Happy Monday, players! A mixed bag with the inaugural RLS column, but we were nearly right on the money. At least my inaugural column didn’t leave you looking like Uncle Pennybags after a losing game of Monopoly. The Panthers gutted it out to get to OT again, after blowing yet another lead against the Penguins this season. Atlanta’s powerplay had the effectiveness of a broken prophylactic and Dwayne Roloson did a Superman impression against a 3rd period barrage. We were right on the money on Saturday night, ladies and gents, but the bottom line was still a 1-2. Of course the lowest value play won. Shocking.
But, there’s no use crying in the breast milk, as Patches O’Hoolihan from “Dodgeball” would say. It’s the holiday season and it’s time to make some money. I’ve always been a “back on the horse” kind of guy. So let’s saddle up once again!
Before my picks for today, props to my fellow DF columnist Jeff Tay. He really summed up the “loser point” that plagued us on Saturday night. Check his piece out on “three-point games” if you get a chance: http://www.dailyfaceoff.com/10557/getting-paid-for-overtime-finding-potential-profits-from-the-sheer-volume-of-3-point-games-in-the-nhl
BUF -1.5 (+210) @ MTL
I know what you are thinking. Buffalo on the road at Bell Centre? Come on. But, let’s look at a few facts. Fact #1: Ryan Miller is a god-like 18-8 ATS (against the spread) this season. Fact #2: Ryan Miller is an even more god-like 8-2 ATS on the road. Fact #3: Ryan Miller has an awe-inspiring .948 sv% on the road. Fact #4: Ryan Miller just might be God in goalie pads.
Certainly the wild card is Buffalo’s offense, especially their abysmal 11.3% road powerplay. Not to mention Jaro Halak is 5-1 ATS at home. But, he’s allowed 12 goals to the Sabres on 96 shots in his career. Montreal is merely 9-9 at home, but Buffalo is 8-4 on the road. Patrick Kaleta scored twice last game. If that isn’t enough evidence about the good graces that Buffalo has had, I don’t know what is.
Mike Grier returns to the lineup tonight. The Sabres score 2.85 goals per game with Grier, 2.11 without.
It’ll be Miller Time, and you may need a Miller or two during the game, but the win’ll taste great.
NSH @ CBJ o5.5 (+110)
I was shocked to see this line valued the way it is. Anyone who has watched a Columbus game this year knows a couple things. Octo-Mom has better control of her fertility than Steve Mason does of his rebounds, and the Blue Jackets have played worse in their own zone than a bronchitis-sufferer would play a flute.
Columbus has allowed 4.6 goals per game to division opponents. I realize that’s skewed by the nine-goal outburst that Detroit hung on them. Even with that, the other four inter-division games for Columbus have gone over the total.
Nashville has just a 78.7% efficiency rating on road PKs and it’s even worse over the last five road games at 73.3%. When Columbus plays a team with a winning record, the over has hit 10 of 16 times.
The red flag here is that Ken Hitchcock will be shifting his top six forwards around. Jason Chimera is now on Rick Nash’s wing. If that works, it may not click right away.
Play this one with caution, but I like it better than the under.
BOS -1.5 (+250) v. PHI
No reason to beat around the bush here, the Flyers have been terrible for a month now. With just one win in their last eight games, a coaching change still has not stopped the bleeding. Six of those seven losses are by more than one goal.
The Bruins, and RLS readers, fell victim to Dwayne Roloson’s monster 3rd period on Saturday night, eventually falling in OT. Tim Thomas has not been good lately, but his .928 sv% at home this season gives us bettors reason for optimism.
Jeff Carter is plagued by potential trade rumors and his production has substantially dropped off, with just three points in his last seven games.
Boston’s won seven of ten, Philly’s lost eight of ten. This game looks ripe for a blowout, and is worth the heavy risk with a good potential payoff.
Let’s pull our collective energy for some better results tonight, players!