|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|04-30-15||Washington Capitals v. NY Rangers -160||2-1||Loss||-160||19 h 31 m||Show|
I am playing on the RANGERS. New York has the enviable position of facing a Capitals team coming off a physical, emotional series that went seven grueling games while being fully rested after dumping the Penguins in five games.
|04-29-15||Detroit Red Wings v. Tampa Bay Lightning -178||0-2||Win||100||11 h 10 m||Show|
I am playing on TAMPA BAY. You always have to take a hard look first at the home team when it comes to Game 7’s in the NHL. The home side historically wins at a 57.6 percent clip and we already saw the Capitals take advantage of home ice in a Game 7 in these playoffs.
|04-27-15||NY Islanders v. Washington Capitals -134||1-2||Win||100||22 h 7 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Washington Capitals as my 10* Game 7 Main Event.
Washington battles the New York Islanders in a Game 7 showdown at home Monday. The Capitals missed an opportunity to end this series in Game 6 after looking dominant in Games 4 and 5. With the series swinging back to DC, we see solid value with the home side Monday.
In the two previous home games, the Capitals netted a total nine goals and outshot New York 76-44 – almost doubling their offensive activity. In Game 6, Washington edged the Isles 39-38 in shots. We expect another one sided tally from the Caps, as they press to avoid a Game 7 collapse on home ice.
Washington goalie Braden Holtby has been excellent in goal. He has allowed only five goals on 139 shots faced in the past four games. Holtby was battling an illness earlier in the series but now that he’s over it, he looks like the kind of goaltender who could carry this team deep into the postseason if he keeps up his hot play. Holtby owns a 2.08 GAA and a .926 save percentage at home.
The Capitals’ offensive activity at home and Holtby holding down the crease are why I’m playing on Washington as my 10* Game 7 Main Event Monday.
|04-25-15||Nashville Predators v. Chicago Blackhawks -165||3-4||Win||100||19 h 38 m||Show|
|04-25-15||Detroit Red Wings v. Tampa Bay Lightning -180||4-0||Loss||-180||17 h 39 m||Show|
I am playing on TAMPA BAY. The Lightning are heading back to Tampa Bay with this series tied 2-2 but in terms of momentum, the Bolts have to be feeling a little like they are leading the series.
|04-23-15||Calgary Flames v. Vancouver Canucks -147||Top||1-2||Win||100||18 h 19 m||Show|
I am playing on VANCOUVER. After getting badly out-hit and handily out-played in Calgary, the Canucks couldn't be happier to be heading home and I think we'll see a much different Canucks squad tonight.
It was almost as if the Canucks sent a different team to Calgary than the one we saw through the first two games in Vancouver. Oddsmakers seem to agree because they have set the Canucks as bigger favorites than many would have predicted for Game 5. After finishing pretty closely in the categories of blocked shots and hits in Vancouver, Calgary out-hit the Canucks 62-36 on home ice and out-scored them in blocked shots 59-28. Those two stats point to Vancouver withering away a little bit in their road jerseys. I think we'll see a completely different effort with the Canucks back on home ice. They are well coached by Willie Dejardins even though he doesn’t have the NHL playoff experience of Scotty Bowman, but I fully expect him to have his team refocused and ready to roll for Game 5. I'll also be shocked if he doesn't start goaltender Ryan Miller in place of Eddie Lack. Lack was a big letdown in Game 4 when he allowed three goals on seven shots in the first period and Miller came in to stop all 15 shots he faced. It's always easier for a team to play with confidence when your goaltender is feeling confident and I think that's what we'll see tonight. 10* Personal Favorite
|04-22-15||Anaheim Ducks v. Winnipeg Jets -123||5-2||Loss||-123||28 h 45 m||Show|
I am playing on WINNIPEG. Despite the fact the Jets are down 3-0 in their series with Anaheim, they remain small favorites to win Game 4 and I think they’ll get the 'W'. The reason is the incredible home crowd that will be in full 'whiteout' mode once again on Wednesday after nearly taking the building down with bone-rattling cheering in Game 3 on Monday. I think the Jets will give everything they have in hopes of giving their loyal home fans their first home playoff win in 19 years. “Right at the start, I personally have never had anything like that before and we certainly fed off the energy,” said Jets winger Lee Stempniak about Monday's game. “We had a great start. We were all over them, forced some turnovers and icings. Yeah, it’s disappointing on a couple of levels to go down 3-0 in the series, and also not to deliver for our fans.” You could argue that Winnipeg could be just as easily up 3-0 in this series as it is down 3-0. The Jets took third period leads into all three games, only to them slip away and lose in heart-breaking fashion. Winnipeg outplayed the Ducks in every facet except the 5-4 score on Monday with more hits (61-44), more shots on net (35-31), more faceoffs won (43-41), fewer giveaways (11 vs. 13) and more blocked shots (17-15). Another reason I think the Jets will pull out Game 4 is the Ducks just aren’t as sharp defensively on the road, where they allowed a generous 2.79 goals against this season. They allowed four goals in Winnipeg, their most of the series, and also allowed the Jets to score their first power play goal of the series.
You just can’t cross your fingers and hope to win like that consistently on the road in the playoffs and I think Winnipeg gets a big win for their fans on Wednesday. 9* NHL Personal Favorite
|04-20-15||Anaheim Ducks v. Winnipeg Jets -125||5-4||Loss||-125||31 h 54 m||Show|
I am playing on WINNIPEG. Home ice looks like it could be the biggest determining element in this series, which is why I like the Jets in Game 3 and why oddsmakers have them set as slight favorites.
|04-18-15||Minnesota Wild v. St Louis Blues -140||Top||1-4||Win||100||6 h 2 m||Show|
I’m playing on the St. Louis Blues as my 9* Personal Favorite.
|04-17-15||Calgary Flames v. Vancouver Canucks -145||Top||1-4||Win||100||29 h 47 m||Show|
I am playing on VANCOUVER. I felt the Canucks outplayed Calgary for most of Game 1 and were a little unlucky to come away with a loss. I don't see them dropping their first two games at home and I'm thankful oddsmakers aren't making them lay more chalk in Game 2.
|04-17-15||NY Islanders v. Washington Capitals -140||3-4||Win||100||25 h 25 m||Show|
I am playing on WASHINGTON. The Capitals looked a little like they forgot the playoffs had started from the drop of the first puck in Game 1 and I expect to see a much different team in Game 2.
|04-16-15||Minnesota Wild v. St Louis Blues -142||Top||4-2||Loss||-142||78 h 3 m||Show|
I am playing on ST. LOUIS. The Blues enter the postseason as one of the league's hottest teams while the Wild come into Game 1 against St. Louis as one of the league's coldest.
|04-15-15||Calgary Flames v. Vancouver Canucks -141||2-1||Loss||-141||55 h 47 m||Show|
I am playing on VANCOUVER. The Canucks have home ice on their side in their opening round matchup against the Flames and I think a combination of home ice, special teams and puck possession will help them take Game 1.
|04-15-15||NY Islanders v. Washington Capitals -140||4-1||Loss||-140||52 h 48 m||Show|
I think the Caps, like all home teams, will tend to get the whistles in Game 1 and that’s something you can’t afford to do against this Washington team. I believe we’ll see the home winning streak in this series continues. 9*
|04-15-15||Ottawa Senators v. Montreal Canadiens -140||3-4||Win||100||52 h 48 m||Show|
I am playing on MONTREAL. The discussion about Montreal's success will always begin with Carey Price and it's no wonder. He owned the best goals against average (1.96), save percentage (.933) and wins (44) in the NHL this season. He set a new Canadiens record with those victories and I think he'll help the Habs get out to an early lead in the series Wednesday.
|04-11-15||Chicago Blackhawks -135 v. Colorado Avalanche||Top||2-3||Loss||-135||21 h 8 m||Show|
I am playing on CHICAGO. The Blackhawks haven't lost four games in a row all season and I don't believe it will happen on the last day of the regular campaign.
|04-09-15||Minnesota Wild v. Nashville Predators -125||Top||4-2||Loss||-125||20 h 16 m||Show|
I am playing on NASHVILLE. I think we’ll see Nashville snap out of its four-game funk tonight and pull out a win against visiting Minnesota.
|04-07-15||Carolina Hurricanes v. Detroit Red Wings -230||2-3||Win||100||22 h 52 m||Show|
I am playing on DETROIT. The Red Wings can clinch a playoff spot Tuesday night with a win over Carolina and some help from the Penguins, whom Detroit also needs to beat Ottawa. I think Detroit will take care of its part with a home win over the third-worst team in the East. The Red Wings haven't been playing their best hockey lately with just two wins in their last six games. But all of those games came against squads that would currently qualify for the playoffs with the exception of Ottawa, who remains on the bubble. The Wings know the importance of this game I think the desperation and intensity levels will be at their highest Tuesday night with the Wings only having three games left to keep their 23-season playoff streak alive. This is Detroit's last home game of the year with the final two games coming at Montreal and at Carolina and I think the home crowd will play a big, big factor here. The Hurricanes have only won four of their last 14 games and the road hasn't been their friend recently. They've given up at least four goals in each of their last three road outings, which the Canes lost by a combined 11 goals. Now they'll face a hot Red Wings power play that ranks second in the league and has scored in its last three games. I think we'll see big games from veteran leaders Henrik Zetterberg, who has been too quiet lately, and Pavel Datsyuk, who has been in and out of the lineup lately due to injuries. I also like that Carolina has lost four of the last five meetings and are 1-6-1 in the last eight meetings in Detroit. 7* Blue Marlin
|04-04-15||Vancouver Canucks v. Winnipeg Jets -125||Top||4-5||Win||100||6 h 24 m||Show|
I am playing on WINNIPEG. The Jets will play four of their last five games without a big part of their lineup, Dustin Byfuglien, who was suspended for a cross check that will be shown on highlight reels for some time.
|04-02-15||Vancouver Canucks v. Chicago Blackhawks -158||1-3||Win||100||21 h 44 m||Show|
I am playing on CHICAGO. I like the Blackhawks here tonight for three main reasons: they are still trying to win the Central Division, they are trying to avoid a season sweep from rival Vancouver and their power play is hot.
|04-01-15||Philadelphia Flyers v. Pittsburgh Penguins -210||4-1||Loss||-210||22 h 33 m||Show|
I am playing on PITTSBURGH. The Penguins enter this game coming off two straight wins and I think they've turned things around after a rough patch where they won just one of seven games.
|03-31-15||Ottawa Senators v. Detroit Red Wings -145||2-1||Loss||-145||21 h 55 m||Show|
I am playing on DETROIT. The Senators haven't exactly enjoyed playing the Red Wings lately and I think they might be running out of gas toward the tail end of their exhaustive run to make the playoffs.
|03-30-15||Edmonton Oilers v. Colorado Avalanche -200||4-1||Loss||-200||12 h 57 m||Show|
I am playing on COLORADO. With the Avs in a revenge spot and their faint playoff fire still flickering, I think they'll be the far more motivated spot to take down the Oilers Monday night.
|03-29-15||San Jose Sharks v. Pittsburgh Penguins -145||2-3||Win||100||11 h 5 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Pittsburgh Penguins as my 9* Personal Favorite Sunday.
|03-28-15||Tampa Bay Lightning v. Detroit Red Wings -115||Top||0-4||Win||100||7 h 41 m||Show|
I am playing on DETROIT. Franchise pride and playoff contention are on the line for the Red Wings Saturday night and I believe they'll pull out a big effort and beat the Lightning.
|03-27-15||Columbus Blue Jackets v. Chicago Blackhawks -210||5-2||Loss||-210||27 h 40 m||Show|
I am playing on CHICAGO. The Blackhawks are comfortably back at home after a four-game road trip and I think home ice will get them back to their top level.
