Welcome to the NHL Daily. Go inside the NHL’s card for Thursday, Nov. 30, as we explore betting angles and try to find value in this volatile, cruel, good-for-nothing sport.
We had ourselves an old-fashioned hockey trade this morning as the Devils sent forwards Adam Henrique, Joseph Blandisi and a 2018 third-round pick to Anaheim for defenseman Sami Vatanen. Trade rumors were always swirling around Anaheim’s deep defense and it always felt like Vatanen was going to be the one to move on at some point. With Hampus Lindholm, Cam Fowler and Brandon Montour already in the fold and prospects Jacob Larsson, Marcus Pettersson and Josh Mahura coming through the pipeline, the 26-year-old Vatanen became expendable to help satisfy the Ducks’ immediate need for help up front. The Ducks are without Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Rickard Rakell, Ondrej Kase and Patrick Eaves so by acquiring Henrique and Blandisi, who has put up good numbers in the AHL, their top three lines receive a much needed boost. Vatanen may not be a top-pair defenseman, but he’s capable of eating a ton of minutes and immediately solidifies New Jersey’s rearguard. It’s rare that a swap of this magnitude provides an uptick for each team going forward in a given season, but that’s exactly what’s happened here.
Last night’s action: Things went pretty, pretty, pretty good last night as the Bruins (-106), Canadiens (-132) and Ducks (+203) all came through. The Bruins were particularly impressive in the early going against Tampa Bay. Boston dictated the pace of the game and rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy was particularly impressive. Carey Price continued his roll in his third game back from injury to lead Montreal over Ottawa, 2-1. In the last game on our plate, the Ducks were lucky enough to jump out to a 3-0 lead on St. Louis and held on for a 3-2 win.
There’s only one play on the board for Wednesday and it comes in the Chicago vs. Dallas game at the United Center. The Blackhawks are on a good run of form lately and have seen their underlying metrics improve over the course of the month, but the Stars have, too. Both of these teams are above 51 percent Corsi, but play different styles of hockey as the Blackhawks like to push the pace and play a high-event type of game while the Stars are pretty well-structured under Ken Hitchcock and use their dynamic talent up front to get production. The current number suggests that Chicago has a 58 percent chance of winning this one, and while I think they are right to be favored, I have it closer to 54 percent, which would make my Dallas number around +117.
Picks: Dallas +125
Season to date: 62-68, +4.60u
All stats provided by Corsica.