1-2: Fans are in a hole early after that disgusting loss by Boston / good effort by Tomas Vokoun. I hate playing heavy favourites in hockey and that’s the exact reason why – however, nobody would’ve seen that dismal effort coming. Make sure you vote today!
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New York Islanders +100 at Carolina Hurricanes -120
I don’t know how this line is so low. The Hurricanes have been awful this season and their injury situation could leave them looking at their 14th straight loss tonight. Manny Legace confirmed all belief that he isn’t the cure to Carolina’s goaltending woes and is just a stop-gap until Cam Ward returns. Over their losing streak, Carolina has been shutout as many times as they’ve scored 3 or more goals (2) and gone 4-9 against the puck line. New York isn’t consistent, but they are at least showing they won’t be a pushover like everyone expected them to be. They took Washington (albeit Ovechkin-less) to a shootout as +180 underdogs in their last game but have still lost 3-straight on the road. Despite that, I’m going with the healthier team and better goaltending.
Picks: Isles +100
Calgary Flames +110 at Buffalo Sabres -130
It’ll Buffalo’s second straight game hosting an Alberta team and they could just as swiftly cut down the Flames (4 straight wins) like they handled the Oilers. Both teams feature top-10 defenses, Buffalo’s home defense of 2.2 goals allowed and Calgary’s road defense of 2.4 goals allowed. Calgary has been caught in a stretch of low-scoring games, going under in 6 straight after going over in nearly every game to start the season. Buffalo has gone over in 2 of their last 3 but Miller only started one of those games. I like Buffalo to continue their home defensive trend and Calgary to continue their defensive play (4 goals allowed in their last 5).
Pick: Under 5.5 goals -130
Los Angeles Kings -110 at Atlanta Thrashers -110
Ilya Kovalchuk returned in good fashion last night for the Thrashers, netting 3 points in a 5-3 Thrashers win over the Rangers. It should rain fantasy points again tonight as the Thrashers host the Kings who have been criticized on their goaltending of late. The Kings boast the 5th-best offense in the league, 3.3 goals for per game, but still allow an average of 3.0 goals per game. The Thrashers, Kovy-less for much of the year, have still put together the 3rd-best offense, 3.5 goals per game, and a lousy 3.2 goals allowed. Better yet, these teams have gone over in their past 4 meetings, collected 42 goals in the process. If this goes under, I have no faith in the NHL.
Pick: Over 6.0 goals -130
Toronto Maple Leafs +175 at Chicago Blackhawks -210
Here’s the thing, Cristobal Huet is a reliable goaltender again after struggling to get through a few games. Fortunately for the Hawks, their schedule allowed Huet to rebuild confidence and after allowing 3 goals only once in his last 7 games, he’s going to be difficult to score against. The Leafs finally turn back to Vesa Toskala, 0-2-2 and 5.13 GAA, after they were ambushed by the Wild at home. Despite the Leafs’ recent performance, you almost need to attribute that to confidence gained from Jonas Gustavsson’s solid play. Chicago has won two big wins at home over LA and Colorado and the Leafs, a team who hasn’t traveled well this year – 2-3-3 on the road – probably won’t pose much of a threat, despite the 9th-best road offense, 3.1 goals per game, and 3rd best road powerplay 31.4%. For the most part, Chicago is healthy and features the 6th-best defense overall and 3rd-best home penalty kill. We’ll see how Toronto responds after getting crushed their last time out – do they fall flat again or flash more of what we saw during their point streak?
Pick: Hawks -1.5 +145
Fan Favourite Record: 1-2, -1.941
Betting results by category so far this season:
- Money Line 35-36, -20.49
- Puck Line 7-15, -6.3
- Game Totals 35-21-1, +5.97