I started off hot on last night’s NHL slate but came crashing down in the later games, going 4-4 to lose 3.92 units, capped off by Vegas losing in a shootout despite outshooting the Ducks 51-27. Tonight we have a huge eleven game slate. Let’s get a huge winning night!
Sabres vs. Red Wings (7:00)
The Sabres finally return from the Christmas break with their first game in ten days after a postponed game due to the huge blizzard we had here over Christams. We went into the break hot, on a four game win streak after a 3-2 win in Vegas on the 19th, improving to 16-14-2 on the season with a 9-3-2 recrod in the last 14 games. Buffalo has the highest scoring offense in the NHL this season but we’ve struggled defensively. The Red Wings last night came back from a 4-0 deficit in Pittsburgh, scoring five unanswered to beat the Penguins 5-4 in overtime. That was Detroit’s second big surprising win in a row after they went into the Christmas break with a 7-4 win over Tampa on the 21st. The Red Wings improve to 15-11-7 on the season. They’ve been decent offensively but they’ve struggled defensively. The Sabres won both of the previous games they had against Detroit in high scoring games, dominating them 8-3 at home on October 31st and then winning 5-4 in a shootout in Detroit on November 30th. I’d expect another Sabres win tonight. Buffalo’s really well rested and the Red Wings are on the second half of a back to back. I’m loading up on this game with 1.5 units on the Sabres TT over 3.5, a unit on the Sabres ML and half a unit on the Sabres puck along with a unit on the over.
Panthers vs. Canadiens (7:00)
Both of these teams come into tonight’s game looking to end three game losing streaks. The Panthers have crashed down from winning the Presidents Trophy last season, coming into tonight’s game with a 15-16-4 record and outside of a playoff spot. They have been good offensively but have struggled immensely on the back end. The Habs returned from the Christmas break with a 4-1 loss in Tampa last night. With only one win in their last seven games, Montreal is 15-17-3 on the season. They’ve struggled on both ends of the ice this year despite improving a ton from last season. I’d expect the Panthers to win here but with the way they’ve played and the price on this game at -375 and even the -215 regulation line, there’s no way that’s worth betting on. I’ll just stay off this game. I’d lean the over but not enough to bet it with both of these teams actually trending under recently.
Lightning vs. Rangers (7:00)
Both of these teams, who met in the Eastern Conference Finals last season have played well recently. The Lightning, coming off an easy 4-1 win against the Habs last night in their return from the Christmas break to improve to 21-11-1 on the season. They only have three losses in their last 19 games and could definetely contend to win the East for the fourth straight time this year. Their offense is fantastic but they haven’t played as well as last year. The Rangers are 19-12-5. Despite coming off a 4-0 shutout loss at home to the Caps last night, they have played solid hockey, winning eight of their last ten games. They haven’t been as good as they were the last seasons though on either end of the ice. The Rags won the first game betwen these teams to open the season, 3-1 on October 11th. I’d lean the Bolts answer back with a win at home tonight, but not enough to bet it with both teams on the second half of a back to back. I’d also lean the under but I’ll lay off betting this game entirely.
Capitals vs. Senators (7:00)
I broke this game down in depth for my article on StatSalt. I like the Capitals to get a win here and will take them for a unit. I’d lean the under as well but not enough to actually bet on it.
Islanders vs. Blue Jackets (7:30)
I broke this game down in depth as well on StatSalt. As I said in that article, I’d expect an easy win here for the Islanders. The moneyline is too expecnsive for me and I don’t love the puck line but I’ll take the Isles in regulation for a unit. I’d lean the over but not enough to bet on it and I’ll just stick to betting the side.
Wild vs. Stars (8:00)
These Central Division teams have both played incredible hockey, currently sitting in playoff spots. Minnesota is 20-12-2 on the season and returned from the Christmas break with a 4-1 win in Winnipeg on Tuesday night. After a slow start to the season, they’ve rallied big time with seven wins in their last eight games and just four losses in their last 17. Both their offense and defense has improved immensely. The Stars came back from the break with a 3-2 win in Nashville on Tuesday, with Roope Hintz scoring the game winner with just 53 seconds left in regulation. They lead the Central with a 21-9-6 record with a 7-2-1 record in their last ten games. They’ve far exceeded my expectations for them this season, playing really well on both ends of the ice. The first game between these divisional opponents earlier this month on December 4th was a crazy game with the Stars coming back from a 5-1 deficit early in the third period but going on to lose in a shootout 6-5 at home. I’d lean the Wild get the win at home here and would slightly lean the over, but neither enough to bet on it.
