I gave myself last night off with just two games with huge favorites, which proved to be a smart move. Today we have the biggest slate of the season with 30 of the 32 NHL teams in action. Plenty of spots, let’s win!
Bruins vs. Red Wings (1:00)
We start off the day with a gigantic mismatch in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins are easily the best team in the NHL and rightfully the favorite to win the Cup, projected to set a record for the best regular season in NHL history with a 49-9-5 record and a 26-3-3 record at home. They’re coming off their only home loss of the season where they scored first on Thursday night, blowing a 2-0 lead and going on to lose 3-2 against the Oilers (double loser for me). Boston’s been incredible on both ends of the ice with the second-best offense in the NHL and the best defense in the league. The Red Wings are pretty lousy this season with a 29-26-9 record. They ended a six game losing streak on Wednesday night, beating the Blackhawks 4-3 at home. Detroit hasn’t been great on either end of the ice this season. The B’s won in a blowout in the first game between these teams this season on October 27th, winning 5-1 at home. I’d expect a similar result, especailly with the Bruins coming off Thursday’s loss. The moneyline is way too expensive at -335 and even the -200 regulation line is too much for me, but I’m hammering the Bruins here. I’ll go with a unit on the puck line, a unit on the Bruins team total over 3.5 and half a unit on the Red Wings team total under 2.5.
Penguins vs. Flyers (3:30)
There isn’t much luster to this rivalry matchup in Pennsylvania. I broke this game down in depth with my article on StatSalt. As I said in that article, I like the Pens to win easily at home and will take them in regulation for half a unit. I’d slightly lean the under, but not enough to bet on it.
Sabres vs. Rangers (5:00)
Coming off the worst loss of the season on Thursday night, the Sabres host the Rangers today. I broke this game down in depth with my article on StatSalt. I’d lean the Rangers beat us, but not enough to bet against my boys at home, who are desperate for a win on this losing run lately. I do like the over though, which I will take for half a unit. I also considered the Rags team total over here and although that’s probably a good bet, I’ll skip it. Go Sabres.
Avalanche vs. Coyotes (6:00)
Huge mismatch here in the Central Division. The defending Stanley Cup champion Avs definetely took a bit of a step back from last year, but they’re still having a good season, in third place in the division with a 25-22-6 record. They’ve definetely struggled as of late though, with just one win in their last six games, coming off a 5-2 loss at home to the Kings on Thursday. Although Colorado’s defense has been spectacular all season, their offense has struggled quite a bit. The Coyotes are right in the Bedard sweepstakes as one of the worst teams in the NHL this season, coming into tonight’s game with a 23-32-10 record and they’re just 7-21-7 on the season. They have won their last two games in a row though, coming off a 4-1 win at home against the Predators on Thursday and a 6-2 win at home against the Blues on Tuesday. The Yotes have been one of the worst teams in the NHL this season statistically on both ends of the ice. Arizona surprisingly pulled off a pretty big upset in the first game between these teams this season, winning 6-3 at home on December 27th. I’d expect the Avalanche to answer back here on home ice tonight. The moneyline at-385 and the regulation line at -225 are way too expensive for me, but I like this matchup enough that I’ll take the Avs puck line for half a unit.
Hurricanes vs. Golden Knights (7:00)
This is a great cross conference matchup between two very good teams. The Hurricanes lead the Metro Division with a 42-12-8 record and come into tonight’s game on a four game win streak after a 1-0 shutout win against Philly on Thursday. The Golden Knights lead the Western Conference with a 39-20-6 record. After a huge 4-3 overtime win in Tampa on Thursday, they have a 10-2-2 record in their last 14 games. These teams just played an awesome game ten days ago on March 1st in Vegas, with the Golden Knights winning 3-2 at home. Both of these teams have been good on both ends of the ice but I give an edge both offensively and defensively to the Hurricanes, especially at home tonight. I’d lean the Canes win this time as home (I did bet them to win the first one), but I’ll stay off betting it this time at -185. I do like the under though and I’ll take the alternate under 6.5 here for half a unit.
