As far as weeknights are concerned, Fridays have been some of the lightest nights of the week on the NHL schedule, often providing us with the perfect opportunities to get away from hockey for a day. When I look ahead at this Friday’s schedule, I really see no reason to get too heavily involved in this one either. Eventually, I will probably find myself placing a few small bets, but for the time being, my plans will be to spend more time on Friday looking ahead to Saturday’s card.
Here are the 3 Friday games that I will definitely not be all over:
Over/Under of the Day: Nashville Predators vs. Colorado Avalanche Over 5.5
Key Factors: Outside of their first extended road trip of the season, the Nashville Predators have very rarely been held to less than 3 goals in a road game. It is very interesting to note though, that the Predators own a road plus/minus of only +2 this season, and yet they have amassed a road record of 15-8-2. This stat indicates that Nashville has not only played a lot of close games on the road this season, but they have also conceded nearly as many goals as they have scored (obviously). Colorado, meanwhile, has been very strong at home defensively all season, with the exception of a couple of major blips. However, many of these blips have been to some of the better offensive teams in the league—an 8-2 loss to Vancouver, a 5-4 win over Philly, a 6-1 loss to Washington, and most relevantly a 4-3 loss to Nashville. Colorado has had a tendency at home to play at a higher-scoring pace against higher-scoring teams, and Nashville very much fits the mould of a team that will want to play at this pace. This matchup favours the Over 5.5.
Dog of the Day: Nashville Predators +115
Key Factors: As mentioned above, the Avalanche have had a tendency to play high-scoring games at home against high-scoring teams (which only seems natural), but the Avalanche’s record in home games that have gone over the total of 5.5 goals this season has been a meagre 6-5 overall, and 3 of those wins have come against teams near the bottom of the standings (Carolina, Columbus, and Edmonton). If this game comes down to a run-and-gun affair, then it also favours Nashville.
Fave of the Day: New Jersey Devils -200
Key Factors: Given the way that Montreal has struggled, it would be very difficult to suggest that they have a good chance of beating New Jersey. In their last 5 road games, Montreal has been held to just 2 goals on 4 separate occasions, and they have conceded at least 4 goals on 4 separate occasions as well. When neither the offense nor the defense is clicking, there is trouble ahead, and when New Jersey is next on the schedule, these troubles usually only get worse. The Devils have won 7 of their last 8 home games, and have shutout 3 of their last 4 opponents at the Prudential Center. They have quite simply been lights-out.
Editor’s Choice: Edmonton Oilers +100
Key Factors: Despite how it looks right now, the Edmonton Oilers will eventually win another game, and they actually put up a really good fight against the Canucks in a 3-2 OT loss on Thursday. This season, the Oilers have actually already beaten the Stars twice in 2 separate shootouts, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a similar result occurred here. The Dallas Stars really do provide an excellent opportunity for the Oilers to stop the bleeding, as the Stars have been a mere 7-13-6 on the road this season, and will be playing here in a back-to-back situation. If the Oilers don’t win here, they will have Chicago, St Louis, and then Calgary after that, so this is the time for them to really put forth their best effort.
That’s all for this Friday. Time to rest up for another busy Saturday night.