NHL: Hockey heads to the valley
All eyes will be on Las Vegas on Tuesday as the Golden Knights make their home debut against the Arizona Coyotes. But we’ve got some odds and ends to tie up before we get to that one.
Last night’s action: Once again, the pesky Avs came through as an underdog. Colorado was out-possessed, out-chanced and outplayed in Boston but won 4-0 thanks to great goaltending and opportunistic scoring. For the second time in three days, we went against the Devils and got burned. New Jersey has surprised us in the first week, not because they’ve won, but with the exciting brand of hockey they’re playing. They blew the doors off Buffalo 6-2, and the box score shows that the score represents how the game went. That brings us to the Jets, who defeated Edmonton 5-2 on the road. Winnipeg’s offense, as expected, has been doing its part, and they finally got the goaltending they needed to compete on Monday night.
The Blues are on a quasi back-to-back after defeating the Islanders in a shootout on Monday afternoon. It’s a small sample size, but both New York and St. Louis have been outplayed at even strength through the early part of the season. This game is definitely closer than the odds suggest, and the Blues are a savvy pick here even if they’re on a back-to-back and playing their backup goalie.
After drubbing the Islanders 5-0 in their opener, Columbus fell 5-1 to Chicago in their second game. They will travel to Carolina to take on the high-flying Hurricanes in a Metro Division showdown on Tuesday night. Carolina has only played one game this year, a 5-4 shootout win over Minnesota. The odds seem fair on this one, so it’s a pass.
Chicago will finish up an Original Six back-to-back with a trip to Montreal on Tuesday night. The Hawks are coming off a 4-3 OT loss to Toronto on Monday. Chicago has scored 18 goals in three games to start the year, and rumors of their demise seem greatly exaggerated to this, albeit very early, point. Montreal has been driving play at a high level to start the year, but the Habs only have one win to show for it so far. There’s the slightest of value on Chicago here, but not enough to warrant a play.
The Flyers continue their season-opening Western Conference road trip with a visit to Nashville to take on the winless Predators. Philly impressed by taking two of three against the California teams, and their early underlying numbers look decent. The Preds, on the other hand, have struggled out of the gates. There’s not enough in this one to have a play.
We’re not in the business of overreacting, but it is funny to see the undefeated Red Wings, who were a popular pick to finish at the bottom of the table, head to Dallas to take on the winless Stars. Dallas should win this one most of the time, but that doesn’t mean there’s value in the number. Moving on.
The Canucks will play their second game of the year as they welcome the Ottawa Senators to Rogers Arena. The Senators will still be without Erik Karlsson, but this one is as close to a 50/50 game as you’ll get, so no thanks at these numbers.
And finally, we get to the undefeated Vegas Golden Knights as they play in front of their home fans for the first time. We backed the Knights as they beat the Coyotes as a +205 underdog on Friday. The odds look incredibly different tonight, but this game is also a coin flip, so it’s a pass.
(Season to date: 8-6, +4.64u)
[Photo: Matt Kartozian, USA Today]