Blue Jackets vs. Blues (7:00)
This matchup stinks. The Blue are having a largely disappointing. They sold off a bunch of assets at the deadline and come into tonight’s game with a 28-31-5 record. St. Louis has just two wins in their last ten games, both against the Sharks, as they just beat 4-2 (pushhing my over) them at home on Thursday. They’ve struggled on both ends of the ice. The Blue Jackets are one of the worst teams in the NHL this season with just a 20-37-7 record and they’re on a three game losing streak with two wins in their last eight games. They’re coming off a 5-4 overtime loss in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night where the Jackets gave up a 4-0 early lead, giving up five unanswered goals to lose. Columbus has been one of the worst teams in the league on both ends of the ice this season. The Blues won the first game between them 5-2 at home on October 15th. I’d expect them to win again on the road tonight but they’re not a team I trust to bet on, so I’ll lay off the side. I do like the over though, which I’ll take for half a unit.
Panthers vs. Jets (7:00)
The Panthers were one of the four teams in action last night, needing a Brandon Montour goal in overtime to win 4-3 after giving up the tying goal in the last 45 seconds of regulation. They’re now 33-27-6 on the season, still on the outside looking into a Wild Card spot. Although that’s a big fall from last year when they won the President’s Trophy they have played well recently with four wins in their last five games. Florida’s offense has been pretty good this season but their defense and goaltending has been struggling all season and is inconsistent at best. Coming off a 4-2 loss to the Wild at home on Wednesday night, the Jets are in quite a slump with just one win in their last eight games to drop to 36-26-3 on the season. They’re having a good season though and still hold the second Wild Card spot in the West. Winnipeg has been inconsistent offensively this year but backstopped by one of the best goalies in the league in Connor Hellebuyck, they’ve been very good on the back end. The issue on this losing streak though is that defensive play. The Jets won the first game between these teams this season, winning 5-2 at home on December 6th. If the Panthers weren’t in the second half of a back to back, I’d lean they win at home tonight. But since they are, I don’t like it enough to bet on. I’d also lean the over but not enough to bet that either. I’ll just lay off this game entirely but it could shape up to be a pretty fun matchup.
Canadiens vs. Devils (7:00)
This is a pretty big mismatch in the Eastern Conference. The Devils are having a fantastic season and coming off a 3-2 shootout win (huge winner for me) on Thursday night, they’re in second place in the Metro Division with 42-16-6 record. They’ve been excellent on the road, with a 23-4-4 road record. New Jersey has been incredible over the last few months, with an impressive 18-4-3 record in their last 25 games and they’ve been very good on both ends of the ice. Coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to the Rangers at home on Thursday, their second in a row after doing the same against Carolina on Tuesday, the Habs are on a five-game losing streak. They’re having a lousy season, in last place in the Atlantic Division with a 26-33-6 record. Montreal’s struggled on both ends of the ice. These teams split their two previous games this season, both in multi-goal wins, a 5-1 Devils win in Montreal on November 15th and a 5-2 Canadiens win on February 21st. I expect Jersey to win easily again tonight. The -278 price is too expensive for me but I’ll take the Devils in regulation for a unit along with their team total over 3.5 for half a unit.
