Last night on just a small three-game NHL slate I had my first losing day in about a week, going 1-3-1 and losing 2.91 units as the Stars got shut out by the Ducks. Tonight we have a huge ten-game slate, let’s bounce back in a big way.
Hurricanes vs. Predators (7:00)
I broke this game down in depth for my article on StatSalt. As I said in that article, I’d expect the Hurricanes to win this game pretty easily and bounce back from their loss against the Rangers. I’ll take the Canes in regulation for 2 units. Along with that, I like the under a lot here and will take it for a unit.
Devils vs. Blues (7:00)
I did an in-depth article breaking this game down as well on StatSalt. I like the Devils to win this game at home, even on the second half of a back-to-back, and I like the over as well. I’ll take them each for half a unit.
Blue Jackets vs. Capitals (7:00)
This is a huge mismatch in the Metro Division tonight. The Blue Jackets are horrible. Coming off a 4-0 shutout loss in Ottawa (easy winner for me) on Tuesday, they’ve only won once in their last nine games to drop down to 11-23-2. They’ve been horrible on both ends of the ice, especially defensively. The Caps have been fantastic lately. They’re coming off a 5-4 overtime loss at home to the Sabres in a fantastic game on Tuesday night but have picked up in each of their last eight games, going 6-0-2 in that span and winning eleven of their last 13 games. They come into tonight’s game with a 21-13-6 record and have played well on both ends of the ice. I’d expect an easy win for the Caps here and will take them in regulation for 2 units.
Canadiens vs. Rangers (7:00)
These two teams have trended in opposite directions. The Habs are struggling big time. Coming off a 6-3 loss in Nashville on Tuesday, they’re on a seven-game losing streak to drop to 15-20-3 on the season, which is still a solid improvement from last year. They’ve been especially bad on this losing streak, allowing at least four goals in each of their last five games in a row and in seven of their last nine games. In their last three games against the Panthers, Capitals, and Preds, they gave up 7, 9, and 6 goals respectively. Not good. They haven’t been any better offensively, averaging just two goals per game in their last twelve games. The Rangers are playing their best hockey of the year. Coming off 5-3 wins against the Hurricanes at home and the Panthers on the road, they’ve improved to 21-12-6 on the season, now tied in points with the Caps for third place in the Metro. They’ve gone 10-2-1 in their last 13 games and have played well on both ends of the ice. I like the Rags to get another win on the road here and will take them in regulation for 1.5 units.
Flyers vs. Coyotes (7:00)
This matchup sucks between two quite lousy teams that have surprisingly each won three of their last five games. The Flyers are on a three-game win streak, sweeping their California trip with wins against the Ducks, Kings, and Sharks. Philly’s been bad this season with a 14-17-7 record. Their defense has been okay (not great, but okay) and their offense has struggled immensely this season but they have averaged four goals a game in their last seven games. The Coyotes are 13-18-5, coming off two 5-3 loss in the state of Florida against the Panthers and Bolts. They’ve been terrible on both ends of the ice this year but haven’t been an easy out for teams, playing competitive hockey. They just don’t have the talent. The Yotes got a 5-4 overtime win in the first game between these teams this season in Arizona on December 11th, despite getting outshot 41-29. I’d slightly lean the Flyers win this game but no chance I’m betting a side in this one, especially not on Philly as a favorite. I do like the over in this game though, which I’ll take for half a unit.
Maple Leafs vs. Kraken (7:00)
The Kraken got a big win on Tuesday night in Edmonton, beating the Oilers 5-2 despite getting outshot 32-24 for their second win in a row but had struggled a bit prior to that with just three wins in their previous eleven games. Seattle’s been entertaining this season and have improved a ton from their inaugural season last year, coming into tonight’s game with a 20-12-4 record. Their offense has been quite good this season but they’ve been lousy on the back end. The Leafs are having a great season, coming into tonight’s game with a 23-8-7 record and a 13-2-4 record at home. They’re coming off a 6-5 shootout loss at home to the Blues on Tuesday but have been playing well, going 4-1-1 in their last six games. Toronto’s been good on both ends of the ice this season. I like them to win tonight at home in a high-scoring game. I’ll take the Leafs in regulation here for half a unit and the alternate over 6 for a unit, with both teams trending over lately.
