16-20: Wow, Calgary is in trouble. I could only imagine what it feels like to cough up an early 5 goal lead against the team that knocked you handily out of the playoffs. Ouch. Not to mention getting your first 3 goals 53 seconds apart and outshooting the Hawks by 19. Boston also proved they are quietly getting off to a horrible start, dropping what should’ve been a cakewalk against Colorado. The Bruins looked slow, sloppy, and completely unprepared to play their next 4 of 5 away from home. Still lots of time to rebound.
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Calgary Flames +125 at Columbus Blue Jackets -145
Facts going into this game: Columbus is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Calgary and the game total has gone UNDER in 5 of Columbus’s last 5 games when playing at home against Calgary. Steve Mason is no Cristobal Huet and will not be chased out of the net in the first period. Mason received the game against the Coyotes off after being shelled by the Sharks but will certainly look to rebound back to his early season performance. On the offensive side, Columbus averages 3.00 goals per game to Calgary’s 4.00. Calgary seems to be a different team when they play in Columbus and giving up their win last night surely won’t help. Calgary lost 5-2 to Dallas in the second game of their last back-to-back set. In their last 3 games played in Columbus, Calgary has only scored 1 goal. The under looks like a solid play here as well as a Blue Jackets victory, vaulting them to 2-0 at home on the year.
Pick: Under 5.5 goals -110 and Blue Jackets -145
Detroit Red Wings -115 at Buffalo Sabres -105
The Wings, led by Chris Osgood, held the supercharged Washington Capitals down to only 2 goals resulting in a hard-to-believe under. Detroit is without top-liner Franzen for another 4 months which looks like it limited their scoring punch. Buffalo scores an astounding 1.33 goals per game and allows (an even more astounding?) 1.00 goals per game. Both meetings last season were under the 5.5 goal game total and I can’t imagine a different outcome here. Until I see something happen from Buffalo, I have to expect them their offense to produce the same type of results. Both teams are winless against the Puck Line so far, only getting their wins by 1 goal. Detroit is the rare underdog here and could easily score a win, here. It’s a steep price to pay, and deservedly so, to give Detroit the goals but I can’t imagine them collapsing against Buffalo.
Pick: Under 5.5 goals -115 and Detroit +1.5 goals -320
Colorado Avalanche +100 at Toronto Maple Leafs -120
Did the bookies see yesterday’s games? The Avs shut down the Tuukka Rask and the Bruins while the Leafs collapsed against the Rangers. Toskala was injured in last night’s game so Joey MacDonald looks to be getting the start tonight. Peter Budaj is also the expected starter for the Avs and will get support from their average 2.4 goals allowed per game. MacDonald has a 1.85 GAA in his only start for the Marlies this season and is better known for filling in for an injured DiPietro last season going 14-26-6 with a 3.37 GAA. This Leafs team suiting up might be a little reminiscent of the Islanders team MacDonald backstopped a year ago. Budaj’s only start came in 2006 when he held the Leafs to 1 goal at the ACC. Ron Wilson is also (healthy) scratching Matt Stajan and Nik Hagman in favour of Bozak and Stalberg. I can’t imagine why Wilson feels it’s best to sit two of their top scorers (seriously, 3 points is a top scorer on the Leafs) in favour of two rookies. This looks like a gift from the oddsmakers here: take the Budaj risk and go with the Avs for the outright win.
Pick: Avs +100