Lightning vs. Blackhawks (7:00)
There’s a lot of huge favorite on today’s slate but none as big as Tampa tonight. The Lightning are comfortably in a playoff spot, in third place in the Atlantic Division, pretty much locked into a first round matchup against the Leafs again. They’re a huge slump right now though and coming off a 4-3 overtime loss at home to the Golden Knights on Thursday, they’ve only won one of their last seven games. The Bolts have been fantastic offensively once again this season, but they’ve been much more inconsistent defensively than they have the last several years. Last night the Blackhawks were one of the four teams that played on yesterday’s two game slate. They forced overtime in Florida with just 45 seconds left in regulation, before going on to lose 4-3 in OT. After the trade deadline where they traded away their top two forwards, Patrick Kane and Max Domi, Chicago is the worst offensive team in the NHL. They’ve also really struggled on the back end and come into tonight’s game with a 22-37-6 record with only one win their last seven games. In the first game between these cross-conference teams on January 3rd in Chicago, the Bolts won 4-1 on the road. I expect an even easier win tonight for them at home, especially with the Blackhawks in the second half of a back to back. I can’t bet the moneyline at -455 and the regulation line at -250 is even too expensive. I’ll still load up on this game though with a unit on the Tampa puck line and half a unit on their team total.
Maple Leafs vs. Oilers (7:00)
This should be an excellent cross-conference game. These two teams both hold playoff spots and they just played ten days ago with the Oilers winning 5-2 at home on March 1st. The Leafs are pretty much locked into a first round rematch against the Lightning as they’re comfortably in second place in the Atlantic Division with a 39-17-8 record. They’ve played really well recently and are coming off a 4-3 loss in New Jersey on Tuesday. Toronto’s been very good on both ends of the ice this year. The Oilers have played really well recently and come into tonight’s game with a 36-22-8 record, sitting in the first Wild Card spot in the West. On Thursday night they got a 3-2 win in Boston, coming back from a 2-0 deficit, giving the Bruins their first home loss after scoring first. They’ve won four of their last five games. Led by the best player in the world, Connor McDavid, who’s running away with the Hart Trophy, the Art Ross, and the Rockey Richard, Edmonton has the best offense in the NHL. They’ve been inconsistent defensively though. I’d slightly lean the Leafs win this one at home but not enough to bet on it. I do like the over though and will lay the juice on the alternate over 6.5 for half a unit.
Islanders vs. Capitals (7:30)
The Isles came back from down 3-1 in the last 5:29 of their game Thursday to beat the Penguins in overtime for their third straight win. They currently hold the first Wild Card spot in the East with a 34-25-8 record with a 6-1-1 record in their last eight games. The Islanders have struggled offensively this season but they’ve been very good defensively, backstopped by one of the best goalies in the league in Ilya Sorokin. The Capitals have struggled offensively as well but have been okay defensivly. Their season hasn’t been great. Washington has a 31-28-7 record and after a 3-2 shootout loss on home ice to the Devils on Thursday, they’ve only won three of their last twelve games. In the first game this season between these Metro Division teams, the Capitals got a 4-3 overtime win on Long Island on January 16th. I’d expect the Isles to answer back here with a win on home ice and will take them for half a unit. I like the under as well and will take the alternate under 6 for half a unit.
Kraken vs. Stars (10:00)
This should be a really fun Western Conference matchup tonight. The Stars are coming off a giant win in Buffalo on Thursday, hanging ten goals on the Sabres in a 10-4 win on the road. They lead the Central Division with a 35-17-13 record, just a point behind Vegas and LA to lead the West. Dallas has gone 5-1-1 in their last seven games and they’ve played very good hockey on both ends of the ice this year. The Kraken are having a hell of a bounce back year from their awful inaugural season last year as they’re in third place in the Pacific Division with a 37-22-6 record. On Thursday they had a five game win streak come to an end, losing 5-4 in Ottawa (such an easy over for me that cashed in the second period). Seattle’s played fantastic offensively this season but they’ve been pretty inconsistent on the back end. I’d give the Stars a slight edge in this game on the road, but not enough to bet a side on this game. I do like the over enough though, which I’ll take for half a unit.
