So far, the best story of the season isn’t that how well the Golden Knights are playing or that the Montreal Canadiens can’t score — but rather that the New Jersey Devils, who basically strangled hockey for years with their 1-2-2 trap, are a lot of fun to watch. The Devils are off to a blinding 6-1 start and will almost certainly fall back to earth, but that shouldn’t take away from the weirdness of seeing red and black jerseys flying up and down the ice.
Last night’s action: It wasn’t a pretty night as each team we backed lost by one goal, including an overtime loss and one that featured a goal that was wrongly disallowed. But those are the breaks,and the hope is that over the course of a long season they will even out — and heck, maybe the Coyotes will actually win a game at some point.
After gushing about the Devils above, you couldn’t be blamed for thinking that we’d have a play on them against the Sharks tonight, but that isn’t the case. Even though I am not putting anything into this one, Stuckey offered some advice for this contest here.
Vancouver finishes off a back-to-back with a trip to Buffalo to take on the Sabres. The Canucks are coming off a 6-3 loss to Boston on Thursday night, while the Sabres haven’t played since a 5-4 loss to Vegas on Tuesday. The price here is correct, and there’s nothing more to be said about this one.
Petr Mrazek will start in goal for the Detroit Red Wings as they host Braden Holtby and the Washington Capitals. The Caps are off to an odd start and haven’t been all that splendid at 5-on-5. The Red Wings, on the other hand, have been better than expected and boast a top-10 CF percentage in the league. That should correct itself as the season wears on, and the Capitals are in range for a wager here.
The Penguins and Panthers close out the early part of the slate in Sunrise. There’s nothing to say about these odds other than the fact that they aren’t worth touching.
Our lone divisional matchup on the night features the enigmatic Winnipeg Jets and the injury-ravaged Minnesota Wild. The Jets will run with Connor Hellebuyck in goal, and while it’s hard to trust him, he’s had a good start to the year and the Wild are missing key pieces up front. Winnipeg offers some good value here.
The night concludes in Anaheim, where the Ducks host the Montreal Canadiens. The Habs are off to a bad start, but they aren’t playing poor; rather, they have been rather unlucky to start the season. With the Ducks still missing their two best defensemen in addition to Ryan Getzlaf, this is a good spot to back the Canadiens as a slight road favorite.
Plays: Washington -126, Winnipeg -111, Montreal -108
(Season to date: 12-17, -2.0u)
[Photo: Eric Hartline, USA Today]