Welcome to the NHL Daily. Go inside the NHL’s card for Saturday, November 18, as we explore betting angles and try to find value in this volatile, cruel, good-for-nothing sport.
The NHL is always looking for more ways to encourage scoring. Bigger nets. Smaller pads. More penalties. The game has undergone a lot of changes over the last 15 years, and most of them have been with one thing in mind – biscuits in the basket. Everybody loves 6-5 barnstormers, but there is an argument to be made the most exciting game of Thursday’s night slate was the 1-0 overtime win for Toronto against New Jersey. It was a goaltending masterpiece by both Frederik Andersen and Cory Schneider, and it was clear that one goal was going to do the trick from the first period. It was a beautifully ugly game.
Last night’s action: Nothing doing last night, so we go back to Thursday night. Things started with the Devils losing with three seconds left in overtime to extend The NHL Daily’s overtime losing streak to 11 games, which wasn’t fun, but it was soon an afterthought when the Jets scored a very late goal to tie the Flyers 2-2 before prevailing in the shootout to halt the streak. The Coyotes and Bruins also came through for us, while Vancouver and Dallas didn’t put up much of a fight against Vegas and Tampa, respectively.
The Flames looked terrible their last game, losing 8-2 to the Red Wings thanks to a vintage Eddie Lack performance in net for the Flames. Today, the Flames travel to Philadelphia for a matinee with the Flyers. It’s a broken record at this point, but the Flyers are heavily reliant on their top six forwards, and Calgary’s defense should be able to handle them. Even without Matthew Tkachuk (suspension), this game is a coin flip, and the value is with the road team.
The Arizona Coyotes came through for us with their first regulation win of the season on Thursday night. Today, we hope the ‘Yotes can extend their season-high one-game winning streak to two. The Senators will be playing their backup goalie, Mike Condon, and the number suggests Arizona has a 38 percent chance of winning this one. I’ve got it closer to 45. Go ‘Yotes.
The Devils’ hot start is surprising, not just because they’re atop the crazy Metro Division, but because they were scoring ad nauseam and getting production from players like Brian Gibbons, Drew Stafford and Miles Wood. Eventually that will stop, and the Devils will go as far as Cory Schneider will take them – which isn’t a bad thing considering how well he’s playing. The Jets are also off to a great start despite being well below 50 percent Corsi and sporting a negative expected goals differential. Winnipeg has a ton of depth both up front and on defense, and with Connor Hellebuyck rolling in goal, the Jets have the edge here.
Betting against the Lightning is not fun, but we’re betting numbers, not teams, and there is some value on the Islanders at +157. (For the sake of transparency, it is important to point out that the author of this column is an Islanders fan). The Isles’ defense is a pretty solid unit top to bottom if they don’t play Denis Seidenberg, and if they can stay out of the box they should be in this one and give us a chance to cash at a big price on a good team.
The book is hanging a huge price on Colorado in Nashville. The Avs are the worse team by a wide margin and you will lose this one more often than you win it, but the value is with the Avalanche.
Update, 6:50 p.m ET
The Bruins are going to be without Brad Marchand, Torey Krug, David Backes, Ryan Spooner and Tuukka Rask on the road against the Sharks and they’ve been bet down to -154. Grab the Sharks, it’s a gift at that number.
Picks: Flames +110, Coyotes +161, Jets -134, Islanders +157, Colorado +180, Sharks -154
Season to date: 47-58, -4.78u