The NHL Daily: The Cats are live dogs in the Big Apple
Welcome to the NHL Daily. Go inside the NHL’s card for Tuesday, Nov. 28, as we explore betting angles and try to find value in this volatile, cruel, good-for-nothing sport.
On Monday, we spent some time looking at some big-name goaltenders who struggled through the first quarter of the season using Manny Elk’s goals saved above average (GSAA) as a litmus test. Today, we look at the prettier picture, highlighting some of the season’s best netminders this year. Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky is the still the league’s best goalie, and if he continues his roll, the Jackets, +1400 to win the Stanley Cup could be a good punt. Bobrovsky’s 11.93 GSAA is far and away the best mark in the league, over four points better than Calgary’s Mike Smith, who boasts a 7.35 GSAA at 5-on-5. The 35-year-old Smith has been a pleasant surprise for the Flames and was arguably their most important player through the first portion of the year. After Smith, Anton Khudobin, the Bruins’ No. 2 goalie, is third with a 7.32 GSAA. Khudobin has only played 10 games for the B’s but has been quite dependable in the cage with Tuukka Rask struggling to find his form. Although GSAA isn’t the beginning and end of the argument of who the best goaltenders in the league are, it does give us a pretty good idea of who is on his game. And it also just goes to show us just how hard it is to get a handle on goaltenders. Basically, goaltending is witchcraft.
Last night’s action: It was just the one play around these parts last night, and it was a dud as the Devils (-125) were deserved losers at home against the Florida Panthers.
The Rangers continued to roll through the holiday weekend and have now won four in a row overall and eight in a row at home. Tonight, the Blueshirts host the Florida Panthers, who are on a back-to-back and missing one of their most important players in Evgeny Dadonov. It’s not a great situation for Florida, but the odds here are probably a bit skewed by the Rangers’ recent run of form. It’s not pretty, but Florida is a good wager at this price.
The Flames are now a top-10 Corsi team at 51.93 percent and seem to be clicking as of late. Their top-six are great and even if their defense has not lived up to expectations – especially the pairing of T.J. Brodie and Travis Hamonic – they are getting good goaltending, and their top pair of Dougie Hamilton and Mark Giordano is one of the league’s best. Tonight, that defensive unit will be put to the test by the Maple Leafs, who come in with the second-most expected goals for in the league at 5-on-5. Both of these teams are in good form, but with the Flames at home, I had this closer to -125 and see value on the home team.
The bottom two teams in the Western Conference will meet when the Edmonton Oilers host the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night. It’s a weird thing to write, but that’s where we’re at right now. The Coyotes will be starting Scott Wedgewood in goal and that doesn’t instill confidence, but he hasn’t been bad this season and actually boasts the second-best high-danger save percentage in the NHL. It’s an ugly one and not one you should expect to win, but the ‘Yotes are in range.
Picks: Panthers +155, Flames -116, Coyotes +184
Season to date: 58-66, +1.18u
all stats provided by Corsica.com