|03-26-15||San Jose Sharks v. Detroit Red Wings -155||6-4||Loss||-155||12 h 14 m||Show|
I am playing on DETROIT. I believe the Red Wings should cruise past the Sharks Thursday night, but don't just take my word for it.
|03-24-15||Montreal Canadiens v. Nashville Predators -123||Top||2-3||Win||100||22 h 34 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Nashville Predators as my 10* Personal Favorite Tuesday.
|03-21-15||San Jose Sharks v. Montreal Canadiens -153||0-2||Win||100||26 h 43 m||Show|
I am playing on MONTREAL. The Canadiens are back on the rails after going through a rough stretch that saw them win just one of six games. Since then, they have won three of their last four and I believe they'll make it four of five when they take on the Sharks Saturday night.
|03-18-15||Chicago Blackhawks v. NY Rangers -145||Top||1-0||Loss||-145||22 h 51 m||Show|
I am playing on the NEW YORK RANGERS. The Blueshirts are smoking hot right now after reeling off five straight wins and the streak started with a win over the Blackhawks.
|03-14-15||Calgary Flames v. Colorado Avalanche -145||Top||2-3||Win||100||27 h 45 m||Show|
I am playing on COLORADO. The Avs are a team that nobody wants to have to face right now. They are playing desperate hockey and despite a pile of injuries, they're one of the hottest clubs in the league right now.
|03-13-15||Dallas Stars v. Washington Capitals -180||4-2||Loss||-180||27 h 41 m||Show|
I am playing on WASHINGTON. The Capitals face the Stars in a tough spot here Friday night and I feel they're worth laying the juice.
|03-12-15||Ottawa Senators v. Montreal Canadiens -167||5-2||Loss||-167||10 h 28 m||Show|
I am playing on MONTREAL. I love this bet on Carey Price and the Habs tonight and I think oddsmakers have set this juice way too low.
|03-11-15||Anaheim Ducks -125 v. Calgary Flames||Top||3-6||Loss||-125||23 h 19 m||Show|
I am playing on ANAHEIM. There is an old adage in hockey betting that suggests you should play against a team in its first game back at home after coming off a tough road trip.
|03-11-15||Buffalo Sabres v. Toronto Maple Leafs -225||3-4||Win||100||21 h 49 m||Show|
I am playing on TORONTO. These meetings aren’t the most difficult in the NHL to handicap. Unlike a lot of rivalries in the NHL, you don’t need to pick apart the numbers a whole lot deeper than to look at who the home team is.
|03-10-15||Dallas Stars v. Philadelphia Flyers -135||2-1||Loss||-135||20 h 5 m||Show|
I am playing on PHILADELPHIA. The Flyers couldn’t be facing a better opponent right now when they desperately need a win. The Stars have been the Flyers’ favorite punching bag in recent seasons, as the Bullies have won eight of the last night meetings. I think we’ll see more of the same here with Philly on home ice against a Dallas squad that is stinking it up in dead last in the Central Division while Philadelphia sits seven points out of a playoff spot. The Flyers have lost two in a row but I think all they need is a little home cooking. Philly has actually won four of its last five on home ice and they scored an average of three goals in those five outings. I think they’ll outscore the Stars tonight, who are giving away goals like they’re a tax write-off lately. Dallas, in the midst of an Eastern road trip, has given up eight goals in its last two games and the club is giving up an average of 4.44 goals over its last nine. That’s just not good enough to win you too many in the NHL and it’s no surprise the Stars are just 2-7 in those nine games. Oh yeah - and they needed at least overtime to claim the two games they did win. I don’t see the Stars bouncing back with a sudden showing of defensive prowess tonight against the Flyers and I think Philly picks up a much needed victory as it pushes for a playoff berth. 9* Personal Favorite
|03-08-15||Calgary Flames v. Ottawa Senators -135||4-5||Win||100||23 h 23 m||Show|
I am playing on the SENATORS. Don’t look now but the Senators are suddenly the hottest team in the NHL and you don’t have to look too far to see the biggest reason why. Andrew ‘The Hamburglar” Hammond is the latest goalie to stun the hockey world in a late-season display of unforgiving stonewalling. The Sens are 6-0-1 over their last seven games, which just so happen to be Hammond’s first seven starts in the NHL. The B.C. native isn’t showing any signs of wanting to head back to the minors and I can’t help but really like Ottawa here. Hammond sports a .957 save percentage through those seven games and he has yet to give up more than two goals in a game in regulation or overtime. That works out to a measly 1.14 goals against average, which makes it pretty tough to beat the Sens these days. Opponents are just 1-for-18 on the power play since the Hamburglar donned his mask and started terrorizing the league, which gives the Senators a huge edge on special teams. I love the fact that Ottawa also catches a Flames squad that should be running out of gas right about now. The Flames are playing their seventh and final game of an Eastern road trip on Sunday. When goals are this hard to come by, I don’t like the team that’s playing on tired legs. I’m surprised oddsmakers aren’t making the Sens lay more chalk here. 9* NHL Personal Favorite
|03-07-15||Winnipeg Jets v. Nashville Predators -160||3-1||Loss||-160||21 h 7 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Nashville Predators as my 9* Personal Favorite Saturday.
|03-07-15||Philadelphia Flyers v. Boston Bruins -155||2-3||Win||100||15 h 10 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Boston Bruins as my 8* Breakfast Club Saturday.
|03-05-15||NY Islanders v. Nashville Predators -140||4-3||Loss||-140||21 h 2 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Nashville Predators as my 8* Personal Favorite Thursday.
|03-04-15||Ottawa Senators v. Winnipeg Jets -160||3-1||Loss||-160||25 h 12 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Winnipeg Jets as my 8* Personal Favorite Wednesday.
|03-03-15||Calgary Flames v. Philadelphia Flyers -135||3-2||Loss||-135||24 h 33 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Philadelphia Flyers as my 9* Personal Favorite Tuesday.
|03-02-15||Carolina Hurricanes v. Chicago Blackhawks -208||2-5||Win||100||26 h 49 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Chicago Blackhawks as my 6* Personal Favorite Monday.
|02-28-15||Ottawa Senators v. San Jose Sharks -155||4-2||Loss||-155||25 h 26 m||Show|
I’m playing on the San Jose Sharks as my 8* Personal Favorite Saturday.
|02-27-15||Chicago Blackhawks v. Tampa Bay Lightning -137||Top||0-4||Win||100||13 h 11 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Tampa Bay Lightning as my 10* Personal Favorite Friday.
|02-24-15||Florida Panthers v. Chicago Blackhawks -188||2-3||Win||100||25 h 60 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Chicago Blackhawks as my 7* Blue Marlin Tuesday.
The Chicago Blackhawks’ three-game skid has opened up some value on one of the NHL’s elite teams as they host the Florida Panthers in the United Center Tuesday night. Chicago has been outscored 5-13 in losses to Boston, Colorado and Detroit – most recently a 6-2 defeat to the Bruins.
Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville is remaining calm but put his players through a tough physical practice leading into this matchup with the Panthers, trying to ignite some of that grit that the Blackhawks have shown in past postseason runs.
Quenneville wants light a fire under his players, namely forward Patrick Sharp who has had a tough time finding his role due to injuries. Sharp is expected to be on the second scoring line with Patrick Kane and Brad Richards, looking to generate some added chances and kick start an offense that hasn’t registered many quality shots on goal during this skid.
Florida could be the perfect opponent for Chicago to turn up the intensity against. The Panthers are in lookahead mode at the end of a five-game road trip that has them playing three games in fourth nights Tuesday. Florida looked lethargic in losses to Pittsburgh and Ottawa the last two games, getting outscored 9-2 in that span. The Blackhawks have won five in a row versus the Panthers and are hungry for a victory Tuesday.
The Blackhawks' desperation at home and the Panthers' letdown on the road are why I’m playing on Chicago as my 7* Blue Marlin Tuesday.
|02-22-15||Columbus Blue Jackets v. NY Rangers -205||3-4||Win||100||25 h 1 m||Show|
I’m playing on the New York Rangers as my 6* Blue Marlin Sunday.
The Rangers have won five of their last six games with the lone blemish in that span coming via an overtime loss to Vancouver. New York is making a run up the Metropolitan standings and takes plenty of momentum into this home stand against the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday.
The Rangers are pouring on the points during this winning run, netting a total of 29 goals in those six game – an average of 4.8 goals a night. New York has turned up the intensity on offense since star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist went down with an injury and should be able to take advantage of a fatigued Blue Jackets team traveling overnight for the second stop of back-to-back outings.
Columbus was in Montreal Saturday and will hit the ice inside Madison Square Garden for its third game in four nights. The Blue Jackets rank among the bottom of the league in defense, allowing opponents to average 3.1 goals and pepper their net with 33.3 shots per game, and could be even slower to defend on short rest.
New York won the last meeting between these two clubs, 2-1 on January 16 in Nationwide Arena, avenging a loss to Columbus at the start of the season. The Rangers are back home after five of the last six on the road, posting an impressive 17-7-1-4 record at MSG.
The Rangers’ offensive explosion and the Blue Jackets' drained defense on the second night of back-to-backs are why I’m playing on New York as my 6* Blue Marlin Sunday.
|02-20-15||NY Rangers -219 v. Buffalo Sabres||3-1||Win||100||9 h 14 m||Show|
I am taking the RANGERS. The Rangers are kind of on fire right now after going 10-3-2 in their last 15 games and 4-0-2 in their last six.
Perhaps the most impressive part is they’ve been doing it lately without King Henrik, who has missed the last eight games after taking a puck to the throat. New York has been winning lately with something that resembles more mass production than trimming the excess fat and they’ve averaged 4.3 goals over their last 10 games and average 5.0 goals over their last five.
The news gets worse for Buffalo here because Rick Nash is the hottest Ranger right now with 13 points in his last 10 games and he takes special pride in beating up on the Sabres. Nash has 11 goals and five helpers in 16 games against the Sabres.
Buffalo is the worst defensive team in the NHL with 3.36 goals against and also owns the worst penalty kill in the league by a significant margin at just 73.8 percent.
The Rangers have won the last five meetings with the Sabres and I think they’ll be a little on the angry side heading into tonight’s matchup. They dropped a 5-4 decision in a shootout to the Canucks last night and with the top of the East being such a tight battle for premium playoff position, they can’t afford to drop points to the worst team in the league.
Buffalo has won just three of its last 22 games and even though one of those was a shootout win over Philly last night, the Sabres haven't won two in a row since mid-December. I don't think tonight is the night they turn that around and I'm surprised oddsmakers didn't set the chalk higher here. 7* Personal Favorite
|02-19-15||Columbus Blue Jackets v. Pittsburgh Penguins -215||2-1||Loss||-215||25 h 2 m||Show|
I am playing on PITTSBURGH. The Penguins are coming off a rough and tumble loss to the Washington Capitals and I think the Blue Jackets will catch them in a bad mood on Thursday.
That is just one of the reasons I like the Pens here to bounce back with a win on home ice after dropping one to the rival Capitals at home on Tuesday. The Blue Jackets are just the right opponent for Pittsburgh as they enter with a pile of injuries and not much luck when it comes to playing the Pens.
Columbus is 1-5 in the last six meetings in Pittsburgh and 3-10 in the last 13 meetings overall.
The Jackets' biggest problem right now is they can't stop pucks from going in their net with an average of 3.00 goals against over their last 10 games with 15 goals against coming in their last four. The Jackets are getting plowed with shots on goal where they've been outshot in four of their last five and gave up a staggering 35 shots at least in each of those four games.
That's especially bad news for the Blue Jackets when you consider they're without their top goalie right now, Sergei Bobrovsky, who has been out since late January. The Jackets have been without him for 10 games now, which is about the time pucks started going in a lot more frequently.