Blues vs. Blackhawks (8:00)
The Blackhawks are one of the worst teams in the NHL this season. They’re 8-21-4 on the year, returning from the Christmas break with a 3-0 shutout loss in Carolina on Tuesday night. They’ve been abysmal on both ends of the ice this season and have only one win in their last ten games and just two in their last 19. This team sucks big time and they’ll be even worse after Kane and Toews leave at the deadline. The Blues have been a very streaky team this year, coming into tonight’s game on a three game losing streak to drop to 16-16-3 on the season after a 5-4 overtime loss against the Leafs on Tuesday. They’ve been decent enough offensively but have struggled mightilyy on the back end. In the first game between these teams this season on November 16th in Chicago, the Blues won 5-2. I’d expect a similar result tonight. I think the -275 moneyline on a team thats been so inconsistent isn’t worth betting but I will take the Blues in regulation for half a unit. I’d lean the over but not enough to bet on it and have to rely on the Blackhawks to score.
Jets vs. Canucks (8:00)
The Jets are having a fantasic season this year but have been in a slump recently. They’re 21-13-1 on the season but come into tonight on a three game losing streak after a 4-1 loss at home to the Wild on Tuesday night, only picking up one win in their last five games. Winnipeg’s been good offensively and phenomenal on the back end back stopped by one of the league’s best goaltenders in Connor Hellebuyck. The Canucks are on a nice little three game win streak with seven wins in their last ten games to improve to 16-15-3 on the season. They’re coming off a 6-2 win agianst the Sharks on Tuesday that had Vancouver once again chanting “Bruce there he is”. The Canucks have been good offensively this season but they’ve really struggled defensively. In the first game between these teams this season, the Jets won easily 5-1 in Vancouver on December 17th. I’d expect Winnipeg to end their losing streak with a win on home ice tonight as the much more well rounded team in this matchup. I’ll take the Jets for half a unit.
Coyotes vs. Maple Leafs (9:00)
The Leafs are having a great season, comfortably second in the Atlantic Division with a 22-7-6 record. They’re on a three game win streak after a 5-4 overtime win in St. Louis on Tuesday night. Toronto’s offense has been good this season but surprisingly their defense has been one of the best in the NHL. The Coyotes are coming off back to back wins of their own, beating the Avs 6-3 on Tuesday night at home. Although they haven’t been an easy out this season for teams, Arizona still isn’t a great team with just a 12-16-5 record and they’ve played pretty poorly on both ends of the ice. One of the worst teams statistically on both ends. In the first game between these teams this season, the Coyotes got a 4-2 win in Toronto, pulling off a huge upset on October 17th (which I picked, getting +600 value on the Yotes in regulation, not a big deal). I’d expect the Leafs to avenge that loss with a win on the road in Arizona tonight, despite the Yotes having a winning record at home. I’ll take the Leafs in regulation for half a unit.
Avalanche vs. Kings (9:00)
The Avs returned from the Christmas break with a 6-3 loss in Arizona on Tuesday night but they went into the break on a four game win streak with just one loss in their last six game. Despite a lot of key injuries, Colorado’s played pretty good. They come into tonight’s game with a 19-12-1 record. They’ve played decent on both ends of the ice this season but not close to how dominant they were last year. The Kings have played really well recently, with five wins in their last six games to improve to 10-11-6 on the season. Their offense has been pretty good this season but they’ve struggled quite a bit defensively with lousy goaltending. I’d slightly lean the Avalanche win this game at home tonight but not enough to bet on it with how well the Kings have played recently. I’d lean the under as well but not enough to bet on it.
Sharks vs. Flyers (10:30)
What a terrible cross conference matchup this game is. Both of these teams suck. The Sharks are 11-19-6. Coming off a 6-2 loss in Vancouver on Tuesday, they’ve only won one of their last five games. Their offense has been decent but their defense has been horrible. The Flyers are terrible too, coming into tonight with an 11-17-7 record. They have played close games recently though, coming off a 6-5 loss to Carolina going into the Christmas break. They’ve played poorly on both ends of the ice. Rookie prospect Samuel Ersson is confirmed in goal for the Flyers tonight, who had a terrible 6.33 GAA and .833 save percentage in his relief appearance against Carolina on December 23rd, giving up five goals in his 47 minutes of action. In the first game between these teams this season on October 23rd in Philly, the Sharks won a 3-0 shutout. I’d lean the Sharks get another win at home tonight but not enough to bet it. I really like the over with two such lousy defenses though, which I’ll take for a unit.
1.5u Sabres TT over 3.5 (-129)
1u Sabres ML (-180)
.5u Sabres -1.5 (+150)
1u Sabres/Red Wings over 6.5 (-130)
1u Capitals ML (-165)
1u Islanders in regulation (-155)
.5u Blues in regulation (-165)
.5u Jets ML (-140)
.5u Leafs in regulation (-177)
1u Sharks/Flyers over 6 (-127)
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: 233-211-6 (-34.54 units)
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