Canucks vs. Senators (10:00)
Despite both of these cross-conference teams playing pretty poorly this season, they’re both on solid runs and have been winning games lately. The Canucks are on a three game win streak with only one loss in their last five games, improving to a still abysmal 27-32-5 on the season. Although Vancouver has been decent offensively, they’ve struggled immensely on the back end. The Senators are on a hell of a run of their own. Coming off a 5-4 win in Seattle (easy over winner for me on that game), they’ve gone 13-4-1 in their last 18 games to improve to 33-27-4 on the season, with just one loss (a 5-0 shocker in Chicago) in their last seven games. Ottawa hasn’t been a bit below league average statistically in the way they’ve played on both ends of the ice. The Canucks won the first game between these teams 6-4 in a high scoring affair in Ottawa on November 8th. I’d lean the Sens answer back with a win of their own on the road, but not enough to bet on them. I love the over though, which I’ll take for a unit.
Kings vs. Predators (10:30)
The Kings are rolling out West in the Pacific. They’re in second place in the division with a 38-20-8 record, tied in points with Vegas to lead the Western Conference. Coming off a 5-2 win in Colorado on Thursday night, they’re on a five game win streak with a 10-2-1 record in their last 13 games. LA’s been pretty good offensively all season but they’ve been inconsistent defensively. The Preds set up in the opposite way, with a really solid defense in front of an elite goalie in Juuse Saros, but with a pathetic offense. Nashville was big sellers at the deadline and although they’ve lost their last two games, coming off a 4-1 loss in Arizona on Thursday, they’ve played well recently with a 5-2-1 record in their last eight games to improve to 31-24-7 on the season. These teams split their two previous games in Smashville this season, with the Kings winning 4-3 in a shootout on the road on October 18th and the Preds winning 5-3 at home on January 21st. I’d lean the Kings win at home and slightly lean the over, but definetely not enough to bet on either, so I’ll lay off this game.
Sharks vs. Wild (10:30)
On paper this is a pretty big mismatch to close out this huge slate. The Sharks are one of the worst teams in the NHL with just a 19-35-12 record, the fewest wins in the league. Coming off a 4-2 loss in St. Louis on Thursday, they have only one win in their last eight games. San Jose has been horrible on both ends of the ice. The Wild are having a great season, currently in second place in the Central Division with a 37-21-7 record. They’ve played great hockey recently, on an eleven game point streak, with a 9-0-2 record in that span. Although Minnesota’s offense hasn’t been great this season, their defense and goaltending has been phenomenal. They took a huge blow to their offense in Wednesday’s 4-2 win in Winnipeg, as their leading scorer Karill “the thrill” Kaprizov is out 3-4 weeks with a lower body injury. Shockingly the Sharks won both previous games between these teams, winning 3-2 in a shootout in Minnesota on November 13th and then won 5-2 at home on December 22nd, in a complete dud of a game for the Wild. Even without Karill, I expect the Wild to get a win on the road here to avoid the season sweep. I’ll lay the juice on them for half a unit, along with half a unit each on the alternate under 6 in this game and the Sharks team total under 2.5 in regulation.
1u Bruins -1.5 (-132)
1u Bruins TT over 3.5 (-165)
.5u Red Wings TT under 2.5 (-177)
.5u Penguins in regulation (-162)
.5u Rangers/Sabres over 6.5 (-130)
.5u Avalanche -1.5 (-148)
.5u Hurricanes/Golden Knights under 6.5 (-136)
.5u Blues/Blue Jackets over 6.5 (-110)
1u Devils in regulation (-162)
.5u Devils TT over 3.5 (-175)
1u Lightning -1.5 (-159)
.5u Lightning TT over 4 (-137)
.5u Maple Leafs/Oilers over 6.5 (-152)
.5u Islanders ML (-135)
.5u Islanders/Capitals under 6 (-141)
.5u Stars/Kraken over 6 (-110)
1u Senators/Canucks over 6.5 (-135)
.5u Wild ML (-185)
.5u Wild/Sharks under 6 (-125)
.5u Sharks TT under 2.5 in regulation (-139)
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 York Rangers – Stanley Cup Champions (+1300)
1u New Jersey Devils – Stanley Cup Champions (+1600)
Record: 543-456-22 (-55.96 units)
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