Injuries on defense don't help Columbus either, especially against Sidney Crosby et al and especially with Pittsburgh on home ice. The Penguins are 18-9-1-2 at home this year. 6* Blue Marlin
|02-17-15||Washington Capitals v. Pittsburgh Penguins -145||3-1||Loss||-145||23 h 34 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Pittsburgh Penguins as my 9* Personal Favorite Tuesday.
The Penguins rekindle one of the great rivalries in the NHL, hosting the Washington Capitals. While this matchup always shines the spot light on the Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin battle, it may be the Capitals' defense – or lack thereof – that makes the difference Tuesday night.
Washington has given up goals in bunches in recent outings, allowing a total of 13 goals in the last four games, including a 5-3 victory against the Anaheim Ducks Sunday. The Capitals have looked to their offense to bail out the bad work on the blueline, needing five-goal efforts in two of those four contests. Those goals could be hard to come by with the Penguins focusing on defense these days.
Pittsburgh has given up two or fewer goals in five of its last eight outings, including two shutouts, and sits seventh in the NHL in average goal against (2.4 per game). The Penguins were edged in a low-scoring 2-1 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday, with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury turning away 31 of 32 shots.
Washington, which has struggled against Pittsburgh in the past, has put it on its Eastern rivals this season. The Capitals have shut the door in both of those victories, outscoring the Pens 7-0 this year. However, Pittsburgh has won eight of the previous 10 meetings, including a 5-1 run inside Consol Energy Arena and those two one-sided losses to the Caps are giving the host team some added value on the NHL moneyline Tuesday.
The Penguins' stingy defense and the Capitals' bad blueline are why I’m playing on Pittsburgh as my 9* Personal Favorite Tuesday.
|02-16-15||Arizona Coyotes v. Colorado Avalanche -175||2-5||Win||100||23 h 23 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Colorado Avalanche as my 7* Personal Favorite Monday.
The Colorado Avalanche face the Arizona Coyotes in a battle of NHL basement teams Monday. The Avs snapped a four-game slide with a victory against Dallas Saturday, netting four goals versus the Stars.
Colorado hasn’t had much trouble finding the back of the net in recent games, totaling 10 goals in their last three outings. That’s a major improvement from the Avalanche’s season scoring average of 2.4 goals per game. They should have more chances to pile on the points versus the Coyotes, who have given up nine goals in their two most recent efforts.
Arizona was blasted in a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers Saturday, following a 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks the night before. The Coyotes were seeing some improvements on the blueline over the past few weeks but we’re still talking about a team that allows 3.2 goals on 32 shots a night.
Arizona has been exposed on defense, especially when down a man, boasting the NHL’s 27th ranked penalty kill (78.1 percent). That weakness could spark even the Avs ice-cold power play, which is 0 for 32 in their last 11 games.
Despite its recent issues, Colorado is still a tough team to beat in the Pepsi Center, battling not only the Avs faithful but the altitude in the Mile High City - and Arizona playing its third game in four nights. The Avalanche have won five of their last seven at home and have taken four of the previous five head-to-head matchups with the Coyotes.
The Avalanche’s offensive uptick and home-ice edge as well as the Coyotes' busted blueline are why I’m playing on Colorado as my 7* Personal Favorite Monday.
|02-15-15||Pittsburgh Penguins v. Chicago Blackhawks -144||1-2||Win||100||15 h 17 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Chicago Blackhawks as my 9* Personal Favorite Sunday.
The Blackhawks found their defensive footing in a 3-1 win against the New Jersey Devils Friday. Chicago, which sits second in the NHL in goals allowed at 2.3 per game, had been blasted for eight total games in the two game prior. The Blackhawks will need that defensive toughness versus the Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday.
Pittsburgh has also been getting the job done with defense in recent outings but had to bring out the big guns to edge the Ottawa Senators 5-4 in their last outings. The Penguins can’t be so loose beyond the blueline against this explosive Chicago offense – especially with the way Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa is playing right now. Hossa has netted seven goals on his last 13 shots on net over the past four games. His hot stick could quickly turn this non-conference heavyweight bout into a high-scoring slugfest.
Chicago is one of the few teams in the league that can match Pittsburgh’s scoring depth. The Blackhawks average 2.9 goals per game – seventh in the NHL – and are the busiest offense in the land, firing an average of 34.7 shots on goal. They took a 3-2 shootout win over the Penguins back in January and are a solid 79-33 in their last 112 games inside the United Center. We’re getting great value with them at home this Sunday.
The Blackhawks' return to form on defense and their ability to counter the Penguins’ scoring depth is why I’m playing on Chicago as my 9* Personal Favorite Sunday.
|02-14-15||Washington Capitals +125 v. Los Angeles Kings||1-3||Loss||-100||23 h 16 m||Show|
I successfully recommended a play on the Kings Thursday night and I feel like I have a pretty strong read on this team right now after watching a few of their games lately. And with that in mind, I'm going to fade the Kings here on Saturday.
I think the Caps approached this current road trip with a new sense of determination after having not much success on Western trips in recent seasons. They had a great practice a day before hitting the road, their first in 10 days, and the two days they had off before flying to California were a bit of a Godsend.
Washington was simply running out of gas during a tough schedule stretch when it lost to Philadelphia on Feb. 8 and managed just 14 shots. After a couple of days to catch their breath, the Caps looked like a completely different squad in a 5-4 win over San Jose on Wednesday night.
I think they'll keep the momentum going Saturday against the Kings. The Caps are at their best when playing on one day of rest this season where they are 16-3-3 and their power play is just starting to heat up.
Washington has a power play goal in each of its last two games and the club owns the fourth best power play in the league. That's especially a big advantage for the Caps here because even though the Kings have won three in a row, goaltender Jonathan Quick has been far from his sharpest lately.
He was visibly frustrated against Calgary last game when he broke his stick over the cross bar after allowing a goal. In fact, Quick and the Kings are one of the shakiest defensive squads in the NHL right now.
They haven't held an opponent to fewer than two goals since Dec. 27 and every opponent has scored at least three goals on the Kings except for one (Tampa Bay) in their last eight games. Only two opponents have failed to score at least three goals on L.A. in the Kings' last 14 games and I love a high flying Alex Ovechkin to take advantage on Saturday. Ovechkin has seven points in his last five games. 9* Personal Favorite
|02-13-15||San Jose Sharks -139 v. Arizona Coyotes||4-2||Win||100||24 h 25 m||Show|
I am playing on the SHARKS. The Sharks have been fighting lately, they just haven’t been getting the bounces it seems and I think their luck will change Friday night.
That’s partly because the visiting team seems to have all the fun in this series where the club wearing the road jersey has won the last five meetings. The road should be a welcome site for San Jose, who struggled on its recent home stand, earning just one out of a possible six points. Arizona is especially a nice location for the Sharks, where they’ve won five of the last six clashes between these two teams.
San Jose is having trouble with consistency but the good news - and a big reason why I like the Sharks Friday - is we saw their best game in a while Wednesday night against the Caps, even though they lost 5-4 in overtime.
The Sharks managed to score their first power play goal in three games and they showed grit when they needed to, potting the tying goal late in the third. I think they’ll carry that momentum into Arizona on Friday against a Coyotes team that has lost three of its last four games.
The Coyotes have been out-shot in their last five games and they’ve also struggled to score during that span, which is why the under has also cashed in five straight Arizona games. Zona has scored just nine goals (not including shootouts) in its last five outings, a good reason to take the visitors here who I fully expect to be starving for a win. 9* Personal Favorite
|02-12-15||Calgary Flames v. Los Angeles Kings -155||3-5||Win||100||28 h 5 m||Show|
I am playing on the KINGS. I watched a bit of the last two Kings games and after seeing them claim two strong wins on the tail end of an Eastern road trip, L.A. is not a team I'd want to play right now.
L.A. seemed to dominate both the Lightning and the Blue Jackets in five-on-five play and I believe we are starting to see the team take shape that won the Stanley Cup last year. Jeff Carter, who needs to be a key performer for L.A., had one of his best games of the year against Columbus with a goal, an assist and five shots while he stood out as one of the best players on the ice.
I think it's a bit of an awakening for the Kings, who now find themselves needing a very strong finish to the season to ensure they make the playoffs.
Besides their solid recent play, there are three other reasons I like Los Angeles in this Thursday night matchup: home ice, revenge and Calgary distractions.
The Kings are just a much better hockey club on home ice this season, where they are 16-6-3-3 compared to 7-12-2-4 on the road. They have also lost all three meetings against the Flames this year and you know that can't be sitting well with them. I expect them to come out with a nasty edge for this game in search of some payback.
I think the Flames also might be a little distracted for what is the second of two games on their annual 'Dads' road trip. The Flames had a nice feel good win over the Sharks on Monday with their fathers watching from box level and they all celebrated with a pleasant round on the links on Tuesday. We often see teams have a letdown on these types of trips with all the distractions going on and I think the Flames could be in for one Thursday against an L.A. team that would like nothing more than to ruin the fun. 8* Personal Favorite
|02-11-15||Washington Capitals v. San Jose Sharks -119||Top||5-4||Loss||-119||26 h 2 m||Show|
I am playing on SAN JOSE. I think scheduling is going to play a big part in this game, which is why I like the Sharks to take this contest after opening as slight favorites.
The Caps just generally don't like playing out West and they are 1-7 in their last seven meetings in San Jose. They are also 2-16 in the last 18 meetings and 1-5 in their last six road games.
I think Washington is going to run up against a very surly Sharks squad that is coming off its third straight home defeat and is fighting for a playoff spot. They'll happily welcome a Washington team that has showed major signs of weariness lately after playing seven games in 11 days.
The Capitals managed just 14 shots in a loss to the Flyers last game, their lowest shot total in almost four years. They needed 12 minutes just to get their first shot on net and I don't think a cross country trip three time zones away is going to help them find their legs.
Washington's penalty kill has struggled its last two games also allowing two goals on three kills and that could be a key edge for San Jose. The Sharks are scoring at a clip of 21.6 percent on the PP at home and I think they'll use special teams to help them earn a much-needed win on home ice on Wednesday. 10* Personal Favorite
|02-09-15||Calgary Flames v. San Jose Sharks -152||Top||4-1||Loss||-152||26 h 52 m||Show|
I am playing on SAN JOSE. This is one of those games that, for the casual hockey observer, it might just look like another contest. But for the Sharks, the stakes are high Monday night and they know it.
Of the Sharks' 28 games remaining, only nine are against Pacific Division foes and this marks the last meeting of five meetings of the season against the Flames. In a division where the Sharks are in second place and Calgary is in fourth and only two points separate the two, that's big.
And seeing has how Calgary has won three of the four meetings this year, if the Flames end up winning four of five, it makes a significant impact on playoff positioning come season's end.
So home ice is a big reason I like the Sharks here Monday and I think the opponent will help them put out their best effort. Consistency has been perhaps the biggest problem for San Jose this season as we saw in the club's last so-so effort against Calgary just last week, a 3-1 defeat.
We've seen much better efforts from the Sharks since then after coach Todd McLellan said he spoke to his team after the loss to Calgary about getting a better effort from all 19 players. I think the Sharks just happened to run into a Hurricanes team Saturday night that's playing tough hockey right now when they suffered a tight 5-4 loss.
I believe we'll continue to see a strong effort from the Sharks on Monday and they'll grind out a ‘W’ however they need to. They have a better penalty kill and power play statistically than the Flames also, which should give a further edge on home ice. 10* Personal Favorite
|02-08-15||Chicago Blackhawks v. St Louis Blues -125||4-2||Loss||-125||17 h 0 m||Show|
I am playing on ST. LOUIS. The Blues are not a team you want to play at home at the best of times and this isn't exactly the best time for the Blackhawks on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues own the best home record in the Western Conference at 20-4-1-1 and only the Tampa Bay Lightning have more wins at home. Chicago must also face their Central Division rival in the final game of a grueling seven-game road trip that began on Jan. 21. It's often harder to get your legs going for an afternoon game after a tough trip like that and the game time of 11:30 a.m. Central Time won’t help the Hawks any.
