I split last night’s two NHL games, with the Avs needing overtime to win instead of getting it done in regulation, so I went 1-1, losing 0.66 units. Not a big deal after my monster Saturday. Tonight we have another big ten game slate to start the last week of the regular season. Let’s smash it!
Rangers vs. Sabres (7:00)
The Sabres have a clear elimination scenario tonight as they try to keep their playoff hopes alive going into the last week of the regular season, which as a Sabres fan I love that we’ve gotten this far in the year and are still alive. Such a fun season, the best since 2011 and there’s so much hope for the future with this young team. We will be officially eliminated with a loss in regulation tonight to the Rangers OR if both the Islanders and Panthers win in any fashion. I broke this game down in depth in my article on StatSalt and as I said in that article, I’d lean the Rangers win at home. I also see some value to the Sabres +1.5 puck line, but not enough to bet it with my boys facing elimination. I’d also slightly lean the over but not enough to bet it. I’ll stay off this game entirely and just watch as a fan. Go Sabres.
Capitals vs. Islanders (7:00)
This is an interesting matchup in the Metro Division with the Isles still hanging onto their Wild Card spot by a point over the Penguins and they need to keep winning to stay in a playoff spot. I broke this game down in depth in my article on StatSalt. Like I said in that article, I like the Islanders to win here on the road and will take them for half a unit. I’d lean the under but not enough to bet it at 5.5.
Red Wings vs. Stars (7:00)
This isn’t the best cross conference matchup. The Red Wings have had a lousy season, eliminated from playoff contention with a 35-34-10 record. Coming off a 5-1 loss on Saturday to the Penguins, they have a 4-2-1 record in their last seven games but have only won seven of their last 22 games. Detroit’s struggled on both ends of the ice. The Stars on the other hand are having a great season, with their spot in the playoffs clinched, in second place in the Central Division, two points back from the Avalanche with a 44-21-14 record. They’re on a three-game win streak coming off a 2-1 shootout win against the Golden Knights on Saturday and have played really well recently with a 14-5-2 record in their last 21 games. Dallas has played well on both ends of the ice. The Stars won the first game between these teams in overtime on December 10th, winning 3-2 at home. I’d expect them to win again here and will take them for a unit. I’d slightly lean the over but not enough to bet it.
Panthers vs. Maple Leafs (7:00)
This has the potential to be a really fun Atlantic Division matchup. The Panthers are on fire right now, holding the first Wild Card spot in the East, tied in points with the Islanders and a point ahead of the Penguins. They have a 42-31-7 record on the season and have played great hockey lately on a six game win streak, coming off a 4-2 win on Saturday against the Caps where they scored twice in the final minute of regulation for their win (big triple winner for me). Florida’s offense has been fantastic all season, but their defense and goaltending has been inconsistent. The Leafs don’t really have anything to play for as they have their second place spot in the Atlantic Division locked in with their first round rematch in the playoffs against the Lightning set, and I expect them to finally win this one to get out of that first round this year. They’re 47-21-11 on the season, coming off a 7-1 blowout win at home against the Habs on Saturday. Toronto’s been fantastic on both ends of the ice this year. All three games between these teams this season have been entertaining with a 5-4 overtime win for the Leafs at home on January 17th, a 6-2 win for the Leafs in Florida on March 23rd, and the Panthers answering back with a 3-2 win in Toronto on March 29th in overtime. I’d lean the Panthers win tonight at home to stay in the drivers seat for a playoff spot and will take them for half a unit, especially with the lack of motivation for Toronto here. I like the over a lot here too, and I’ll take the alternate over 6.5 here for a unit.
Senators vs. Hurricanes (7:00)
This game isn’t the best matchup but it could be an entertaining game. The Hurricanes are having a great season, with their spot in the playoffs clinched and a point lead over the Devils for first place in the Metro Division with a 50-20-9 record. They’ve lost their last two games in a row, coming off a 4-3 loss in Buffalo on Saturday afternoon where they outplayed the Sabres but still got beat. Carolina’s played very good on both ends of the ice, especially defensively as one of the most elite defensive teams in the NHL. The Senators have been eliminated from playoff contention with a 38-35-7 record and ended a four game losing streak on Saturday with a 7-4 win at home against the Lightning (Bolts moneyline was one of the only two losses that I had on Saturday, but I crushed the over on the game, so I actually turned a profit in that loss). Ottawa has been slightly below league average on both ends of the ice. The Canes won both previous games between these teams this season at home, winning in a 4-0 shutout on February 24th and then winning 3-2 in overtime just a week ago on April 4th. I expect them to complete the season sweep on the road here tonight and will take them for half a unit. I’d slightly lean the under but not enough to bet it.
Jets vs. Sharks (7:00)
This game is a huge mismatch but it has a ton of meaning for the Jets. Winnipeg’s still hanging onto the final Wild Card spot in the West, a point ahead of Calgary and three points ahead of the Preds. They’re 44-32-3 on the season and have struggled recently with just nine wins in their last 22 games, but gave won three of their last four, coming off a 2-0 shutout win at home against Nashville on Saturday. The Jets have been good defensively this year, backstopped by an elite goaltender in Connor Hellebuyck, but their offense has sucked. The Sharks are one of the worst teams in the NHL, right in the Bedard sweepstakes with a 22-41-16 record. They’re on a three game losing streak, coming off a 6-1 blowout loss to the Oilers on Saturday at home. San Jose has been terrible statistically on both ends of the ice. Shockingly, the Sharks won both previous games between these teams this season, winning 3-2 in overtime in Winnipeg on March 6th and then in a 3-0 shutout at home on March 28th. I expect the Jets to avoid the season sweep here, but the prices with the moneyline at -360 and the regulation line at -210 are way too expensive. I will take the puck line for half a unit. I’d lean the under but not enough to bet that either.
