The NHL season gets underway, tonight and the league is giving us some decent games to whet the whistle.
The season will commence with a high-octane game between Winnipeg and Toronto. We will also see the Penguins raise some more laundry to the ceiling and get our first taste of the Battle for Alberta. The slate concludes in San Jose, where the Sharks will host the Flyers.
|Toronto (+101)||Winnipeg (-111)||6 (-108/-102)|
|St. Louis (+164)||Pittsburgh (-182)||5.5 (+100/-110)|
|Calgary (+138)||Edmonton (-153)||5.5 (-102/-108)|
|Philadelphia (+136)||San Jose (-150)||5.5 (+117/-129)|
Both Winnipeg and Toronto have goals in them, and if this fixture was played 82 times, most of the games would be a lot of fun to watch. Steve Mason (.919 5-on-5 save percentage in 2016-17) is making his Winnipeg debut, and Frederik Andersen (.930 5-on-5 save percentage) will man the blue paint for the Leafs. While both teams have top-tier offenses, the Jets’ defense figures to be a slightly stronger unit. There is a little bit of value on the home team.
Pittsburgh comes into the season as the odds-on favorite to three-peat. They welcome Vladimir Tarasenko and the Blues to PPG Paints Arena for their banner-raising ceremony. The goaltending matchup features Matt Murray (.934) for Pittsburgh and Jake Allen (.925) for St. Louis. If these two teams played each other 100 times, the Penguins would probably win around 60 of them. But at the current price, the underdogs provide the value.
Edmonton and Calgary is a strength-against-strength tilt. Edmonton’s got the game’s most dynamic offensive player, and Calgary probably has the league’s strongest defense. In goal, the Oilers have a clear edge with Cam Talbot (.929) against Mike Smith (.924). The Oilers are probably a bit overpriced, and there is a slight edge with Calgary, but not enough at the current number to fire.
The first night of the NHL season will conclude in San Jose, as we get our first look at No. 2 overall pick Nolan Patrick for his Philadelphia debut. Other than that, there isn’t much to this one, and the price seems to flatter the Sharks a bit, but there isn’t enough of an edge to put something down on the Flyers.