Not only that, but the Blues are 6-1 in the last seven meetings at home against the Blackhawks and the home team has won nine of the last 10 clashes in this series. I know Chicago is a solid hockey club, but I was actually a bit surprised to see the Blues weren't set as bigger favorites when this line opened.
Another reason I love the Blues here is they possess the hottest line in the NHL right now. Alexander Steen, T.J. Oshie and David Backes are just dominating the competition on what is already a deep Blues squad. That line has 65 points in its last 17 games heading into this one and unbelievably that unit held the opponents' top line to just two goals during that stretch.
It's a bit mind blowing when you think about it. It's not often you can say the top lines of the Blackhawks may be out-gunned but on tired legs against this hot unit, I think that will be the case on Sunday.
Throw in the fact that Brian Elliott owns the league's best goals against average (2.02) and we have ourselves a nice play here. 9* Breakfast Club
|02-07-15||Edmonton Oilers v. Toronto Maple Leafs -159||1-5||Win||100||23 h 59 m||Show|
I am playing on TORONTO. Even though the Leafs have lost 11 straight games, there is some good news. The 1966-67 Maple Leafs - the last team that won the Cup for the franchise - also suffered a 10-game losing streak that season.
I'm not saying the Leafs are about to win the Cup. But I do think a turnaround might be ahead and just like that '67 squad, it took a new coach to turn them around.
Back then it was Punch Imlach. Today it could be Peter Horachek. Horachek has been working on a couple of key things that he believes will have the Leafs winning more games as the season wears on and the games get tougher: better defensive play from his centers and crashing to the net to score goals.
It's left the Leafs in a bit of a discomfort zone but players are starting to buy in. The defensive commitment from the centers means less scoring - which has been the Leafs' biggest problem during the skid - but ultimately it's going to lead to more wins.
I think we'll see that first win that snaps the Leafs out of their funk Saturday night. The Oilers neither want to get into a defensive game nor a physical game, which are big reasons why they are the worst in the Western Conference.
The Oilers also rank 27th in five-on-five scoring (0.69 goals per game), 28th on the power play (13.2 per cent) and 23rd on the penalty kill (79.3 per cent). 8* Personal Favorite
|02-03-15||Winnipeg Jets v. Vancouver Canucks -150||2-3||Win||100||25 h 9 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Vancouver Canucks as my 9* Personal Favorite Tuesday.
The Canucks hit home ice against the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night. The Jets will be playing their second game of back-to-back outings after tangling with the Calgary Flames Monday evening. Vancouver, on the other hand, is hungry for a win after slow start left them behind on the scoreboard against the Minnesota Wild Sunday.
Vancouver fell behind 3-0 to the Wild before making things interesting with two goals in the third, eventually losing 4-2 for its second home loss in the last three contests inside Rogers Arena. The Canucks are trying to jump start their offense, which has managed to score over two goals in just three of their last 10 outings.
The Jets provide the perfect matchup to help Vancouver get on the board. Much like last week’s 5-2 drubbing of the Buffalo Sabres, the Canucks can take advantage of a team struggling to protect its goal. Heading into Monday’s game in Calgary, Winnipeg had allowed five goals in each of its previous three games. On top of that, the Jets will be fatigued on this short turnaround Tuesday.
The Canucks have dominated their Western Canadian foes, winning five of their last six meeting with Winnipeg, including a perfect 4-0 record in their last four home games versus the Jets. The home team is also a solid 5-2 in the last seven between these teams.
The Canucks’ desperate for a home win and the Jets’ road weary defense is why I’m playing on Vancouver as my 9* Personal Favorite Tuesday.
|02-03-15||Arizona Coyotes v. Columbus Blue Jackets -154||4-1||Loss||-154||22 h 7 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Columbus Blue Jackets as my 8* Annihilator Tuesday.
The Blue Jackets open the doors to Nationwide Arena, welcoming the Arizona Coyotes Tuesday night. Columbus is happy to be home after playing five of its last six games away from Ohio. The Blue Jackets did take care of business in that lone home stand during that span, dropping the Washington Capitals 4-3 on Jan. 27.
Columbus will take advantage of a weak Arizona blueline, which has watched opponents net an average of 3.3 goals per night. This is drastic decline for the Coyotes of the past few seasons, which leaned on hard-nosed defense to keep them competitive. The Blue Jackets, who aren’t the most active offense in the NHL – averaging only 27.4 shots per game – will look to put a lot more on net, hoping they can overwhelm Arizona like other opponents.
This is a tough spot for the Coyotes, who have been kicked out of Glendale for an extended road trip due to Super Bowl festivities taking over town. Arizona has been on the road since January 17, wrapping an unsuccessful eight-game road trip in Columbus Tuesday. With the Yotes going just 2-5 in the first seven games of this set, you can be sure they’ll be looking forward to heading home and sleeping in their own beds for a change – and not focusing on the Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets' all-out assault on the Coyotes' weak defense and Arizona’s in a tough situational spot are why I’m playing on Columbus as my 8* Annihilator Tuesday.
|02-01-15||Minnesota Wild v. Vancouver Canucks -140||4-2||Loss||-140||18 h 45 m||Show|
I’m playing on the Vancouver Canucks as my 9* Personal Favorite Sunday.
The Canucks are building on a 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres when they host the Minnesota Wild Sunday. While a victory over the lowly Sabres isn’t much to write home about, it did snap a two-game skid for Vancouver and helps the team find its form on offense after scoring just once in those losses to Anaheim and Tampa Bay.
The Canucks had dropped three in a row on home ice before that one-sided win over Buffalo, giving the home fans just one goal to cheer for in that span. Vancouver does find Minnesota in a tough spot Sunday, wrapping up a four-game Western road trip and looking ahead to a home stand against the rival Chicago Blackhawks when they get back to Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild have had success on the road but a closer look at that schedule reveals they’ve taken care of the bottom feeders, like Calgary, Edmonton, and Buffalo, but have come up short against quality clubs. Minnesota fell in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Chicago in recent weeks and have another strong test with the Canucks.
For all their offensive woes, Vancouver remains one of the better defensive clubs in the NHL. The Canucks are limiting opponents to 28.6 shots per game – ninth fewest in the league – and boast a penalty kill percentage of 87.1 on the year. The Wild aren't the most offensively gifted team either, netting just 2.7 goals an outing and struggling to produce with the man advantage.
The Canucks finding their form at home and the Wild’s misleading record is why I’m playing on Vancouver as my 9* Personal Favorite Sunday.
|01-31-15||Columbus Blue Jackets v. Tampa Bay Lightning -214||1-3||Win||100||25 h 23 m||Show|
I am playing on TAMPA BAY 6* as my Blue Marlin Saturday. Tampa Bay has been dominant at home and I expect it to have its way with Columbus. It is worth laying the juice in this situation.
Give credit to the Blue Jackets as they have been one of the few teams to come to Tampa and get a road win this season. Columbus is one of three teams to hold the Lightning to just one goal at home this season, winning 3-1 on Dec. 6 as Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 33 shots.
The Blue Jackets, however, enter Saturday's contest having lost six of nine overall. Part of the reason for this losing streak is because they don’t have the services of Vezina trophy winning Sergei Bobrovsky due to injury. Curtis McElhinney has struggled in his replacement. McElhinney is 5-7-1 with a 2.99 GAA in 17 appearances this season, and has allowed three goals in each of his two starts since Bobrovsky's injury on Jan. 21.
Tampa Bay bounced back from a loss in Carolina to manhandle the Red Wings 5-1 on Thursday night. Note I played on Tampa in that game as my “Personal Favorite.”
Tampa bay’s Ben Bishop has been a rock at home this season. Bishop has a 1.90 goals-against average at home and a 3.02 mark on the road.
The Lightning have averaged 3.40 goals in 25 games at Amalie Arena while allowing 1.96 per contest en route to a 20-4-1 record. Look for them to get some redemption against the Blue Jackets for that earlier loss this season. Lay the juice on TAMPA BAY 6*Blue Marlin.
|01-29-15||Detroit Red Wings v. Tampa Bay Lightning -147||1-5||Win||100||20 h 33 m||Show|
I am playing on TAMPA BAY as my 9* Personal Favorite. The Lightning has been nearly unbeatable at home and I expect it to continue here, even with a strong team in Detroit in town.
The Red Wings have won six in a row coming in and are one of the hottest teams in the NHL heading into the All-Star Break.
Detroit has been able outscore its defensive and goaltending troubles of late. The Wings have allowed an average of four goals against per game over the last three games but still have come away with wins.
Detroit has had to play without starting goalie Jimmy Howard. Peter Mrazek has taken over as the number one goalie and he has struggled after a good start. After posting a 1.63 goals-against average through three starts, the 22-year-old has surrendered 11 goals with a 4.76 GAA in three games since.
Poor goaltending and defensive play will kill them in a game against Tampa Bay on the road.
Tampa Bay is looking to bounce back after a rare loss at Carolina. The Lightning had won three in row before the loss. Tampa Bay is a strong 19-4-1 on home ice this season so this looks like a perfect opportunity for it to bounce back.
Tampa Bay has had their trouble all all-time versus the Red Wings but has been dominant when hosting recently. The Lightning have taken five of the last six and two straight at Amalie Arena.
Tampa Bay is 7-3 after allowing four or more goals in its previous game.
Take TAMPA BAY to bounce back and win this game straight up. 9* Personal favorite.
|01-21-15||Calgary Flames v. Anaheim Ducks -189||3-6||Win||100||14 h 13 m||Show|
I am playing on ANAHEIM 6*. The Ducks are the big favorites at home for a good reason and I don’t mind laying the extra juice to see them win in easy fashion.
The visiting Flames have gotten back on track nicely this January after a rough December. The Flames have won four in row after a comeback win in Monday at the Staples Center in LA. While they got the win in LA they may not have really deserved it as rookie goaltender Joni Ortio stole the show despite the Flames getting heavily out-shot and outplayed. I don’t they get quite as lucky in Anaheim.
Calgary last won a regular-season game in Anaheim on Jan. 19, 2004, going 0-14-5 since for the NHL's longest active road losing streak in a series.
Keep in mind that the Flames are still just 7-10 versus teams with a winning record this season.
Anaheim sits atop the Western Conference and the entire NHL with 66 points thanks to consistent excellence.
Anaheim's four-game winning streak is part of a 16-4-1 stretch since the start of December. The Ducks are also coming off a victory in Los Angeles, 3-2 in a shootout Saturday. Frederik Andersen who will likely be in net for this game got his fifth straight to improve to 15-2-1 with a 2.19 GAA in his last 18 games. Andersen is 2-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA at home against Calgary.
Keep an eye out for the Ducks’ captain and superstar Ryan Getzlaf who has eaten up the Flames over his career. Getzlaf has three goals and nine assists in his last seven home games against the Flames.
The Ducks are arguably the hottest and best team in the NHL right now and I expect them to take care of business at home in a big way here against a road tripping Flames team. Play ANAHEIM 6*
|01-19-15||Calgary Flames v. Los Angeles Kings -167||2-1||Loss||-167||22 h 12 m||Show|
I am playing on the LA KINGS 7*. The Kings have struggled lately but that won’t last forever as the defending champs are just too talented to get held down this long.
The Kings’ opponent in this game is the Calgary Flames which is coming off an impressive 4-3 OT win over San Jose on Saturday night. The Flames will be seeking a fourth straight road win in LA on this night but will meet a desperate Kings team looking for revenge.
