After a slow night of three games, the NHL schedule fires back up to watch 26 teams in action tonight, and DailyFaceoff.com is your home for betting analysis. Whether it be computerized projections or looking for the best bang for your buck, DF has everything the hockey bettor needs.
Two things I would like to point out at the open of this column. The first- Martin Brodeur is awesome. He notched his 13th 30-win season last night with, guess what, a shutout against the Panthers. He’s 13 wins away from 600 for his career. In watching the highlight reel that “NHL On The Fly” had of him last night, his hybrid style is unbelievable. Not a true butterfly, or a stand-up, but a combination of the two and it seems to leave him ready to get in position for any second or third shots. You can argue against the merits of Brodeur’s stats citing the Devils trap and defensive style if you want, but I take Brodeur over any goaltender in the league every day of the year.
The other thing I want to mention in today’s RLS is the Blackhawks goaltending situation. As fellow DF columnist Ricky Daniels mentioned to me the other day, he is taking CHI overs at home in every game Huet is playing. Niemi gets the nod tonight, and it’s the right move by Quenneville. At some point, they need to forget about the 5,625,000 reasons to play Huet and face the facts. Niemi is a better option. Look for this the rest of the season as it can directly affect how you put your money on the Hawks.
Now, on to today’s picks.
DET -1.5 (+240) @ MIN
As far as I’m concerned, the Detroit Red Wings are back. I know it’s hard to say that when they have lost four of their last five, but there are so many encouraging signs that it all will come together very quickly. They played a hell of a game against Chicago in the shootout loss. They dominated play against the Capitals the other night to be thwarted by a Herculean performance by Jose Theodore.
The 6-0 drubbing by the Islanders must have woken up the Wings, but they have not been able to put it completely together. Look for them to do it tonight against Josh Harding and the Wild. Josh Harding is just 2-7 ATS on the season.
Consider this more of a feel game as well. You know the Red Wings are bummed coming off a 46-shot loss to Washington. You know that Harding has struggled all season and the Wings are slowly, but surely, getting healthy.
There’s huge value to this game and a solid potential for a payout.
VAN -1.5 (+160) v. DAL
The Dallas Stars give up a lot of goals on the road. Conveniently, the Vancouver Canucks score a lot of them at home. Perfect opportunity to get decent value on a pretty sure play tonight. As a team, the Stars are 7-18 ATS on the road. The Canucks are 19-8.
Big advantage for Vancouver tonight. Alex Auld is just 3-7 ATS on the road this year and Roberto Luongo is 17-7 ATS at home. You also have to like that Vancouver is over 30% on the powerplay over their last five games and the Stars have allowed seven PPGs in their last 15 kills.
All of the signs point to this game being pretty lopsided. Bet accordingly.
Grand Salami u75 (-110)
Something new to the RLS today. Most books offer something called the Grand Salami. It is a sum of all of the goals scored in every game. Tonight’s grand salami calls for an average of 5.77 goals per game to reach the set line. I see the chances of this being very unlikely. Jeff Tay’s computer simulation piece calls for 78 goals, with some ties that would add the extra goal for a OT/SO win, but I’m less optimistic on the offense.
Of the 13 games, I feel that four of them (WSH/PIT, CAR/ATL, TOR/TB, and SJ/ANA) have potential to be in the 6-8 total range. The rest of them, I expect some low scoring affairs. You have some teams in the midst of long road trips, some solid goaltending matchups, and some games whose scoring will likely be kept at a minimum in the third period because teams will be content to play for that OT point in a close game.
Good luck tonight, players!