Well it’s late but we’re up! There’s some real blowout potential tonight as most teams are looking at back-to-back matchups. The Rangers could be one of the victims as they take on an even healthier Penguins squad.
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Sorry it took me so long to get these up! Had some things to take care of today.
Calgary Flames +120 at Columbus Blue Jackets -140
Columbus is no lock here but the real reason the Flames beat the Wings last night was Miikka Kiprusoff’s 40-save effort. Put McElhinney in net and you’ve got yourself a game. That’s why I like the Jackets here. McElhinney is only 1-1 in 2 starts on the year with a 2.98 GAA both against Dallas. He hardly gets any work and didn’t win a game until the last game of the season last year. The Jackets have lost 4-straight, all on the road, and have been as shaky as their goaltending. When getting good goaltending, they can’t score, when getting poor goaltending, they’ve scored a lot more. However, the Jackets are still a convincing 6-2-2 at home and should be able to capitalize on the Flames playing back-to-back nights. If Calgary gets into penalty trouble the Jackets have the advantage as they are converting on 33% of their powerplay over their last 5 games.
Pick: Jackets -140
Carolina Hurricanes +180 at Buffalo Sabres -220
Ryan Miller, starting for the Sabres, has been lights out over his last 3 starts, allowing on 2 goals in each of them. Unfortunately, his team hasn’t been putting the puck in the net over that stretch as he has only 1 win. It seems the Sabres’ offense reawakened against Philly and should continue against the Canes. Carolina is playing better but is still not getting it done when they need to in order to meet their self-imposed goal of .500 by Christmas. Michael Leighton is returning from injury to make his 3rd start of the year for the Canes and has a 1-2 record with a 4.39 GAA. All Sabres in this one.
Pick: Sabres -1.5 +140
Washington Capitals -145 at Montreal Canadiens +125
Montreal spoiled it last time these teams met on Nov 20. Both teams are still injury riddled though as Alexander Semin and Mike Knuble are definitely out for Washington while Brian Gionta is out for Montreal – Scott Gomez and Benoit Pouliot may play tonight but their status is uncertain. Neither side has generated much offense lately as the Habs have gone under in all but 3 games in November and Washington has gone under in 3 of their last 4. Semyon Varlamov has been great for the Caps, allowing 2 or fewer in 5 of his last 6, and Carey Price has been good for the Habs but has given up 3 goals in each of his last 2 games after posting a 1.94 GAA in his previous 7. Washington’s powerplay is flat, not getting a powerplay goal in 4 straight games as it appears their offense is still trying to find it’s rhythm. It’s always risky doubting the Washington offense but they simply haven’t produced much over their last 4 games due simply to the lack of scoring depth after their top line.
Pick: Under 5.5 goals -105
New York Rangers +170 at Pittsburgh Penguins -200
This line moved from -165 to -200 when the Pens uncovered they were going to get Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski back in the lineup tonight and when the Rangers were going with backup Stephen Valiquette. Valiquette has done alright on the year but when faced with a serious offensive threat, like he did with San Jose, he faltered for 5 goals in the first 2 periods. The Pens are going with Fleury tonight who has been stellar in his last 3 starts, all wins. The Rangers were embarassed by the Lightning in Tampa last night and there’s no reason to believe a John Tortorella tongue lashing has righted the ship. Pittsburgh has played well of late and overcome their defensive deficiencies so look for them to get a much needed boost in the scoring department with their powerplay quarterbacks returning.
Pick: Pens -1.5 +160
Tampa Bay Lightning +150 at Dallas Stars -170
Tampa played a solid game last night at home to the Rangers and Dallas has dropped 2 straight. Tampa’s road record is less-than-stellar at 4-5-3 yet matches up well to Dallas’s home record at 5-3-4. Dallas has a better home defense but is starting Alex Auld who has gone over the game total in all but 2 of his 7 starts. Mike Smith is going for the Bolts but they’ve still got the 6th-worst road defense at 3.4 goals against and Dallas has a fairly good offense overall, at 3.0 goals per game. Tampa Bay has gone over in 3 straight and Dallas has gone over in 3 of their last 4.
Pick: Over 5.5 goals -115
Minnesota Wild +155 at Colorado Avalanche -175
Yesterday, these teams skated to a 5-3 Wild win in Minnesota with their starting goalies. Today, I don’t see any difference in lineups except that the Wild are now going with Harding. Both teams had fairly equal shots on goal and put a lot of pressure on opposition teams and converting on powerplay chances. There’s no real reason to believe these teams won’t do it again except to expect an Avalanche win as they are the best home scoring team, 3.7 goals for, and will face Josh Harding, 0-3 and 3.92 GAA on the year.
Pick: Avs -175 and Over 5.5 goals +115
Chicago Blackhawks -135 at Los Angeles Kings +115
The Kings still aren’t playing well and you can believe they aren’t looking forward to playing the Blackhawks after they were shutout by the Ducks. Their offensive output was considered low when you take the 28 shots they got against Giguere compared to their average of 32.17 per game so expect more from them tonight. The Kings have lost 3 of their last 4 due to poor defense and goaltending – they have the 3rd-worst home defense in the league at 3.4 goals against per game. They’ve allowed 3 or more goals in 4 of their last 5. The Hawks have the offensive potential to embarrass the Kings tonight and may well do so except that the Kings can put up a fight with the league’s best home offense, 3.7 goals per game. The Hawks, however, do have the top road defense, 1.9 goals against per game, and a comparable offense at 3.0 goals per game. The Hawks have allowed 3 goals only twice in their last 9 games which is astounding. The Hawks are a solid play at either goaltending option.
Pick: Hawks -135
Fan Favourite Record: 9-9, -2.05
Betting results by category so far this season:
- Money Line 54-58, -12.17
- Puck Line 8-18, -5.5
- Game Totals 44-36-1, +2.12
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