Most teams are only five games into their NHL season, and yet we are already starting to see some blatant overreactions coming from the hockey media. In our season points total preview, we liked the under 103.5 points and predicted they’d be a good early fade. And sure, the Oilers’ 1-3 start helps us there, but to start questioning whether Edmonton or any other team can contend based on its first four games of a season is ludicrous. Nobody in their right mind would consider the Devils, who are off to a 4-1 start, a threat to win the Metropolitan Division, and the same logic should be applied to teams slow out of the gate.
Last night’s action: There was no column yesterday because there was no action despite a pretty big slate of games. On Friday night, we split our two plays, as the Avalanche turned in a pretty dominant effort in a win over Anaheim, but the Golden Knights blew a third period lead and fell to the visiting Red Wings.
Not only did Vegas lose on Friday night in Detroit, they also lost their starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to a concussion in the game. Thus, it looks like Malcom Subban will start in goal against the team that drafted him, the Boston Bruins, at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday night. As expected, the line is a bit out of whack because of the injury, and the Golden Knights are the value side of this game.
Buffalo pays a visit to Anaheim in the second of three games on Sunday night. We’ve been fading the Ducks because of injury issues early this year, but tonight’s tilt with the Sabres — who we’ve been riding unsuccessfully — is not one to get involved in.
Jaroslav Halak will start in goal for the New York Islanders, who will complete their California road trip against the Los Angeles Kings. Both of these teams are on night two of a back-to-back, but it is the Isles that offer value in a game that is much closer to a coin flip than the odds would indicate. Roll with New York, but it is only right to remind you, the reader, that the author of this column is an Islanders fan.
Plays: Vegas +128, New York Islanders +124
(Season to date: 11-11, +2.82u)
[Photo: Gary A. Vazquez, USA Today]