36-31-1: Hey Crosby, couldn’t you just get one more? Add the Pens to the list of teams that don’t score for their backups. Managed to salvage a 1-1 record last night thanks to the putrid Wild offense. Every team in playing tonight and 6 are playing their second of back-to-back games so let’s get to it!
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Toronto Maple Leafs +170 at Vancouver Canucks -200
The Canucks are riding high after their big victory over Chicago on the road and Luongo continues to look as if things are back in order. The Leafs, on the other hand, haven’t played since another wallop by the Rangers a week ago. To think the 0-6-1 Leafs will be going into GM Place and walking away with a victory is a bit of a long shot. Joey Mac has a GAA of 4.00 in his two games filling in for Toskala and the Monster and looks like a long shot to steal a win for the Leafs. Toronto, as a team, allows a league-worst 4.57 goals allowed (by nearly a full goal) and only scores a second-last 2.00 goals per game. Toronto hasn’t scored more than 2 goals since potting 4 in Washington, October 3. The Canucks have the second-highest shots on goal in the league at 35.4 per game and average 2.89 goals per game. The Leafs are the only winless team and a week to prepare still doesn’t seem like enough to beat the Canucks.
Pick: Canucks -1.5 +155 and Over 6.0 goals -105
New Jersey Devils +145 at Pittsburgh Penguins -165
What worries me most about the Pens is that they potted 5 goals against Philly after giving no support for Brent Johnson when he started the first game of their first back-to-back earlier in the season. The Pens did more of the same last night, giving Johnson virtually no scoring support except for some guy named Sidney Crosby. Fortunately for bettors, Marty Brodeur is no Ray Emery. He’s held opposing teams to 2 goals in his last 2 games and has a 2.59 GAA (2.17 in 4 road games) appearing in all 8 games for the Devils this season. At the other end of the rink, Marc-Andre Fleury brings a 1.96 GAA (1.33 at home), which supports the Penguins solid third-fewest 2.1 goals allowed per game. The Devils’ offense hasn’t clicked yet this season, averaging only 2.75 goals per game and their powerplay has fizzled at under 15%. The Pens have a bit more of a scoring touch at 3.60 goals per game, but when playing New Jersey at home, the game total has gone under in 4 of the last 6. In fact, the total has gone under in 4 of 5 home games for the Pens this season.
Pick: Under 5.5 goals -120
Carolina Hurricanes +115 at Minnesota Wild -135
Yeah you are reading that correctly, Minny is a favourite. While the Canes have a putrid 2-5-2 record, they are a better team than the stats show. They’ve shown a scoring touch in recent games, averaging 3.5 goals over their last two (losses), much higher than the 2.44 goals for they’ve averaged over the season. Minnesota on the other hand, has the league’s third worst offense at 2.1 goals per game and their 1-goal performance last night in St. Louis didn’t help. While the home team has won this matchup in each of the last 6 games since 2002, the Wild just look like a far worse team right now. Carolina has lost 5 straight, two of which were by a shootout, and desperately needs a turnaround. The Wild still provide the best chance for that so take advantage of the good odds.
Pick: Canes +115
Nashville Predators +180 at Chicago Blackhawks -220
Don’t read too much into their 6-goal performance in Ottawa on Thursday, J.P. Dumont doesn’t turn Nashville into a suddenly rejuvenated scoring threat. They still have the second-worst offense in the league at 2.00 goals per game and are dead last on the powerplay, 9.1%, and third-worse on the penalty kill, 71.9%. Chicago is a team that, despite their recent goaltending woes, will pick apart those weaknesses. Chicago has already exploited the Preds in Nashville this year to the tune of a 3-1 victory in the second of back-to-back games. Huet is getting the nod for the Preds after conceding the last start vs. Vancouver to Antti Niemi after letting in a softie vs. Dallas. Nashville offers a solid rebound opportunity for Huet as the Hawks are 3 for 3 on the pick line in 4 of their last 5 games against Nashville. It’s also noted that Toews (ouch) and Seabrook probably won’t suit up for the Hawks but their firepower still outshines Nashville.
Pick: Hawks -1.5 +145
Detroit Red Wings -145 at Colorado Avalanche +125
Seeing Craig Anderson let in an uncharacteristic (on the season) 4 goals to Carolina proves he is starting to show a bit of fatigue. Peter Budaj was set to start last night’s game prior to getting flu symptoms so we’ll see if he is set to go tonight. Wings backup Jimmy Howard is set to start and try and turn around the Wings’ losing ways. The Wings, formerly notorious for coming from behind, have lost all three games they were winning after the first period leading to a 3-3-2 record. The Avs, after a win last night, are having a much better start to the season, going 7-1-2 and seeing a real scoring touch at 3.5 goals per game. Much of that success can be attributed to newcomer Craig Anderson who has started all 10 games for the Avs, posting a 2.25 GAA. Howard, who hasn’t made an appearance in two weeks since coming in for Chris Osgood against Buffalo, has a 4.21 GAA this season, all on the road. The Wings will be rolling one of their best scoring lines in recent years, Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Holmstrom so look for the team to respond with plenty of points tonight.
Pick: Over 6.0 goals +105
Edmonton Oilers +150 at Calgary Flames -170
Is there a hotter team than the Flames right now? Oh yeah, the Oilers. Edmonton has won 5 of their last 6 since dropping a shootout at home to the Flames. The Flames, on the other hand, have scored 11 goals in their past two games (wins) and are playing their third game in a five game home set. Edmonton has gone over the game total in all but two games this season, and Calgary has gone over in all but one – odd trends for teams that have such solid defensive cores. Nevertheless, these teams have already met twice this season, with Calgary taking both in Edmonton 4-3. We should see more of the same tonight with plenty of scoring in an entertaining game but Edmonton is getting fantastic odds riding a 3-game win streak, a 6-2-1 record, and performing better defensively (2.89 goals allowed vs. 3.44 for the Flames). Dustin Penner, off to a hot start for the Oilers, has 14 points over the first 9 games.
Pick: Oilers +150 and Over 5.5 goals -140
Betting results by category so far this season:
- Money Line 17-18, -12.86
- Puck Line 3-7, -4.5
- Totals 16-6-1, +6.54
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