The Flames have won three straight against the Kings and now sit ahead of LA in the standings due to the tie-breaker. Calgary has succeeded lately despite going 4 for 49 with a man advantage in its last 15 games.
The Kings are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to Anaheim on Saturday. Los Angeles' defeat dropped it to 2-3-4 in its last nine and 1-2-3 on a season-high seven-game homestand that ends Monday. Look for them to be extra motivated to end this home stand on a good note here.
The Kings are 11-9 revenging a loss to an opponent this season.
The Kings' Anze Kopitar has three goals and seven assists in his last 11 games against Calgary, and he's been one of the league's most prolific point producers since Dec. 15, totaling five goals and 17 assists in 14 games.
The Kings have been a little unlucky as they have not been able to put all aspects to the game together of late but I think they get it here. The Flames prove to always be a tough challenge but the Kings will really know that coming in. Take LA 7* to win.
|01-19-15||Columbus Blue Jackets v. Minnesota Wild -160||3-1||Loss||-160||20 h 44 m||Show|
I am playing on MINNESOTA 7*. The Wild are finally starting to get it together after a rough stretch and should be able to keep it going here against Columbus.
The Blue Jackets are coming off an impressive 3-1 win at Boston on Saturday night. Impressive win no doubt, but we should keep in mind that the Jackets have just the one win in their last five games.
Columbus has had trouble scoring goals over this poor stretch as they have failed to score more than two goals in all but one game. This isn’t a huge surprise though as the Jackets are 24th in the league in for goals scored at 2.47 on the league.
After a rough stretch the Wild have turns things around with some good hockey with two good wins and the confidence is up with the Wild. The Wild has been invigorated with the addition of new goalie Devan Dubnyk. Minnesota has struggled with net minding, that’s why the Wild acquired Dubnyk from Arizona on Wednesday. He made 18 saves in a 7-0 victory at Buffalo in his debut the next night and then stopped 25 shots to beat his former team in Saturday's 3-1 win over the Coyotes.
Dubnyk is a healthy 6-1-1 with a 1.86 GAA in his last eight starts against the Blue Jackets.
The Wild come in with revenge on their minds having lost the last four meetings with the Blue Jackets.
Minnesota has still been a strong home team this season with 11 wins in their building. Look for it to be difficult for the Jackets in this game. Play MINNESOTA 7*.
|01-19-15||Carolina Hurricanes v. Toronto Maple Leafs -155||4-1||Loss||-155||19 h 17 m||Show|
I am playing on TORONTO 7*. The Leafs return home from an ugly western road trip but they return home to face a lesser opponent they should work over.
Carolina comes in off a nice 3-2 win over Ottawa on the road. It was a rare win on the road for the Canes as they have one of the worst road records in the league with a 5-16-3 mark. They face a tough home in Toronto here.
The biggest reason the Canes have struggled to win this season and especially on the road is because they can’t score goals. Carolina has averaged just 2.02 goals per game this season and that just won’t get it done. In fact, it is the second worst scoring clip in the league.
The Maple Leafs meanwhile are coming off a very hard western road trip where they lost four straight. Other teams have seen this happen to them as it is not easy to win games against the California teams. This game however will be held in Toronto where the team has performed well this season.
"I think it will be really good (to get back home)," Leafs’ interim coach Peter Horachek said. "We've been on the road a lot, but we can't make excuses. We're going to have to prop ourselves back up like we have before."
Toronto has been solid at home where 15 of its’ 22 wins have come this season. Keep in mind that the Leafs are strong 3-1 after three consecutive road games this season. Look for Toronto to be desperate for a win here.
Toronto is averaging 3.6 goals per game at home compared to just 2.2 on the road.
The Hurricanes are a not a good but the Leafs are unlikely to take them lightly as Carolina has won two straight games in this series, outscoring Toronto 10-2 over that span. Revenge will be on the minds of the Leafs in this game. Play TORONTO 7*
|01-18-15||NY Rangers v. Pittsburgh Penguins -135||5-2||Loss||-135||14 h 27 m||Show|
I am playing on PITTSBURGH 8*. Yes the Rangers have been hot of late but they run into an ultra talented Penguins team looking to take out a recent loss on an opponent on someone else.
The Rangers went on an incredible run that lasted over a month but with two losses in the last three games they look to be regressing a little bit. A game with the Penguins on the road is not a place where you can turn things around.
Despite a massive win streak the Rangers are still just 11-11 versus teams with a winning record.
The speed of the Rangers is a problem for most teams as the fore check us punishing on team’ with a slow puck moving defense. The Penguins are not one of those teams with Paul Martin and Kris Letang on the backend.
Pittsburgh comes in “angry” after 6-3 loss to the division leading Islanders. It was a game where the Penguins allowed four third period goals to give up the lead. Look for the Penguins to take it out on the visiting Rangers. Pittsburgh hasn’t forgotten about a close 4-3 loss at MSG to the Rangers in early December.
Keep in mind that the Penguins are a very strong 11-5 when revenging a loss to an opponent this season.
Some good news for Pittsburgh in the loss to the Islanders was the play of mega star Sidney Crosby who collected three points and is starting to get on role at the same time as teammate Evgeni Malkin. When these two stars have it going at the same time it is always trouble for another team.
The Penguins are the better team on paper and to get them on the money line at home at this fair price is a very strong opportunity to win. Take PITTSBURGH 8*.
|01-17-15||Anaheim Ducks v. Los Angeles Kings -143||3-2||Loss||-143||13 h 53 m||Show|
I am playing on the LA Kings 8*. This is a big rivalry game in California and I look for the defending Stanley Cup champs to show their metal and come out on top.
The Anaheim Ducks are coming off a 5-1 blowout win over a road tripping New Jersey team last night. Corey Perry scored his team leading 19 goal of the year. The Ducks are no doubt a power house team but the Kings will be much tougher test on short rest.
Anaheim is 4-3 when having to play on the second night of a back-to-back situation.
While it seems logical that Ducks would have the upper hand on any team if you look at their record, that can’t be said in this matchup against the defending champs. While they may have the upper hand recently, the hungry talented Kings team is very dangerous in a revenge spot.
Anaheim has taken five of its last six against the Kings, who still hold a slight edge since 2011-12 with nine victories over 17 meetings in that span.
Despite some recent struggles, the Kings are still 15-6-4 at the Staples Center this season.
The last two meetings between the teams were decided by one goal. This looks to be another close game but don’t be surprised if the Kings have more jump in the end. The Kings haven’t played since Wednesday night. Play the LA KINGS 8*
|01-17-15||Washington Capitals v. Dallas Stars -135||4-5||Win||100||11 h 54 m||Show|
I am playing on DALLAS*. The Stars get the Capitals in a good spot here and I expect them to take advantage of it.
The Washington Capitals come in off a 4-3 hard fought loss at Nashville last night. It was an emotional night for the Caps as new head coach Barry Trotz was making his return to Nashville where he had been a coach of a very long time. To get the high emotions up for another game the night after should be no easy task on the road. Keep in mind the Capitals were on a very nice stretch of winnings games before the loss in regulation and letdown could easily happen here.
The Capitals had starting goalie Braden Holtby play in the game last night and he most likely will give way to backup Justin Peters in this game. Hotlby has been a big reason why the Capitals have been so hot.
The Capitals are just 6-7 versus teams in the Western Conference. It is not a surprise as the West is wildly considered to be the best conference in the NHL this season.
The Dallas Stars haven’t been a hot team of late but they the distinct advantage of an extra day off and are on a home stand that should have them very comfortable.
The Stars didn’t get the win against the Jets but you could say they are knocking on the door of a nice winning streak. Five of the Stars' contests during a 1-3-2 stretch have been decided by one goal, including Thursday's 2-1 home loss to Winnipeg. They finished with season highs of 47 shots and seven power-play opportunities.
Dallas has dominated the series with the Capitals over the years and it continued in the last meeting with a 5-0 Stars win last April. Dallas is 10-2 in the last 12 meetings with Washington.
Take DALLAS 8* to take advantage of a weary road tripping Washington team.
|01-17-15||NY Islanders v. Montreal Canadiens -130||4-6||Win||100||10 h 54 m||Show|
I am playing on MONTREAL. The Islanders are a good team but the Habs catch them in a tough spot here and I look for them lay the hammer down in a big Saturday prime time game.
New York comes in red hot and off a 6-3 win at the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Islanders have always seemed to play the Penguins hard and last night was no exception as Kyle Okposo scored four goals. But while we should give them respect, not too much as having to go to the Bell Centre the next night to play a rested Montreal team is going to be very hard task.
Keep in mind that 10 of the Islanders’ 13 losses this season have been on the road.
Montreal is in a 1-2-1 stretch after winning nine of 10 and is coming off Thursday's 4-1 loss at Ottawa. Max Pacioretty was again a bright spot, scoring a goal in a sixth straight game with seven total in that span. The Habs are 7-3 in games after they managed to score just one goal or more.
This is a nice spot at home for them to start another winning streak. Montreal is 13-5-2 on home ice this season but will be hungry to put an end to an uncharacteristic two game losing streak at home right now.
The Canadiens have won four of five against the Islanders and are 8-1-4 in the last 13 meetings at the Bell Centre. A big home meeting on Saturday means a lot to the fans of Montreal and the team feeds off the energy in the building. Expect that to play a factor in this game.
Montreal dispatched the Islanders 3-1 in New York earlier this season and I look for the same sort of result in this game. Play MONTREAL *8.
|01-16-15||Winnipeg Jets v. Chicago Blackhawks -230||4-2||Loss||-230||11 h 9 m||Show|
I am playing on CHICAGO 6*. The Hawks are a big chalk favorite here but I don’t mind paying extra money to get them because I think they will easily take care of business in this spot.
The Winnipeg Jets visit the United Center off a 2-1 win in Dallas last night. The weary legs should play a factor as that is a lot of miles to travel overnight to play a game against one of the league’s elite in the Blackhawks.
The Jets were fortunate to get the win last night in Dallas as goalie Ondrej Pavelec made a season high 46 saves. Backup Michael Hutchinson will likely get the call in this one.
Chicago meanwhile is rested and has had plenty of time to prepare for the Jets. The Blackhawks haven’t played since a 4-1 win over Minnesota on Sunday.
In a very strange anomaly, the Jets have won three of the last four meetings between these two teams in Chicago and the last three meetings overall. Look for the Blackhawks to be extremely determined to end that streak this time around. Chicago is one of the best and most talented teams in the NHL and should pounce on an opponent in a situation like this.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said: "They get you disrupted, and I think that's what we saw here both times. I think we got outworked both times we played them, and you can't expect to beat them when you're just out there playing."
Chicago is 13-7 revenging a home loss this season and will be extra “angry” after Winnipeg embarrassed it 5-1 at the United Center back in late December.
Winnipeg is 2-3 on the backend of back-to-back games this season. Look for Chicago to exploit the situation here and get an easy win. Lay the wood on CHICAGO 6*.
|01-15-15||Calgary Flames v. Arizona Coyotes -105||4-1||Loss||-105||12 h 24 m||Show|
I am playing on ARIZONA 9*. The Coyotes are at a good price here and I like that they are knocking on the door of a hot streak.
The visiting Calgary Flames have the disadvantage of trying to ramp things up again after having a full four days off. That is seems like almost an eternity in most professional sports and I think the layoff won’t be good for the Flames here as their last game was in Vancouver.
It has been a bit of a struggle for the Flames of late as they are just 1-3 in the new calendar year. The lone win they got was against the Canucks on Saturday and they were thoroughly outplayed in the game but got the win thanks to surprise effort from AHL call-up Ron Ortio. Look for things to catch up to them there.
The Arizona Coyotes meanwhile are playing their final game of a six game home stand and should be very determined to get the win in this matchup before heading out on the road. The Coyotes are 2-3 on this stretch of games and a win would tie it off in at least a .500 mark.
