NHL betting trends, odds and predictions for Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017 from various handicappers and websites
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Road team won last eight Calgary-Columbus games; Flames won three of last five visits to Ohio. Under is 6-1 in last seven series games. Calgary won seven of its last nine games; over is 6-1 in their last seven games. Flames are 6-3 on the road this season. Blue Jackets won their last four games, outscoring foes 9-4; their last six games stayed under. Columbus split their last four home games.
Road team won last five Minnesota-Buffalo games; Wild won six of last eight series games, winning last four visits to western New York. Under is 2-0-2 in last four series games. Wild lost five of last nine games; they’re 2-3 in last five road games. Four of their last six games stayed under the total. Buffalo lost its last six games, outscored 20-10; six of their last seven games stayed under. Sabres lost three of their last four home games.
Washington won eight of its last ten games with Ottawa; under is 3-1 in last four series games. Senators lost their last four games in this building. Ottawa lost its last three games, outscored 9-3 (under 3-0); they’re 4-2 on the road this season. Washington lost three of last four games, but they won five of last six home games. Seven of their last nine games stayed under the total.
Maple Leafs won four of last five games with Florida; they split last four games in this building. Over is 5-3-1 in last nine series games. Toronto won six of its last seven games, three of last five on road; under is 4-0-1 in their last five games. Panthers lost seven of last ten games overall, three of last four at home. Six of last seven Florida games stayed under the total.
Islanders lost six of last seven games with Philly; road team won five of last six series games. Flyers won their last four games in Brooklyn. Three of last four series games stayed under the total. Philly lost its last five games, outscored 18-8; under is 6-3 in their last nine games. Flyers lost three of their last four road games. Islanders won three of last four games, both overall and at home. Over is 7-2-1 in their last ten games.
Bruins won seven of last nine games with New Jersey; home side won eight of last ten series games. Boston lost three of last five visits to the Garden State. Under is 5-0-3 in last eight series games. Bruins won their last two games after a 1-5 skid; they lost four of their last six road tilts. Under is 4-1 in their last five games. Devils won three of last five games; they’re 5-4 at home. Three of their last four games went over.
Home side won seven of last eight Ranger-Carolina games; New York lost its last three visits to Raleigh, all by one goal. Over is 3-1-1 in last five series games. Rangers won seven of their last nine games, but are 2-3 in last five road games. Over is 7-3 in their last ten games. Carolina is 5-2 in its last seven games, 3-1 in last four home games. Over is 3-1-1 in their last five games.
Detroit won seven of last ten games with Edmonton; Oilers lost three of their last four visits to the Motor City. Under is 5-4-1 in last ten series games. Oilers lost five of their last six games (over 4-2); they allowed 18 goals in last three games. Edmonton lost its last three road games. Red Wings are 2-3 in last five games overall; they split last four home games. Under is 5-3 in their last eight home games.
Penguins won four of last five games with Vancouver; over is 5-3-2 in last ten series games. Vancouver lost three of its last four visits to Pittsburgh. Canucks lost four of last six games, last three of which went over total; they split their last four away games. Penguins are 3-5 in their last eight games- they’re 6-2 at home. Three of their last four home games went over.
Lightning won their last three games with Chicago; home side won four of last five series tilts. Tampa Bay lost three of last five games in the Windy City. Under is 6-2 in last eight series games. Blackhawks won three of last four games, both overall and on road; three of their last four games went over total. Tampa Bay won five of last six games overall but split last six home games. Five of their last six games went over the total.
Canadiens lost their last four games, outscored 16-6; over is 6-1-1 in their last eight games. Montreal won three of its last five road games. Montreal/Nashville split their last ten meetings; under is 4-1-1 in last six series games. Canadiens won three of last five visits to Music City. Predators won seven of last eight games, including their last four at home; over is 8-2 in their last ten games.
Home team won seven of last nine San Jose-Arizona games; under is 8-0-2 in last ten series games, with Sharks winning six of the 10. San Jose lost three of last five visits to Arizona. Sharks lost their last three games, outscored 8-3; they’re 4-2 on road. Nine of their last ten games stayed under total. Arizona won its last three games after a 2-18 start; they’re 1-9 at home. Eight of their last nine games stayed under the total.
Home side won seven of last eight Dallas-Colorado games; Dallas Stars split their last four visits to Denver. Over is 6-3 in last nine series games. Dallas lost its last four road games, outscored 20-7; they’re 6-5 in last 11 games overall. Four of last five Dallas games went over total. Colorado lost four of its last six games; their last 12 games went over the total. Avalanche did win three of last four at home.
