NHL: Flames, Isles are live dogs out West
The NHL season turns one week old tonight and there are some fun storylines developing, but none more entertaining than what is going on in Vegas with the 3-0 Golden Knights. The Knights getting out to a hot start is just more evidence showing how hard it is to predict the NHL. There’s so much variance every night, and a game played at high speeds on ice is incredibly unpredictable. It is very important to remind yourself of that throughout the season.
Last night’s action: Our lone play came through as St. Louis won as a +140 road underdog against the New York Rangers. It wasn’t the most entertaining of games and the Blues were a bit lucky to get the win, but that’s life in the NHL. If you’re betting the NHL night in and night out, you will be on the wrong side of these types of games a lot, so it’s best not to dwell on a lucky win or an unfortunate loss.
It’s way too early to call any team (maybe except for the undefeated Vegas Golden Knights) a surprise, but what is surprising is how the New Jersey Devils have been playing. We’ve grown used to the Devils playing in a defensive shell and springing counterattacks over the years, but this season has started differently. For the first time in what feels like ages, New Jersey is a positive Corsi team and have been watchable. Tonight, they play the offensive powerhouse that is the Toronto Maple Leafs. The price is spot on here so it’s a pass, but it will definitely be worth keeping an eye on to see how the Devils handle playing a team that loves to drive play.
We get our first iteration of the Crosby vs. Ovechkin show tonight when the Penguins travel to Washington to take on the Capitals. For a comprehensive breakdown of that game, view analysis from more Sports Action experts.
Ah, the Colorado Avalanche. Tonight, the pesky Avs host the Boston Bruins, who they just blanked 4-0 in Boston on Monday. The B’s are still without Patrice Bergeron, which is certainly not good for them. This fixture is pretty close to a coin flip, and there could be some value on the Avs by the time the puck drops, but at the current number there’s not enough of an edge to fire.
Every now and then it’s responsible to remind the audience that the author is a New York Islanders fan, so for the sake of transparency we’ll do that here. Tonight, the Isles go to Anaheim and take on the Ducks, who are still without their two best defensemen in Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen and two of their best forwards in Ryan Kesler and Patrick Eaves. With Anaheim’s injury woes, the wrong team is favored here and there is value on the Isles.
The slate wraps up in Hollywood with the Kings playing host to the Calgary Flames. Los Angeles is off to a good start and has only allowed one goal over their first two games, but the Flames are a good play at this number.
(Season to date: 9-6, +6.04u)
[Photo: Kelvin Kuo, USA Today]