Whether it’s to boost NBC television ratings, or to simply allow players to get more rest on Mondays, NHL schedule-makers have taken most of the post-Olympic Sundays this season and packed them with games, leaving Mondays with hardly any action on the ice at all. One would think that they could have made the schedule at least a little more balanced, but unfortunately for hockey fans, and especially for hockey bettors, this has not been the case. When it comes to compressed scheduling such as this, however, there will also quite frequently be tired teams to look out for. Perhaps then, in the absence of great quantity, we may be able to find some great quality opportunities to capitalize on this fact.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Detroit Red Wings
This may be a marquee matchup for both teams, but Detroit, coming off a successful Western Canadian road trip, with this being their third game in 4 nights, sounds exhausting simply to say. There should be genuine concern about Detroit not having their legs in this game. The Red Wings have also lost their last 3 home games following road wins, and have allowed 13 goals in those 3 games (vs. CGY, VAN, and LAK). Both teams will really want this win, but the Penguins will be in slightly better condition, and the value looks to be on them.
Ottawa Senators vs. Montreal Canadiens
The Ottawa Senators will look to take out the frustrations from their previous two contests, here against a familiar foe. Ottawa has currently won their last 3 meetings with the Habs, and might be catching Montreal in a bit of a daze, as the Habs just had their recent 6-game win streak snapped on Saturday. Focus usually tends to decline a bit immediately after long win streaks are snapped–it’s just too bad that the Senators have become virtually unbettable lately in this price range. Ottawa has been pushing the pace lately though, and their goaltending has been calamitous, so the Over 5.5 might be where to look here.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Los Angeles Kings
As far as the standings go, there might not be any reason for Colorado to panic just yet, but it does appear as though the wheels are beginning to wobble a bit. The Avs have allowed an average of 39 shots against per game over their last 4, and they’ve only managed to kill 9 of their last 14 penalties (64%)–some signs of general disarray. The Kings, meanwhile, have not been in good form either–barely scoring and hardly getting any shots to the net. This is the first of a home-and-home series between these two sides though, and the home team should be more determined to draw first blood against a road team that also played on Sunday. Perhaps, the Kings will be able to manage the pace, and keep this game Under 5.5.