Arizona will be looking for revenge as it has lost three straight to Calgary already this season. The Coyotes should have a strong effort here as they have played well versus the Flames in Glendale. Arizona is 4-1 versus the Calgary at home the last three seasons.
The Coyotes are a great price here as they are almost even money at home. Take advantage of it and play ARIZONA 9*.
|01-15-15||Winnipeg Jets v. Dallas Stars -130||2-1||Loss||-130||12 h 55 m||Show|
I am playing on DALLAS 9*. The Stars got a much needed win over Ottawa on Tuesday and I think they ride the momentum into another win.
The Winnipeg Jets come in off an impressive 8-2 win at home over Florida. Keep in mind that the Jets took advantage of a road tripping Panthers team in that blowout win. Now they themselves have to go south to Texas to try and get a win over the hot Stars.
The Jets are primed for a letdown as they are just 3-8 following a win of two or more goals. Winnipeg is just 3-5 during a stretch of games where they have been lucky to score a lot of goals to make up for some poor defensive play.
The Stars meanwhile are coming off a moral boosting 5-4 come from behind win over Ottawa on Tuesday. The win came despite having top players in Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn at less than 100 percent. I like them to be healthier for this game and the results will follow.
Dallas will be playing the second game of a three game home stand that is very important as the team is trying desperately to get back into a playoff spot after a horrendous start.
Dallas will be looking to revenge a 5-2 loss to the Jets in its’ only other meeting this season. Dallas won the last meeting between these two teams held in Texas which was held last season.
Dallas still has not gotten a lot of respect from odds makers thanks to a poor start to the season and I think we should take advantage of while we still can with a decent home value here.
Play DALLAS to win straight up 9*.
|01-13-15||Ottawa Senators v. Dallas Stars -144||4-5||Win||100||12 h 50 m||Show|
8* Dallas. Analysis to follow
|01-11-15||Winnipeg Jets v. Anaheim Ducks -200||4-5||Win||100||11 h 18 m||Show|
I am playing on ANAHEIM 6*. The Ducks are worth laying the juice on in this spot against a Jets team that played just last night.
The Winnipeg Jets got an impressive 5-4 shootout win last night in LA against the Kings. The bad news for them is that they have the play the back-end of a back-to-back in Anaheim against a very good Ducks team.
Not only are the Jets tired, they are due for a letdown as they just 3-6 in games after scoring four goals or more previously. Winnipeg had lost four of five before beating Los Angeles 5-4 in a shootout Saturday in their second stop on a three-game road trip.
A big reason for the Jets success this season has been the unexpected play of goalie Michael Hutchinson who got the win in LA last night. Being the back-end of a back-to-back however, means they will likely have to go with the struggling Ondrej Pavelec.. He's allowed four goals in each of his last three starts while going 0-2-1, and he's 1-1-2 with a 3.49 goals-against average in four career outings against the Ducks.
The Ducks meanwhile are looking to get back on track after losing to the red hot New York Rangers on Friday. Anaheim has arguably been the best team in the NHL this season and has the roster of players who are just plain better than the Jets. Keep in mind that the Ducks are 7-2 in games following a loss in which they fell by two goals or more.
Frederik Andersen, who is 5-1-1 with a 1.80 GAA in his last seven starts, should be in goal for Anaheim.
Anaheim is 6-3 in Sunday games while the Jets are just 2-6 this season.
The Ducks have won the last three meetings in this matchup and look for them to make a fourth on Teemu Selanne night . Play ANAHEIM 6*.
|01-10-15||NY Rangers v. San Jose Sharks -113||Top||3-1||Loss||-113||13 h 34 m||Show|
I am playing on SAN JOSE 10*. The Sharks have returned home off a tough road trip and have had some time to recover enough to take down a road tripping Rangers team in this spot.
The New York Rangers are arguably the hottest team in the NHL and have already won games at Anaheim and LA on this California road trip. As much as we want to give them credit for those wins, we should look for reality to set in here as they will not be able to sweep this trip.
The Rangers were beat up 9-2 the last time they visited San Jose. While I don’t think we will see any kind of beat down that big, the Sharks will be tough competition.
As noted earlier, the Sharks are coming off the win at Los Angeles. That game was huge for them as they were getting revenge from the Stanley Cup series loss to the Kings. Don’t be surprised if the team can’t get up to full gear in this game which means a lot less to them in the whole scheme of things.
The Sharks meanwhile are coming off a road three-game road trip that saw it take two-of-three but did end sourly with a 7-2 loss at St. Louis. Look for the Sharks to play “angry” with a bounce back in mind.
San Jose will be looking to revenge a 4-0 loss to the Rangers earlier this year at MSG in New York. The Sharks are a profitable 12-9 in games where they are revenging a loss this season.
The Sharks have brought it versus good teams this season with a 13-9 record overall against teams with a winning record. Expect San Jose to take this big Saturday night home game.
San Jose is 2-0-1 in the past three matchups at home versus the Sharks.
Play SAN JOSE 10*
|01-10-15||Winnipeg Jets v. Los Angeles Kings -160||5-4||Loss||-160||13 h 30 m||Show|
I am playing on the LA KINGS 8*. The Kings have dominated this matchup with the Jets in recent memory and I expect that it continues in this spot.
The Winnipeg Jets will be playing the first game of a back-to-back set with a contest in Anaheim tomorrow. While both games are tough, this is arguably the toughest with the problems they have had at the Staples Center of late.
The Jets have lost two in row and did not look good in getting blown out by one of the worst teams in the west in Arizona on Thursday.
The Jets are missing four defensemen and forward Evander Kane, though they got defenseman Zach Bogosian back from a lower-body injury Thursday. He had missed 14 games since Dec. 3. These are key contributors for a Jets team that doesn’t have the greatest depth.
The Jets have dropped three in a row overall to the Kings and are 2-6-1 against the Pacific Division.
The Kings are coming off an embarrassing loss to the New York Rangers and will be looking to take it out on someone. This could be a great spot as Winnipeg has been outscored 33-18 in losing six of seven visits to Los Angeles. The Kings are 7-2 overall versus the Jets the last three seasons combined.
Keep an eye out for Kings’ superstar Anze Kopitar. Kopitar has scored three goals in the last two games against Winnipeg. He has four assists in his past two contests overall.
Even with the recent losses at home, the Kings are still a strong 14-5-3 at the Staples Center this season.
This is a big mis-match no matter where the game is played. While the Kings are indeed the favorites to win this game, laying the extra juice is well worth it here. Play LOS ANGELES 8*.
|01-09-15||Florida Panthers v. Calgary Flames -141||6-5||Loss||-141||12 h 56 m||Show|
I am playing on CALGARY 9*. The Flames look to right the ship after two straight losses and I think this is the perfect spot for them to do it.
The road tripping Florida Panthers’ team played just last night in Vancouver and will have be hard pressed to play again the night after in Alberta, Canada. Florida is just 1-3 in back-to-back situations this season.
Full props to the Panthers for taking care of the Canucks on the road in an emotional Roberto Luongo return to Vancouver last night. It is highly likely the Oilers were watching the game and scouting out a game plan to beat the Panthers while they were resting idle.
The 35-year-old Luongo has yet to play both ends of a back-to-back this season, and could cede the net Friday to backup Al Montoya. Montoya took the loss in Florida's previous meeting with Calgary, and is 0-4 with a 3.65 goals-against average in his last four games.
After winning four in a row the Flames have lost two in row at home to some good teams in Detroit and the New York Islanders. They were knocking on the door in both games though as they lost each by just a single goal. Look for them to get back in the winner’s circle with a nice advantage here.
Calgary is 11-8-2 at home and has taken the last three meetings versus the Panthers and seven of the last ten.
The Flames are well rested and hungry for a win while the Panthers will be a little bit tired with likely their backup goalie in net. Take CALGARY 9* to win at a decent home price.
|01-09-15||Columbus Blue Jackets v. Toronto Maple Leafs -130||Top||2-5||Win||100||10 h 24 m||Show|
I am playing on TORONTO 10* Personal favorite. The Maple Leafs have finally had some time off at home after a rough road trip and I think that will do wonders for a struggling team looking to avoid a season high fourth straight loss.
The visiting Blue Jackets will be playing the final game of a four game road trip that has seen them take two of three thus far but has taken them far out west in the process. After this game the Jackets will be playing a big high profile home game versus the New York Islanders the very next night. I wouldn’t be surprised if the players and coaches have this game on their minds as they are so close to returning home.
Keep in mind that Columbus is 0-2 after three consecutive road games this season. The team is just 2-5 on Friday nights which is understandable as Saturday is the big night for hockey in the league and many teams get geared up for it.
Toronto doesn’t have the luxury of wasting away a game on Friday night as it is desperate to snap a three game losing streak. The Leafs are 2-0 after three consecutive losses. Toronto is 8-7 after allowing four goals or more the previous game. The Leafs were embarrassed in Washington 6-2 on Wednesday night.
The Leafs will come in with confidence after beating the Jackets 4-1 in Columbus the last time they met. With a few days off now they should be ready to explode at home. "I think guys are positive here," said star Phil Kessel, who has a team-leading 41 points but is mired in a season-high three-game drought. "We know we have a good team here."
With a weary Columbus team on the road, Take TORONTO 10* Personal Favorite.
|01-08-15||NY Rangers v. Los Angeles Kings -150||4-3||Loss||-150||14 h 6 m||Show|
I am playing on LOS ANGELES *8. In a rematch of last season’s Stanley Cup final look for more of the same dominance from the Kings in this spot.
We have to give full credit to a New York Rangers team that is playing their best hockey of the season during a much needed stretch here. However, playing back-to-back games in California is too much to ask when the Kings are on the backend of it waiting. New York won a 4-1 game in Anaheim last night.
The Rangers lost in the Cup Finals of last season four games to one as they had trouble solving Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick in overtime games.
The Kings are 3-1 when hosting the Rangers the last three seasons and have the advantage of rest in this game after being idle since Saturday.
Los Angeles has definitely not been the world beater we expect them to be with their roster of stars but getting them motivated and rested is something a bettor cannot pass up on.
The Kings are one of the better teams on home ice this season as they are 14-4-3 at the Staples Center.
Jonathan Quick is likely to be in net for the Kings after getting pulled half way through a loss to Nashville on Saturday. Quick went 4-1 with a 1.63 GAA in last season's Cup final.
Play the rested LOS ANGELES team 8*.
|01-08-15||Ottawa Senators v. Colorado Avalanche -135||2-5||Win||100||13 h 35 m||Show|
I am playing on COLORADO 8*. The Colorado Avalanche is starting to play some better hockey of late and I feel the value is good here as a lot of people haven’t quite taken notice.
The Ottawa Senators hope to make a run at the playoffs, but it's headed in the other direction after losing five of seven. The Senators have scuffled offensively on the road, scoring six goals while going 1-2-1 in their past four.
Not helping matters is the fact that Ottawa is just 8-10-4 on the road this season.
Craig Anderson is expected to get the nod for the Senators. He was 0-2-1 with a 6.35 GAA against Colorado before making 28 saves in October.
Colorado comes in looking for its fourth win in five games after a 2-0 win at Chicago on Tuesday.
A big reason for the run that Colorado has made is the play of Vezina trophy finalist Semyon Varlamov who got the shut out in Chicago. Varlamov struggled to start this season but has made strides toward getting untracked by posting a 1.79 GAA in winning four of his last six outings.
Colorado is 6-3-1 versus Ottawa and won the last meeting between these teams in the mile high city. The Avs will be looking to revenge a 5-3 loss in Ottawa earlier this season though. Colorado is 9-6 versus teams with a losing record.