Kings won last two games with Winnipeg, after losing five of previous six meetings; Jets lost four of their last six games in Staples Center. Over is 4-1-3 in last eight series games. Winnipeg won four of its last five games; under is 4-3 in their last seven games. Jets won three of their las five road games. Los Angeles lost five of its last six games, both overall and at home. Under is 4-0-1 in Kings’ last five games.
Las Vegas is 4-6 on road (8-1 at home); they won three of last four games overall (over 3-0-1). Knights lost six of their last eight road games. Anaheim won four of its last five games; four of those five games stayed under the total. Ducks won three of their last four home games.
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NHL Picks and Betting Tips
By Parker Michaels
MORNING LINE REPORT
Happy Thanksgiving Eve to our American readers. With the NHL deciding to go completely dark for this year’s holiday, the schedule is jam-packed tonight and Friday. We have 30 of the 31 league teams in action as the St. Louis Blues are the only club to get an added day of rest. I guess the schedule makers must have known they would embarrass the Oilers last night so this is their reward. What a performance by Tarasenko, Schwartz and Schenn once again. The Blues are a clear step ahead of everyone else in the Western Conference right now and maybe everyone besides Tampa Bay in the East, as well.
We finally found the winning formula for Dallas Stars games – bet them at home when there’s no value in the line. As I mentioned in yesterday’s article, the Stars were indeed added late morning once a line finally opened at -145 for our only play. It felt good to finally be on the right side of a Stars game and the victory continued our November turnaround after a slow start. We’re now up to +2.32 units on the month and over +15 again for the season with a week’s worth of games left.
We haven’t had a full 15-game card since the opening Saturday night of the season so let’s get right into things and see where the value lies. With such a heavy card and to make sure you’re not stuck reading this for an hour, we’re mostly only going to touch on injury updates and any known significant lineup changes today. We’re also going to approach today with a bit of caution as it’s sometimes hard to gauge a team’s motivation with a holiday on the schedule, so we’ll probably only play our biggest edges.
CALGARY FLAMES @ COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
Calgary – Mike Smith (expected)
Columbus – Sergei Bobrovsky (expected)
Calgary – no significant injuries
Columbus – Calvert (out), Wennberg (doubtful), Werenski (probable)
The Calgary Flames are making a push towards the top of the Pacific division with wins in seven of their last nine games. The team is completely healthy and playing at a high level right now. There’s no expected lineup changes for tonight.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have won four in a row as Sergei Bobrovsky continues to dominate opponents. Zach Werenski missed practice yesterday but Tortorella called it a maintenance day and said he’s expected to play tonight. Alexander Wennberg did not practice again and remains day-to-day. He’s unlikely to play tonight but fourth line center Lukas Sedlak will return and provides better depth.
This line opened a shade high and has come down slightly overnight into the high range of where it should be. I would imagine it drops a bit further but with two of the hottest teams in the league here, I can’t imagine it moving far enough either way for us to get involved. Should be a fun one to watch but let’s look for better spots.
MINNESOTA WILD @ BUFFALO SABRES
Minnesota – Devan Dubnyk (expected)
Buffalo – Robin Lehner (expected)
Minnesota – Parise (out)
Buffalo – Ristolainen (out), Bogosian (out), Josefson (probable)
The Minnesota Wild have dropped two straight after they had looked like things were turning around with a four game win streak. The Wild continue to get healthier as Zach Parise is now the only player remaining on the injury list as Charlie Coyle made a shocking return to the lineup for Monday’s game. Coyle took the pregame skate and was announced good to go which took everyone by surprise as he didn’t even have a full practice with the team.
Rookies Joel Eriksson Ek and Luke Kunin were sent down to Iowa to help them gain some confidence. The Wild were looking for Eriksson Ek to take a big step forward this year on the offensive end but he’s gone 12 straight games without a goal and only has three points in 20 games and hasn’t been able to win a faceoff to save his life. Zack Mitchell, who was Iowa’s top scorer with 16 points in 11 games, was recalled and practiced yesterday. He’ll be in the lineup tonight.
The Buffalo Sabres have dropped six straight games and there hasn’t really been anything positive to take from most of their recent results. They’re getting a little healthier though and should see the return of fourth line center Jacob Josefson tonight. Josefson missed the last 15 games with an ankle injury but fully practiced yesterday. Housley called him a possibility for tonight but all signs are pointing toward him being in the lineup. I know a lot of people don’t think much of Josefson but I’m pretty high on him and think he’s a solid bottom six center and will be a boost for the struggling Sabres.
Housley tweaked his lines yet again yesterday, having Jack Eichel center Kane and Pominville again. O’Reilly was between Pouliot and Reinhart while Larsson centering the third line with Girgensons and Kyle Criscuolo.
