In his next starts after getting pulled early, Chris Osgood boasts a 2-0 record with a 1.5 GAA. Last season, he went 2-1 with a 2.27 GAA the next start after getting pulled. That’s something to look forward to next time he doesn’t last a full 60 mins. Four games on the slate today and we’re looking at each one!
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Boston Bruins +130 at New York Rangers -150
Tuukka Rask only had to turn away 19 shots to get his first shutout of the season, and it was against a flu-ridden Edmonton squad that has been shut out in 3 of their last 4 games. What stood out more was the Bruins’ poor offense, only getting 2 goals against a team who’s defense has underperformed up to this point. The Bruins are still suffering from key injuries and it’s really hurting their offense. The Bruins have only managed 1 powerplay goal in the last 7 games and have scored more than 3 goals in only 3 of their 12 games this season – only once since losing top centerman Marc Savard. Much of the same for the Rangers, who only managed 3 goals in 2 games without top scorer Marian Gaborik, consecutive losses to the Wild and the Islanders. There’s a chance he plays tonight but the offensive problems start deeper than that. After posting 6 straight wins, Henrik Lundqvist has managed only 1 win in his last 6 games and had a GAA of 3.66 over that stretch. However, Lundqvist is still 10-3 with a 1.42 GAA against the Bruins all-time. Bruins’ likely starter Tim Thomas is 2-1 with a 2.28 GAA on the road this season, much more consistent than he has been at home. The game total has only gone over once in their last 7 meetings.
Pick: Under 5.5 goals -115
San Jose Sharks -145 at Carolina Hurricanes +125
The Sharks might have been in a slump to start the season but after winning 6 of their last 7, they look a lot more like the consistent Sharks team of recent years. Games against the Hurricanes are important for the Sharks as they look to widen their lead over surprise (ish) contenders Phoenix, LA and Dallas. The Sharks are coming off of 3 monster wins over Philly, LA and Colorado, only allowing 1 goal in each contest. The Canes got smoked 6-1 yesterday to a Philly team that peppered backup Michael Leighton with 40 shots. Cam Ward should get the start tonight but he hasn’t fared much better recently, posting a 4.01 GAA over his last 3 starts. The day off yesterday might do him good but the Sharks are still a force to be reckoned with right now and the Canes might not snap this losing streak (at 8 games now) until they play the Panthers or Maple Leafs this week. Even if Greiss gets the nod tonight, his 1.38 GAA on the season provides enough relief to stick with the Sharks.
Pick: Sharks -145
Columbus Blue Jackets +155 at Washington Capitals -175
The Jackets are mired in a 1 for 6 slump, going over the game total in 5 of those games. Steve Mason has struggled immensely on the road, going 2-3 with a 5.11 GAA and an .836 SV% and will face a tough test against the highest scoring team in the league (3.7 goals per game). Stat of the day: Steve Mason is 2-0 with 2 shutouts life-time versus the Capitals. The Caps are coming off a tough loss against the Islanders of which they were -240 favourites, snapping their 6 game winning streak. Ovechkin has 12 points in 7 home games and 4 goals in 4 career games vs. Columbus (obviously none against Mason though) while Jackets’ sniper Rick Nash matches Ovechkin’s 12 points but in 7 road games and has 6 goals in 6 games vs. Washington. Top center Nicklas Backstrom might miss this contest with flu-like symptoms. While Mason has the abilities to steal a game at any time, the offensive firepower of these teams can often be too much for their goalies to handle and I expect a lot of opportunities for both sides in this one.
Pick: Over 6.0 goals -110
Colorado Avalanche +100 at Vancouver Canucks -120
There is no better time to pick against the Canucks. When Daniel Sedin went down, they turned to their Captain Lou to steal games for them. When Luongo went down, all hopes lie on Andrew Raycroft who will face his former team tonight. Raycroft squandered a Canucks 2-goal lead by allowing 4 unanswered Ducks goals and getting yanked after two periods. Raycroft is not the Calder Cup-calibre goalie he once was and getting exiled to a backup role with the Canucks is proof of that. Raycroft could have proved that he has the ability to lead a team when he was with the Avs last season but still faltered to a 12-16 record with a 3.14 GAA. The Avs will surely look to give their former goalie a tough time and will come out firing early, looking to redeem themselves after losing 3-1 to a hot San Jose team. If the Avs are going to be contenders all year long, they need to win games like this. The Avs have excelled on the road this season, going 6-2-2 and are 2-0-1 in road games against division rivals. Colorado is riding hot goalie Craig Anderson who shut out the Canucks (when they were all healthy) in their last matchup. Great odds on the Avs on the road against a battered Canucks team.
Pick: Avs +100
Betting results by category so far this season:
- Money Line 22-27, -20.74
- Puck Line 5-11, -5.5
- Totals 23-15-1, +1.86
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