NHL daily picks: Will Arizona ever win a hockey game?
Last night, the Pittsburgh Penguins lost to the Winnipeg Jets, 7-1. It was the third time this season that the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions lost by six or more goals in the opening month of the season; they fell 10-1 to Chicago and 7-1 to Tampa earlier in October. Even with those three ugly losses, Pittsburgh sits in second place in the Metro with a 7-5-1 record, and their expected goals plus/minus (xG +/-) is just -1.97, which is pretty impressive considering they’ve had their doors blown off three times in their first 13 games. It will be interesting to see how the market reacts to the Penguins in their next game — which just happens to come against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.
Last night’s action: This column last ran on Saturday, and things looked to be going very well with our first three picks, two of which were underdogs, coming through. Then things went off the rails as Nashville, Columbus, Chicago and Edmonton fell to put us at 3-4 for the night.
The Vegas Golden Knights are 8-1 and haven’t lost since October 13 against the Detroit Red Wings. The last time we saw the Knights, they were beating down on Colorado, 7-0. And now, take a look at their price against the New York Islanders, who are, as Tyler Dellow of The Athletic put it, the “most perfectly average team in the NHL.” The price on Vegas should tell you all you need to know. They’re punching way above their weight, and their underlying numbers suggest a fall back down to earth is in order. Still, there’s no edge in this number.
Somehow the Arizona Coyotes have managed to remain without a win through their first 11 games. Tonight, they will start their fourth different goalie, former third-round pick Scott Wedgewood, as they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers. Philadelphia is off to a decent start and their top six is playing pretty well, but they’re getting too much respect in this spot. Philly has succeeded thanks to a major bounceback from their top six and their ability to prevent scoring chances against despite their poor possession numbers at 5-pn-5. You’ll lose more often than you win it, but the Coyotes offer good value at that number.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are a good hockey team with a great goaltender, but this number is off. This will be Columbus’ third game in four nights, and they may be without one of their best forwards, Cam Atkinson, who left Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury. Even if Atkinson plays, the Bruins are in range here.
Even though they have won more games than they’ve lost, the Dallas Stars have been pretty unlucky to start this year. They are generating a good amount of volume toward the opposition’s goal, but a low PDO has done them in so far. On the other end of the ice tonight will be the Vancouver Canucks, who aren’t terrible, but are currently punching above their weight. Vancouver’s PDO at 5-on-5 is 102.56, which suggests luck has been on their side so far. Dallas is right to be favored on the road here and is in range for a wager.
For more on this game, have a look at Stuckey’s breakdown here.
Plays: Arizona +165, Boston +123, Dallas -127
(Season to date: 24-30, -2.56u)
[Photo: Ed Mulholland, USA Today]