This line opened at a reasonable number but has moved too high overnight. We have enough value on Buffalo to warrant a play and although it seems pretty scary to back this team right now, I actually like this spot for them. No one wants to be sitting around Thanksgiving dinner with a seven game losing streak so I think we’ll see a max effort tonight. Whether that will be enough, who knows, but the situation supports the value here so let’s lock it in with confidence. I would play Buffalo down to +136.
OTTAWA SENATORS @ WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Ottawa – Craig Anderson (expected)
Washington – Braden Holtby (expected)
Ottawa – MacArthur (out), Smith (out), Wideman (out), Borowiecki (out)
Washington – Burakovsky (out), Djoos (doubtful)
The Ottawa Senators have dropped three straight back on North American soil after returning from their trip to Sweden. The offense has gone cold with just three goals in three games and newly acquired Matt Duchene has yet to record a point in his five games since arriving.
Duchene was separated from Bobby Ryan for part of Sunday’s game but Boucher said they would be back together tonight with Chris DiDomenico possibly joining the line.
Defenseman Mark Borowiecki was injured again after a crushing hit into the boards last game. He has a concussion and will miss at least a week. Super prospect Thomas Chabot was recalled again and will be in the lineup tonight. The Sens are likely to dress seven defensemen so we’ll have to wait and see how he’s deployed, although he did line up with the second powerplay unit. Chabot struggled in his previous call-up and didn’t look ready for the big league which is a bit of a shock considering how much he’s torn up the minors. The fan base has huge expectations for Chabot who want immediate production but the organization is grooming him slowly. The kid is a clear special talent so be patient Sens fans, you’ve got a good one here.
The Washington Capitals were putting together a nice little run with five straight home victories before being outplayed by Calgary on Monday. This is the Caps annual Thanksgiving Eve game and the Caps have won the last two years on home ice which included an Alex Ovechkin hat trick last year. That has absolutely nothing to do with tonight but history often repeats itself so maybe Ovechkin can get back on the scoreboard tonight as he’s gone a befuddling six games without a goal.
Barry Trotz used the same lines as last game in yesterday’s practice so no changes are expected. Defenseman Christian Djoos did not practice again and is likely to miss his fourth consecutive game.
The Capitals might not be the Capitals of last year but they’re still a very good home team. I’ve had them pegged pretty well most nights and this line is drastically underpriced in my mind. We’ll jump on our cash cow again here and hope there’s a little milk left.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS @ FLORIDA PANTHERS
Toronto – Frederik Andersen (likely)
Florida – Roberto Luongo (confirmed)
Toronto – no significant injuries
Florida – Vrbata (out)
Toronto’s six game win streak came to a crashing halt with Monday’s 4-1 loss to Arizona. Babcock temporarily put Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner together and fans went nuts. They’ve been crying for this combo forever but Babcock believes the team is better balanced by having his two stars on separate lines. Babcock said his lines will remain the same so no changes are expected for tonight.
Florida is back home after dropping the last two legs of their California trip. Radim Vrbata has been confirmed out again tonight as he recovers from being hit in the face with a puck. Derek MacKenzie will also be out again.
Boughner split up his top line in Sunday’s loss to the Ducks, moving Dadonov to the second line which he said is what he likes to do on the road to create better balance. The top line will be stacked again tonight at home with the last change. Bjugstad, Brickley and Trocheck will form the second line.
If you like to fade the East Coast team returning home from the California trip then the Leafs are your play here. I don’t see any value in the current number so we’ll pass on this one and find a better spot
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS @ NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Philadelphia – Brian Elliott (likely)
NY Islanders – Thomas Greiss (confirmed)
Philadelphia – MacDonald (out), Gudas (out)
NY Islanders – Kulemin (out)
Philadelphia lost their fifth straight with last night’s 5-2 loss to Vancouver. The Canucks chased Neuvirth after a fourth goal with about five minutes left in the second period which was interesting with the Flyers having to play again tonight. Elliott has played very well lately and solidified himself in the starter’s role. I would expect him to get the start tonight although I didn’t see Hakstol confirm anything post-game. Defenseman Andrew MacDonald is close to a return but has been confirmed out again tonight. The Flyers just called up forward Danick Martel and defenseman Sam Morin who are expected to be in the lineup tonight. Martel leads the AHL in goals and could make an immediate impact on a team looking for scoring.
The New York Islanders three game win streak was snapped with Sunday’s 4-2 loss at Carolina. Jaroslav Halak took the loss in that one, his third in a row. Thomas Greiss has been the more consistent starter and has been confirmed for tonight. The Isles have been a much better bet with him in the crease lately.
This line opened disgustingly short at -130 which we would have jumped all over but has taken a significant move overnight up to -149 which is the low end of where it should be. We’ll keep an eye on this one and if this somehow drops a bit to the -142 range we would be comfortable buying the Isles.
