10-0-2 record in that span to improve to 20-6-6 on the season. Their offense doesn’t have a ton of firepower but their defense is one of the best in the NHL and this is a true Cup contender in Carolina this season. Both previous games between these teams this season have been fantastic, both 3-2 wins for the Canes. They won in overtime in Pittsburgh on November 29th and then again in regulation with a small third period comeback just four days ago at home on December 18th. I’d lean the Penguins get a win at home tonight but not enough to bet it. I do like the under though and will take the alternate under 6 in this game for half a unit.
Canucks vs. Kraken (10:00)
This is an interesting matchup. The Canucks are coming off two 5-1 losses in a row, losing to the Blues on Monday and the Jets on Saturday to drop to 13-15-3 on the season. They were playing relatively well prior to those two losses with a 9-4 record in that span. Vancouver’s offense has been good but their defense and goaltending has been awful. Similarly, the Kraken have been awesome offensively but have struggled defensively, just not quite to the level as the Canucks. Seattle’s won their last two games in a row against the same opponents that beat the Canucks the previous day, with a 5-2 win against the Blues on Tuesday and a 3-2 win against the Jets on Sunday. They’re much improved from last year, coming into tonight’s game with an 18-10-3 record. I’d lean the the Kraken get a win here on the road but don’t see enough value in betting them. I expect both teams to be able to score a good amount while also giving up more goals than they should. I’ll take the over here for a unit.
Kings vs. Flames (10:30)
This game has the potential to be fun between two teams that I think have underperformed this season. The Flames were my preseason pick to win the Stanley Cup but that’s obviously not happening this year with a 15-12-6 record and them currently outside of a playoff spot. After going on a five game losing streak, Calgary’s bounced back with two wins in San Jose, beating them 7-3 on Tuesday and 5-2 on Sunday. They’ve been okay offensively and have struggled a bit defensively. The Kings are on a three game win streak after a 4-1 win against the Ducks on Tuesday to improve to 18-12-5 on the season. LA’s been good offensively but they’ve been terrible defensively with pretty bad goaltending. The first game between these teams on November 14th in Calgary was highly entertaining with a six goal first period on the way to a 6-5 Flames win. I’d slightly lean the Flames get another win here but not enough to bet it with them as a road favorite. I like the over though, expecting a lot of goals here and will take it the alternate over 5.5 for a unit.
Sharks vs. Wild (10:30)
Last night the Wild cruised to a 4-1 win in Anaheim where they outshot the Ducks 42-22. That was Minnesota’s sixth straight win and twelfth in their last 13 games to improve to 19-11-2 on the season. Their offense has been good all season and their defense and goaltending has improved immensely as of late, allowing an average of just a goal per game in their last six games. The Sharks are pretty lousy this season with a 10-18-6 record. They’re on a three game losing streak after two blowout losses at home to the Flames. Their offense has been decent enough and has improved through the year but their defense and goaltending has been atrocious. San Jose did get a win earlier this season in Minnesota on November 13th, beating the Wild 3-2 in a shootout with a comeback to force OT. Even on the second half of a back to back in what might be a bit of a let down spot, I like the Wild to stay hot here on the road and answer back to even the season series. I will take them for half a unit.
1u Leafs -1.5 (-132)
.5u Bruins in regulation (-141)
.5u Bruins/Jets under 6.5 (-134)
.5u Capitals ML (-125)
.5u Capitals/Senators over 6 (-129)
.5u Penguins/Hurricanes under 6 (-127)
1u Kraken/Canucks over 6.5 (-110)
1u Flames/Kings over 5.5 (-132)
.5u Wild 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: 213-195-5 (-33.56 units)
Please follow me:
If you like the site and my work, share it with your friends!
… and tell Dave Portnoy to hire me…