Oilers vs. Islanders (9:00)
This is a super interesting matchup for this cross-conference game. The Isles are having a solid season, coming into tonight’s game with a 22-15-2 record. They’ve been rolling lately with four wins in their last five games, coming off a 6-2 win in Vancouver on Tuesday night. They’ve played well on both ends of the ice this season, especially defensively. The Oilers have been very inconsistent this season and are coming off a 5-2 loss at home to the Kraken on Tuesday. They’ve only won three of their last nine games. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are two of the best players in the world and with their play, the Oilers’ offense has been fantastic. Their defense and goaltending on the other hand have struggled quite a bit. In the first game between these teams this season on November 23rd on Long Island, the Isles shut out McDavid and the Oilers and won 3-0. I’d lean the Isles win again and would lead the under in this game but not enough to bet on either.
Canucks vs. Avalanche (10:00)
These teams are both coming into this game on losing streaks and haven’t been all that great lately. Last year’s Cup champions haven’t been all that spectacular this year, coming into tonight’s game on a four-game losing streak. Nathan MacKinnon returned for the Avs in their 6-2 loss to the Leafs on Saturday and made his impact again as he scored just 25 seconds into their 3-2 loss at home to the Golden Knights on Monday night. Colorado’s defense has been pretty good and their offense has been decent, but not nearly to the level that they were last year when they dominated on their way to lifting Lord Stanley. The Canucks haven’t been good this season, coming into tonight’s game on a three-game losing streak to drop to 16-18-3 on the season after a 6-2 loss to the Isles at home on Tuesday. Vancouver’s offense has been quite good but their defense and goaltending have been horrible. The Canucks won the first game between these two Western Conference teams this year, winning 4-3 in Colorado on November 23rd. I’d expect the Avs to answer back with a win here on the road and will take them for half a unit. I’d lean the over but not enough to bet on it.
Golden Knights vs. Penguins (10:00)
This might be the most fun game on tonight’s slate. Superstar Jack Eichel returns to the Golden Knights lineup tonight after being out with injury. Before going out injured, he led Vegas in scoring this season and should make a huge splash for them in their return. The Knights are leading the Western Conference with a 26-12-2 record, a huge improvement from missing the playoffs last season. Coming off a big 3-2 win in Colorado on Monday, they’ve won their last two games and have gone 4-1-1 in their last six games. They’ve played well on both ends of the ice this season. The Penguins scored first and played a great game but ultimately lost the Winter Classic 2-1 on Sunday, giving up two goals in the third period. That was Pittsburgh’s fifth loss in a row. They’ve played well offensively this season but at times have struggled defensively. The Penguins won the first game between these teams 4-3 in Pittsburgh on December 1st. I like Vegas to answer back with a win tonight to split the season series in this cross-conference matchup. I’d slightly lean the under here but not enough to actually bet it.
Kings vs. Bruins (10:30)
The Bruins are easily the best team in the NHL this season, coming into tonight’s game with a 29-4-4 record after a 2-1 third-period comeback to win the Winter Classic on Sunday. They’ve played incredible hockey on both ends of the ice. The Kings are playing well right now too, coming into tonight off a 3-2 win at home against the Stars on Tuesday to improve to 22-13-6 on the year, comfortably in second place in the Pacific. They have won seven of their last nine games and have picked up at least a point in all but two of their last twelve. LA has played good offensively hockey all season but have struggled defensively at times, which hasn’t been an issue lately. In the first game between these teams this year on December 15th in Boston, the Kings pulled off a comeback, coming back from down 2-0 in the third period and beat the Bruins in a shootout. I really like the B’s to answer back with a win in LA tonight and I’ll take them for a unit. I’d lean the under but not enough to bet it.
2u Hurricanes in regulation (-136)
1u Hurricanes/Predators under 6 (-110)
.5u Devils ML (-190)
.5u Devils/Blues over 6.5 (-110)
2u Capitals in regulation (-120)
1.5u Rangers in regulation (-129)
.5u Flyers/Coyotes over 6 (-110)
.5u Maple Leafs in regulation (-136)
1u Maple Leafs/Kraken over 6 (-132)
.5u Avalanche ML (-155)
.5u Golden Knights ML (-120)
1u Bruins ML (-165)
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: 264-229-7 (-28.45 units)
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