With a win here the Avalanche are inching closer to .500 mark on home ice. Take COLORADO 8*
|01-07-15||NY Rangers v. Anaheim Ducks -130||4-1||Loss||-130||14 h 57 m||Show|
I am playing on ANAHIEM *8 Personal Favorite. The Ducks have the NHL’s lead in points right now and I expect them to add to it here with a favourable matchup.
The New York Rangers come in on a nice run but this will be arguably its’ toughest test of the season. The Rangers are 0-2-1 in their last three visits to the Honda Center. Last season a trip California proved to be too tough a test for the Rangers as they lost back-to-back games to Anaheim and San Jose by a combined 15-2 score over a span of three days.
The Rangers will figure to start their standout goalie Henrik Lundqvist who is no doubt one of the best in the league. Lundqvist, though, is 0-2-1 with a 3.89 GAA in his last three road games against the Ducks
The Ducks are 4-0-1 in the past five meetings with the Rangers, allowing only five goals during that span.
Anaheim has won seven of eight home games coming in and has consistently the best hockey team in the NHL this season overall. At home the Ducks are a 14-4-3 and have saved their best hockey for teams who are good. The Ducks are 15-6 versus teams with a winning record this season. The Rangers are 9-9 against teams with a winning record.
The Ducks have been consistently well this season without arguably their best player in Corey Perry but now Perry is back and they could be poised to go on a very good run.
Anaheim will likely start Frederik Andersen for the seventh straight game. He's 7-1-0 with a 2.19 GAA in his last eight home contests.
Anaheim has risen to the occasion versus the other top teams and I expect no difference here as the team has the distinct advantage of home ice over an Eastern conference team. 8* Personal Favorite.
|01-04-15||Nashville Predators v. Anaheim Ducks -151||3-4||Win||100||11 h 2 m||Show|
I am playing on ANAHEIM 7*. This is a battle of two the best teams in the Western Conference this season and I expect the home side to be victorious.
The Predators come in off a draining 7-6 overtime win in LA versus the defending cup champion Kings just yesterday. The Preds held a 5-1 lead before blowing it in the third period. It was the second times in three games the Preds have blown a three-goal lead to a western power in the last three games.
The Ducks meanwhile have had full days rest since their last game against St. Louis. Playing against a road weary Predators team should help the home side even more in this contest.
Anaheim is looking to get revenge over Nashville for a 5-2 loss at the Honda Center the last time these two teams met. Note that the Ducks have normally been at their best versus good teams this season. They are 14-6 versus teams with a winning record. Anaheim will likely see this game as a measuring stick and go all out to earn the respect as the top team.
The Ducks are 20-11 in home meetings versus the Predators and have two of the last three overall. They are 13-4-3 at home this season overall.
It is never easy to play good California teams in the NHL these days and to have to do it on back-to-back nights on the road is even tougher. Look for the Predators to struggle at multiple times in this game.
Play ANAHIEM 7*
|01-04-15||Columbus Blue Jackets v. Colorado Avalanche -162||4-3||Loss||-162||11 h 1 m||Show|
I am playing on COLORADO 7*. The Avalanche team has looked a lot better of late and I expect them to continue this roll with a favorable matchup on home ice.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have allowed a lot of goals of late. The 6-3 loss in Arizona has marked the second time in three games the Jackets have given up six goals in a game. Playing in the altitude of Denver will not help matters.
Columbus is 7-9 SU on the road this season and has lost the last two meetings with the Avs in Colorado.
Colorado has won two in a row and is trying desperately to turn the page from a tough end to the 2014 calendar year. The Avs won a close one in Edmonton but a win is a win and Colorado has now quietly won five of seven coming into this game.
Colorado has dominated Columbus pretty much since the inception of the Blue Jackets. Avs hold a 19-5 edge in the last 21 meetings.
The Avs have taken care of the weaker teams in the NHL this season with a 9-5 record against teams with a losing record. While Colorado has a losing record on the road, they have managed to pull more straight up wins at home than losses. Play COLORADO 7*
|01-04-15||Florida Panthers v. Washington Capitals -157||3-4||Win||100||6 h 2 m||Show|
I am playing on WASHINGTON 7*. The Caps have dominated the Panthers on home ice of late and I expect that trend to continue.
The Florida Panthers come in losers of two-of-three but did break the two game losing streak with a win over the Sabres. The Sabres are one of the weakest teams in the NHL this season so we can’t give them too much credit for that.
The Panthers have scored just five goals in their last three games and now face a Capitals team this on serious fire defensively. The Capitals have given up just 2.00 goals per game in their last 13 contests.
The last two meetings between these teams saw 2-1 shootout final scores with each team winning on home ice. Look for home ice to be eye again in this matchup.
The Capitals come in off an impressive 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day. Note that the team has had a full two days rest between these games and will be ready to get back at it in a big way here.
Washington will seek a 10th consecutive home win over Florida when it returns to the Verizon Center. The Capitals have also won 10 of the last 12 overall meetings. A loss in the last meeting at Florida will have this team looking for revenge on this day.
Keep an eye out for Capitals star Alex Ovechkin who showed his big game dominance at the Winter Classic. Ovechkin has six goals and five assists in his last 11 games, but has one assist in the two meetings with Florida this season. He had 11 goals and six assists in his previous nine matchups.
The Capitals will look to extend their season high home winning streak and are primed to do it against a long time divisional foe. Play WASHINGTON 7*.
|01-03-15||Ottawa Senators v. Boston Bruins -180||3-2||Loss||-180||6 h 41 m||Show|
I am playing on BOSTON 6* Breakfast Club. The Bruins have had their way with the Senators at home recently and I think that will continue into this matchup.
The Senators enter the new year having lost three of four but did get a new year’s eve win over Buffalo 5-2. Note that I did play on Ottawa in this game citing their matchup and home ice advantage. However I see the shoe falling on the other foot in this game at Boston.
Ottawa is 2-5-2 on the road since Thanksgiving. Overall they are just 7-10-3 on the road this season.
It has been a while between games for the Senators as they have had four days off since their win against Buffalo. While that could be constituted as an advantage, it has not for the Senators this season as the team is just 1-3 with three or more days rest this season.
The Bruins enter the 2015 calendar in unfamiliar territory as it is two points out of a playoff spot. The Bruins have been one of the best teams in the NHL for quite some time and are the reigning President’s trophy winners. They have had awful injury troubles in the first half of the NHL season but are starting to get healthier and should see better results here pretty soon.
Boston dominated the Red Wings on Monday but then lost in a shootout to the Maple Leafs on Wednesday. It should be plenty motivated to get back on the winning track in this game.
Boston is 10-2-3 at home since the beginning of November. I think that streak continues as they are 5-1 against the Senators at home the past three seasons and 7-3 overall in the last ten meetings.
Tuukka Rask is 6-3-1 with a 1.99 GAA in 10 career starts versus Ottawa.
It’s not always worth it to lay the extra juice in an NHL matchup but it is here on BOSTON *6 Breakfast Club.
|01-02-15||Toronto Maple Leafs v. Minnesota Wild -140||Top||1-3||Win||100||23 h 28 m||Show|
I am playing on MINNESOTA 10* Personal Favorite. The Wild need to get back on track I think this is a great spot for them to do so.
The Toronto Maple Leafs come into this game off a big 4-3 shootout win over Boston. It would not be hard to see them have a letdown immediately afterwards. The Leafs are 8-11 after games they have scored four or more goals.
The fact of the matter is that Toronto just has not been playing good hockey of late. Toronto is having some difficulty defensively, giving up 27 goals in a 2-5-0 stretch.
Toronto will be playing the sixth game of a tough seven game road trip over a busy Christmas and New Year’s schedule. Making matters worse is that the Leafs are missing the services of key players in Joffrey Lupul and Peter Holland.
The Wild have struggled get a streak of winning games together but the desperation should help us as they have been a pretty good home team over the past two years. In fact the Wild are 9-4-4 in home games on the campaign.
Minnesota won the last meeting between these two teams last season in Minnesota 2-1. The Maple Leafs are 1-2-1 in their last four visits to Minnesota.
The long road trip, poor defensive play and lack of depth due to injury are all reasons to not like the Leafs in this road game. The desperation and solid home play of the Wild make the home side a good bet. Play MINNESOTA 10* Personal Favorite.
|01-02-15||Tampa Bay Lightning v. Pittsburgh Penguins -128||3-6||Win||100||9 h 30 m||Show|
I am playing on PITTSBURGH. The Penguins have owned the Lightning at home in recent seasons and I expect that to continue.
The Tampa Bay Lightning is considered one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference when you look at their point totals for the season are hot coming in with four straight victories. However, aside from a recent 5-1 win at Buffalo, the Lightning have not played well on the road of late. Tampa Bay had gone 1-3-2 in its previous six road games before beating the Sabres.
Tampa Bay has had its’ struggles with the Penguins on the road where it has not won since March of 2010. I do give the Lightning credit for a 4-3 home win over the Penguins the last time these teams met just earlier this season. It is very apparent the Lightning are a much different squad at home these days compared to the road where it is actually 9-10 when you add up all the overtime losses.
Pittsburgh meanwhile is a fantastic home team with 14-5-1 record on the year. The Pens will likely get up for this game as the Lightning pose a serious threat to winning the East, a title they think they should win this season. Pittsburgh is 11-4 when facing a team with a winning record so history shows they get up for good teams this year.
As mentioned before, Pittsburgh will look for revenge for that 4-3 loss in Florida. The Pens are 9-4 when revenging a loss to team this season. I like their chances at doing that even more in this matchup as they a perfect 4-0 when hosting the Lightning the last three seasons.
The Penguins have been dealing with injuries like more NHL teams at this time of the year. They should get a boost with the expected return of Steve Downie in this contest.
Marc Andre-Fleury will likely get the call for the Penguins in net and he has won his last seven starts versus Tampa Bay.
Play PITTSBURGH 9* Eastern Conf. Annihilator
|12-31-14||New Jersey Devils v. Detroit Red Wings -195||1-3||Win||100||11 h 38 m||Show|
I am playing on DETROIT 6* Blue Marlin. The Red Wings are the obvious favorites here and I don’t mind laying some extra juice to get them in this spot.
The New Jersey Devils come in stumbling with just two wins in its last ten games. The lengthy losing streak caused a change at the head coaching position as Peter DeBoer was let go. Lou Lammorillo the GM has been the acting head coach in a move that is pretty predictable for him knowing his track record.
Corey Schneider is slated to make his NHL-leading 35th start. He owns a 2.45 goals against average and took the losses in two previous meetings with Detroit this season.
While Peter DeBoer could take the blame for a poor stretch of games, a lot of people could easily turn to the roster that is quite make shift and has no real consistent offensive threats.
New Jersey is 8-12-2 on the road this season and has lost its’ last two games in Detroit.
Detroit has owned the Devils going back quite some time now. The Red Wings are 4-1 in all games versus the Devils the past three seasons. At home Detroit is 11-2 versus the Devils dating back to 1996.
Detroit has won two of three coming into this game but will look to get back on track after a 5-2 blowout loss at Boston.
At home Detroit is a solid 12-4-6. Playing a poor road team in New Jersey should help to continue that streak.
Keep an eye out for Red Wings’ forward Johan Franzen who has five goals in his last five games with New Jersey.
Play DETROIT 6* Blue Marlin Big Chalk Beatdown.
|12-29-14||Buffalo Sabres v. Ottawa Senators -200||2-5||Win||100||10 h 19 m||Show|
I am playing on OTTAWA. The Sens are the big favorite for a reason in this matchup and I think it is well worth it to lay the extra juice.
Ted Nolan’s Sabres have surprised a lot of people this season with their gritty play and bounce back ability. While I have great respect for this coaching style, I think his team is certainly overmatched in this spot and are due for a letdown.
The Sabres are still just 4-11 on the road this season and have dropped five straight away from friendly confines.
