Last night’s NHL slate was a catastrophe, as I went 1-6 to lose 4.82 units. Today we have a nine-game slate. Let’s bounce back here with two of my biggest plays of the season so far.
Devils vs. Rangers (1:00)
The Rangers don’t have to travel far as they go to Jersey to face off against the Devils for the third time this season after they split the first two games in NY, with the Devils winning 5-3 on November 28th and the Rangers winning 4-3 in overtime on December 12th. The Rags are on a three-game win streak to improve to 22-12-6 on the season, going 11-2-1 in their last 14 games, coming off an easy 4-1 in Montreal on Thursday. The Devils are struggling, dropping to 24-12-3 on the year, coming off a 5-3 loss to the Blues on Thursday with just three wins in their last 13 games. Both of these teams have played well on both ends on the sides. I’d lean the Rangers get a win on the road here but the side on this game is a coin flip to me. I do like the over though, which I’ll take for half a unit.
Blue Jackets vs. Hurricanes (4:00)
The Hurricanes completely fucked me on Thursday night, losing their second game in a row, 5-3 to the the Predators. They way outplayed Nashville, generating 67 shots and 6.06 expected goals but still lost. Carolina leads the Metro Division with a 25-8-6 record. They haven’t played great offensively, but have been elite defensively. Max Pacioretty made his debut for the Canes on Thursday. They’ll have an easy matchup tonight going up against the Blue Jackets. Columbus is horrendous with an 11-24-2 record. They’re coming off a 6-2 blowout loss on Thursday and have just one win in their last ten games, which came against Chicago, the worst team in the league. The Jackets are horrible on both ends of the ice. Carolina cruised to a 4-1 win in the first game between these teams this season on December 12th. I expect a blowout here. The money line is way too expensive at -315 but I’m hammering the Hurricanes in regulation for 3 units, my biggest bet of the year so far.
Sabres vs. Wild (7:00)
I broke this game down in depth for my article on StatSalt, finally getting to write on my team. I’ll go with the Sabres ML and the over for half a unit each.
Senators vs. Kraken (7:00)
This is another game I broke down in depth on StatSalt. I’d lean the Sens win here but not enough to bet on it. I do like the over here, which I will take for a unit.
Canadiens vs. Blues (7:00)
Montreal’s struggling big time right now. Despite improving quite a bit from their last place finish last season, they’re just 15-21-3 on the season and coming off a 4-1 loss at home to the Rangers on Thursday, they’re on a seven game losing streak with just one win in their last eleven games. They’ve struggled on both ends of the ice. The Blues are 19-17-3 and have been very streaky this season. They’re coming off a 5-3 win in Jersey on Thursday, their third win in their last four games. Despite a lot of key injuries, St. Louis has been decent offensively this season. They’ve struggled big time though defensively. The Habs won the first game between these teams this season in St. Louis on October 29th by a score of 7-4. I like the Blues to answer back here and will take them for half a unit. Additionally, I like the over quite a bit, which I’ll take for 1.5 units.
Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings (7:00)
Despite having quite a talent descrepency in this Atlantic Division matchup, both teams come into tonight’s game with three losses in their last four games. The Leafs are having a good season at 23-9-7, but are coming off a 5-1 loss to the Kraken at home on Thursday. They’ve played good on both ends of the ice this year, especially defensively. The Red Wings are on the second half of a back to back, coming up short yesterday in their 3-2 loss at home to Florida last night to drop to 16-14-7 on the season. They’ve struggled a bit on both ends of the ice. Toronto won the first game between these teams this season, winning 4-2 in Detroit on November 28th. I’d expect the Leafs to win here again at home but the ML and even the regulation line are too expensive for me to bet, so I’ll just stay off this game completely.
Oilers vs. Avalanche (10:00)
The defending Cup champion Avalanche have struggled lately. Coming off a 4-2 loss in Vancouver on Thursday where they blew a 2-0 lead, they’re on a five game losing streak to drop to 19-15-3 on the season. The Avs have been pretty good defensively but they’ve struggled to score this season. The Oilers pretty much line up the opposite way. With Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl leading the way as two of the best players in the league, the Oilers offense has been fantastic even without much depth behind those guys. Their defense and goaltending has sucked though. Coming off a 4-2 win at home against the Islanders on Thursday, Edmonton’s 21-17-2 on the season. I’d lean the Oilers win this game at home even though I think the Avs are the better team, but not nearly enough to bet it. I’d lean the over but not enough to bet that either, so I’ll just stay off this game completely.
Golden Knights vs. Kings (10:00)
Tonight we have the third game of the season between the top two teams in the Pacific Division, who split their first two games in LA, with the Golden Knights winning 4-3 on October 11th and the Kings winning 4-2 on December 27th. Jack Eichel made his return from injury for Vegas on Thursday night and made an impact early, scoring just 5:17 into the game as his Knights started the game off with a 4-0 lead and won 5-2. That was the third win in a row for the 27-12-2 Western Conference leading Golden Knights. They’ve played well on both ends of the ice this season and have gone 5-1-1 in their last seven games. The Kings are playing well too with a 22-14-6 record on the season. They’re coming off a 5-2 loss at home to the Bruins on Thursday but have gone 7-2-1 in their last ten games. On the season LA has been good offensively but they’ve struggled on the back end at times. I like Vegas to get the win here at home in the fortress and will take them for half a unit. I’d slightly lean the over but not enough to bet on it.
Sharks vs. Bruins (10:30)
Big mismatch in talent in this cross-conference game tonight. Last night the Sharks started off hot with a 2-0 lead in the first 6:03 of the game and played a very fun game against the Ducks but ended up losing 5-4 in overtime, despite outshooting Anaheim 41-29. The Sharks have sucked this season with a 12-20-8 record and have only won two games in their last nine games. They’ve been okay offensively but have been horrible defensively. The Bruins are easily the best team in the NHL this season with a 30-4-4 record, coming off a 5-2 win in LA on Thursday. They’ve been spectacular on both ends of the ice and this should be an easy win for them on the road. I’ll take the Bruins in regulation for 2.5 units.
.5u Rangers/Devils over 6 (-110)
3u Hurricanes in regulation (-186)
.5u Sabres ML (+105)
.5u Sabres/Wild over 6.5 (-130)
1u Senators/Kraken over 6 (-120)
.5u Blues ML (-165)
1.5u Blues/Canadiens over 6.5 (-120)
.5u Golden Knights ML (-155)
2.5u Bruins in regulation (-155)
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: 271-240-8 (-33.49 units)
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