Blackhawks vs. Wild (9:00)
Giant mismatch here in the Central Division. The Wild have been fantastic this season with their spot in the playoffs clinched, in third place in the Central with a 45-24-10. They ended a three game losing streak on Saturday, beating the Blues 5-3 at home. Minnesota’s on fire lately, one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now with a 17-3-5 record in their last 25 games. They’ve been elite defensively all season and although their offense has struggled plenty at points this season, they’ve been good the last month or so even without Karill the thrill in the lineup and although he isn’t playing tonight, he’s expected to make his return this week. The Blackhawks are one of the worst teams in the NHL, right in the Bedard sweepstakes (although I doubt Gary let’s them win it…rigged) with a 25-48-6 record. They got blown out 7-3 in Seattle on Saturday night (easy triple winner for me) and they only have one win in their last eleven games. Chicago’s been awful on both ends of the ice. This will be the final game between these teams with the Wild looking for the season sweep, having won 4-3 in a shootout in Chicago on October 30th, winning 4-1 at home on December 16th, and 3-1 at home on March 25th. I expect them to win just as easily tonight. The moneyline is too expensive at -230 but I expect Minnesota to get this done inside of 60 minutes and will take them in regulation for 2 units.
Flames vs. Predators (9:30)
This is a huge game out West tonight for the three-horse Wild Card race for the last remaining spot in the Western Conference, both teams trailing the Jets. The Flames are a point behind Winnipeg with a 37-27-16 record, coming off a 3-2 shootout loss in Vancouver on Saturday. They’ve been disappointing for a bulk of the season but they’ve played well recently with a 5-1-1 record in their last seven games. Calgary hasn’t been all that great on either end of the ice. The Predators are coming off a 2-0 shutout loss in Winnipeg on Saturday, a big loss for them as they’re now three points back from the Jets for the Wild Card spot with a 40-31-8 record. They have three wins in their last five games. Nashville’s been good defensively this season with an elite goalie in Juuse Saros but their offense has struggled all year. The Preds won both previous games between these teams this season, winning 4-1 on the road in Calgary on November 3rd and then winning 2-1 at hoe on January 16th. I’d slightly lean the Flames win here at home tonight but in no fucking world should they be priced at -215 in this matchup and I actually see much more value Nashville. I’ll stay off the side entirely. I like the under in this game though and will take the alternate under 6 here for a unit.
Coyotes vs. Kraken (10:00)
This matchup stinks. The Kraken have clinched their spot in the playoffs, coming into tonight’s game in the second Wild Card spot in the West, but controlling their own destiny to be able to take over third place in the Pacific over the Kings. They’re on a four game win streak, coming off an easy 7-3 win against the Blackhawks at home on Saturday, their fifth win in their last six games. Seattle has been good offensively all season but inconsistent defensively. The Coyotes are having a terrible season with a 28-38-13 record (just a bit too good to be a favorite in the Bedard sweepstakes though). They ended an eight game losing streak on Saturday with a 5-4 overtime win against the Ducks on Saturday, and actually have a winning record at home at the Mullett, where they’re 21-14-4. Arizona’s struggled mightily on both ends of the ice this season. These teams just played twice in the past week in Seattle, both easy wins for the Kraken. They dismantled the Yotes with an 8-1 blowout win on April 3rd and then got a 4-2 win on April 6th. I expect them to complete the season sweep with another easy win. I’ll go with a unit on the Kraken in regulation and their team total over 3.5 for 1.5 units. I like the over as well but I’ll just stick to the Seattle sides.
Kings vs. Canucks (10:30)
Interesting matchup to close out tonight’s slate in the Pacific Division. The Kings are in third place in the Pacific with their spot clinched with a 45-25-10 record. Coming off a 4-3 loss at home against the Avs on Saturday, they’re on a three game losing streak and could potentially drop to the first Wild Card spot, which honestly I don’t think matters much. LA’s been good offensively, but they’ve been inconsistent on the back end this season. The Canucks have had a disappointing season, coming into tonight’s game eliminated from playoff contention with a 36-36-7 record. They’re coming off a 3-2 shootout win against the Flames on Saturday and have been pretty good lately with a 12-4-2 record in their last 18 games. The Canucks have been good offensively all season, but terrible defensively. Vancouver leads the season series 2-1, winning 4-1 at home on November 18th and winning 3-2 in a shootout in LA on March 18th, before the Kings answered back with a 4-1 win on the road on April 2nd. I’d slightly lean the Kings and the over here, but not enough to bet on either.
.5u Islanders ML (-180)
1u Stars ML (-180)
.5u Panthers ML (-145)
1u Panthers/Maple Leafs over 6.5 (-148)
.5u Hurricanes ML (-190)
.5u Jets -1.5 (-136)
2u Wild in regulation (-141)
1u Flames/Predators under 6 (-132)
1u Kraken in regulation (-139)
1.5u Kraken TT over 3.5 (-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 York Rangers – Stanley Cup Champions (+1300)
1u New Jersey Devils – Stanley Cup Champions (+1600)
.5u Minnesota Wild – Stanley Cup Champions (+2000)
1u Minnesota Wild – Western Conference Champions (+800)
Record: 703-558-29 (-40.46 units)
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