Buffalo has had troubles killing penalties on the road where it doing it a league worst 66.1 percent. It was very evident in its’ last game where the Sabres allowed four power play goals to the Red Wings.
Ottawa meanwhile comes into this game looking to revenge a 5-4 loss to Buffalo the last time these teams met. The Senators are 10-7 in the “revenge spot” this season. I like their chances even more at home were they are a 7-4-4 this season.
Craig Anderson will likely get the start in net for Ottawa as he has been great versus the Sabres of late. The netminder has won his last eight starts against them, posting a 1.36 goals-against average with two shutouts.
Ottawa as a team has been great against the Sabres at home where it is a perfect 4-0 when hosting the last the last three seasons. Looking at it holistically, Ottawa is 6-3 in this matchup overall the past three seasons. Play OTTAWA 6* Blue Marlin Big Chalk Beatdown.
|12-27-14||Winnipeg Jets v. Minnesota Wild -145||Top||4-3||Loss||-145||26 h 36 m||Show|
I am playing on MINNESOTA. The Wild have dominated the Jets of late and I expect it to continue in this post Christmas matchup that will be the first of a home and home series.
The Winnipeg Jets come in hot having won three of four and off an impressive 5-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. I will certainly give them credit for that win but am not afraid to play against them when I see the value on the other shoe.
The Jets are just 2-7 coming off a win of two goals or more in their previous game. Winnipeg is just 2-3 on Saturdays as well. This would be prime time for a letdown spot for the Jets.
The Minnesota Wild have been cold of late and have had to sit over the Christmas break on a four game losing streak that has stretched itself on this four game home stand. The Wild will be as desperate as it comes to get a win in the final before heading out on the road again.
Keep in mind the Wild is 5-1 over the Jets the past three seasons. Minnesota has won all three of the meetings where it hosted the game over that span of time.
Even with the recent losing slide, the Wild is 9-4-3 on home ice where it has been dominant the past three years. Minnesota will know how important it is to get the win in this first game of a home and home series with the next game scheduled in Winnipeg.
Play MINNESOTA 10* Personal Favorite.
|12-23-14||Philadelphia Flyers v. Minnesota Wild -185||5-2||Loss||-185||11 h 44 m||Show|
I am playing on MINNESOTA. The Wild come in very hungry for a win and will take advantage of a road tripping Philadelphia team in this spot.
Give the Flyers credit for coming back and beating the Winnipeg Jets in a hostile environment two nights ago. They have been playing better of late but I think this spot will be too tough for them to get another win.
The Flyers have lost the last three meetings with Minnesota and are just 2-4 against them overall in the last three years. They lost the first meeting this season 3-2 in Philadelphia.
Even with the come from behind win in Winnipeg, Philadelphia has struggled on the road this season with a 5-9-3 record.
It’s true the Wild have not played well of late but they are hungry and that can only help us in a bet where they are the favorites at home.
"We can talk and say all the right things,’’ said Wild Captain Mikko Koivu. ""But at the end, it’s got to be happening on the ice.”
The Wild are still a very strong 9-3-3 in front of the raucous crowd in Minnesota this season, continuing a trend of stellar home ice advantage it had last season.
Minnesota has taken care of teams below it in the standings as it is 9-2 versus teams with a losing record this season. Philadelphia is just 6-10 versus teams with a winning record.
The Flyers are essentially a one line scoring team and if you can stop the top line you can stop the team. The Wild have one of the top defensemen in the game in Ryan Suter who should be able to slow down the Flyers top unit.
This is a rough road trip for the Flyers as they have to play eight games on the trip that ends on Jan. 3. Look for them to have conserve the energy of their top players. On a team that is not that deep, it will struggle at times versus good defensive teams.
Lay the extra juice to get MINNESOTA 6* as it is worth it in this spot.
|12-22-14||Arizona Coyotes v. Vancouver Canucks -195||1-7||Win||100||13 h 2 m||Show|
I am playing on VANCOUVER. The Canucks were able to finally end their losing streak on Saturday and I expect them to make it two wins in row with a nice situational spot here against Arizona.
The Coyotes played and lost to the LA Kings 4-2 on the road last night. Arizona has not been good in the game after allowing four or more goals this season with a 4-10 mark in that situation.
Arizona has not been a good road team all year with a 6-9-1 record away from the desert. It has struggled getting wins just about anywhere of late with a 2-6-2 run in the last 10 contests. A back-to-back situation on the road versus two good home teams in LA and Vancouver is not ideal at all.
The Canucks meanwhile are coming off a day off and a 3-2 overtime win on Saturday night versus Calgary. The loss snapped a five-game losing streak for the club and will likely give them a lot of confidence to finally get the win.
Vancouver has normally been very good against the Coyotes but will come into this game looking revenge an embarrassing 5-0 loss the last time these two teams played. Devan Dubnyk was in net for the Coyotes and shot them out while Ryan Miller was pulled for Vancouver. Keep in mind the Canucks are 5-2 when revenging a home loss this season.
The Canucks are on a 22-11 run versus the Coyotes when hosting this game. Rogers Arena has been a safe haven for the most part for the Canucks this season as they have an 8-5-1 record at home.
Furthermore, the Canucks are 2-0 when playing their fourth consecutive home game. The Coyotes are just 3-11 versus teams with a winning record while the Canucks have taken care of losing teams with a 10-6 record this season. Lay the extra juice to get VANCOUVER 6*.
|12-21-14||Philadelphia Flyers v. Winnipeg Jets -150||4-3||Loss||-150||12 h 31 m||Show|
I am playing on WINNIPEG. The Jets have the benefit of home ice and an extra days rest so I expect them to take care of business in this spot.
The visiting Philadelphia Flyers played last night in Toronto where they won an explosive 7-4 game over the Maple Leafs in prime time Saturday hockey night action. To ask them to play again the next night in a hostile environment of Winnipeg may be asking a little too much. The 7-4 game was a track meet with many ups and downs as you can imagine. Not only could the Flyers be tired, they will likely suffer a letdown.
Even with the win over Toronto last night, the Flyers are still just 4-9-3 on the road this season.
Making matters even worse for the Flyers is that they are down to their backup goalie in Ray Emery who will be asked to play this back-to-back situation due to an injury to starter Steve Mason.
The Jets meanwhile have been playing some good hockey with two straight wins and a 7-1-3 mark over their last 11 games. They will be playing the final game of a four game home stand that has already seen them earn big wins over Buffalo and most recently Boston.
The Jets are likely to go back to Ondrej Pavelec in net after Michael Hutchinson stopped 30 shots Friday. Pavelec is 3-0-2 with a 2.16 GAA in his last five starts and 2-1-0 with a 1.64 GAA in his last three against the Flyers.
These teams have split the last two contests against the other with home ice being the difference maker. The Jets are a strong 8-6-2 at home so far this season so I see no reason why this trend shouldn’t continue.
Philadelphia is 1-5 in Sunday games and 6-10 versus teams with a winning record this season. Winnipeg is a strong 10-3 when playing teams with a losing record. Play WINNIPEG 9*
|12-20-14||Calgary Flames v. Vancouver Canucks -175||2-3||Win||100||12 h 29 m||Show|
I am playing on VANCOUVER. These teams are both desperate for wins but the Canucks have had their way with the Flames for a long time and I think it continues here. The Flames played a tough game last night against the Dallas Stars where they were batting from behind the entire game. Calgary has lost seven straight and are struggling to score goals. The Flames now have to play a back-to-back scenario against an equally desperate Canucks team. Calgary has lost four straight on the road and will be unlikely to snap that streak in Vancouver. The Flames are 9-9 in road games. The Canucks will be licking their chops at this matchup. Vancouver is an outstanding 7-0 straight up versus the Flames at home the last three seasons. Even more impressively, the Canucks are 10-1 in the last three seasons versus their long time division rival. The Canucks are 7-5-1 at Rogers Arena this season. This team got embarrassed last Saturday night a nationally televised game versus the Rangers and I expect them to be looking for some redemption here.
|12-20-14||Nashville Predators v. Minnesota Wild -125||6-5||Loss||-125||10 h 30 m||Show|
I am playing on MINNESOTA. The Wild are a great home team and to get them at a good price here is worth it in this spot.
The Nashville Predators have certainly been a nice surprise this season and have been consistently good. However they are just 8-6 on the road this season compared to a nearly perfect home record.
Nashville is in the middle of tough stretch of games where they are playing six of seven on the road.
Nashville, fourth in the West with 42 points, ranks in the league's middle third with 2.6 goals per game and near the bottom with an 8.1 shooting percentage. It is highly likely they get outshot here in Minnesota where the Wild is so dominant.
Nashville has lost five of its last eighth in Minnesota but did win a 7-3 blowout the last time it visited.
Minnesota will come in looking for revenge and is already very motivated to snap a two game losing streak. Despite not playing great overall, the Wild is still a dominant 9-3-1 in home games which has been a staple of this squad for a couple years now.
"We've got to stop losing," said Wild forward Zach Parise , who leads the team with 23 points. Parise has four goals and two assists in his last five meetings with Nashville.
The Wild are a strong 6-1-1 in divisional games this season. Play MINNESOTA 8*
|12-20-14||Florida Panthers v. Pittsburgh Penguins -205||1-3||Win||100||10 h 31 m||Show|
I am playing on PITTSBURGH. The Penguins are the big favorites here but I feel they are worth laying the juice on in a game that has blowout potential.
The visiting Florida Panthers have been involved in four straight one goal games, winning three of four of them. All four of those games went beyond regulation time. The anomaly of that situation is very rare and a setback versus a very good team in Pittsburgh is very likely in this situation.
The Panthers are just 3-7 versus teams with a winning record this season. They have been playing over their heads for a while now for the lineup that they have and are due for a letdown game.
Pittsburgh comes in looking to win their fifth straight home game. They come in having won two straight overall. The Pens have finally started to get healthier despite being the latest team to come down with a case of the mumps in the NHL.
Sidney Crosby returned to game action in the win over Colorado. Evgeni Malkin assisted on the winner and has three goals and five assists during a six-game point streak. He has four goals and 12 assists in his last 13 meetings with Florida.
The Penguins had won eight straight home games against the Panthers prior to a 5-1 loss Jan. 20, their last meeting. The loss means the Penguins will be hungry for revenge in this spot.
The Penguins are 8-2 in Saturday games and 3-1 after being held to one goal less in the previous game.
Play PITTSBURGH 6*.
|12-19-14||Dallas Stars v. Calgary Flames -113||2-1||Loss||-113||12 h 38 m||Show|
I am playing on CALGARY. The Flames have lost six in a row but are primed to end that streak in this spot. The visiting Dallas Stars come in off a 2-0 win in Vancouver. The Stars got the win thanks to an enormous effort from goalie Kari Lehtonen who stopped numerous odd man rushes and breakaway attempts from the Canucks. It was maybe a win the Stars didn’t quite deserve, but got it. The Stars are still allowing a league worst 3.4 goals per game this season and a couple of great games from their goalie won’t not hide that fact that the team struggles to defend on most nights. Dallas is still just 7-9-4 in Conference games this season and 2-3 at the Saddledome the last two years. Caglary has indeed struggled during one of their worst losing streaks in recent memory. Note the Flames have outshot five of their last six games and maybe deserved a better fate in a few of those games. A meeting against a poor defensive team in Dallas at home is exactly what Calgary needs at this point. Despite recent setbacks, the Flames are still a strong 8-5-2 at home this season. I expect they add to the win total in this friendly matchup. The Flames likely don’t forget a 7-3 loss at home to the Stars last season and will be playing with revenge motivation. Keep an eye out for Calgary's Jiri Hudler. The red hot winger has a goal in two straight games and a point in each of the last four. Play on CALGARY. 9*