BOSTON BRUINS @ NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Boston – Anton Khudobin (likely)
New Jersey – Cory Schneider (likely)
Boston – Marchand (out), Backes (out), Bjork (out), Krug (out), McQuaid (out), Spooner (questionable)
New Jersey – Johansson (out)
The Boston Bruins return east to wrap up their four game road trip that saw them take two of three in California. The Bruins were completely dominated Saturday night in San Jose but managed to steal two points.
Brad Marchand, David Backes, Ryan Spooner and Torey Krug all returned to practice yesterday but all have been officially ruled out for tonight except Spooner who will be re-evaluated again this morning and could suit up. He was off to a disappointing start but would be a fair boost considering all the AHL names currently in the lineup. I made my number with him in the lineup, fwiw.
New Jersey returns home after a 2-1-1 road trip that ended with a 4-3 overtime win in Minnesota on Monday. I haven’t seen anything about any lineup changes for tonight and would expect Schneider to start but that is also not confirmed.
This isn’t the best spot for either side and I’m not expecting to see any value when this line opens. I’d be interested in the Devils if I had to make a play but we’ll likely sit this one out.
NEW YORK RANGERS @ CAROLINA HURRICANES
NY Rangers – Henrik Lundqvist (confirmed)
Carolina – Scott Darling (likely)
NY Rangers – McDonagh (out)
Carolina – Stempniak (out), Rask (out)
The New York Rangers were a dominant road team last year but has struggled away from MSG this season with just two wins in seven games. They’ll try to turn their fortunes tonight but will be without one of their top defensemen and captain as Ryan McDonagh is out with an abdominal strain.
Brendan Smith, who has been a surprising healthy scratch eight of the Rangers first 19 games, will take McDonagh’s spot on the top pair with Nick Holden. Smith did return to the lineup two games ago and has looked better. Steven Kampfer will enter the lineup on the third pair with Marc Staal. That means Shattenkirk and Skjei will stay together and the Rangers most effective duo so far this season is expected to be heavily relied upon tonight as Vigneault said he’s going to ramp up their ice time.
The Carolina Hurricanes have climbed out of the Metro basement with three wins in their last four games, including another surprisingly strong start from Cam Ward. I would expect Scott Darling back in net tonight but haven’t seen a confirmation. Darling has been hot and cold this year and Ward has been excellent in his limited action so it’s possible he could draw some more starts.
Victor Rask has been in a terrible slump and was a healthy scratch last game. Peters said he’s expected to be scratched again tonight.
This line opened at what I thought was a reasonable number but has taken a steep climb overnight moving from -125 to -146. The market has been higher on Carolina than I have which is surprising since I have them tied as the most improved team in my preseason adjustments. I’m still pretty high on the Rangers, too, so I’m not surprised to see my number where it is here. I’m always uncomfortable going against Carolina and that feeling has been warranted as I notice we are 0-4 when fading the Canes this year. It seems maybe I need another adjustment here so based on this I’m choosing to pass on this game tonight.
EDMONTON OILERS @ DETROIT RED WINGS
Edmonton – Cam Talbot/Laurent Brossoit (unknown)
Detroit – Jimmy Howard (confirmed)
Edmonton – Sekera (out), Slepyshev (questionable)
Detroit – Frk (doubtful)
The Edmonton Oilers were stunned last night in St. Louis as the Blues never let up in an 8-3 beating. The Oilers looked completely demoralized just minutes into the game after giving up an early goal. The Blues continued to outwork them and added on another one shortly after.
Todd McLellan pulled Talbot just 7:35 into the game after the Blues made it 2-0 and he wasn’t even yelling at anyone. It’s been a happy-go-lucky atmosphere with McLellan treating his players with kid gloves and it’s reportedly been like this most of the season. It’s time for some tough love with this team.
I have to feel bad for the players at this point. Just the look of disbelief on their faces last night was hard to watch. I also wonder if maybe the flu bug has hit this team much harder than they’re letting on. We know McDavid has been battling with an illness which has kept him out of practices but something was definitely not right last night and I’d like to believe the flu had them down rather than think they are just broken.
Laurent Brossoit came on in relief and gave up six goals which was really unfair because I thought he actually played quite well considering the team in front of him had clearly thrown in the towel. Talbot gave up another really weak goal and although I would expect McLellan to go right back to him tonight, maybe they should give him a break and start Brossoit.
The Detroit Red Wings have already had a successful homestand going 2-0-2 and will look to put a bow on things tonight. Petr Mrazek played well in a 4-0 shutout over Edmonton a couple of weeks ago but Jimmy Howard has been confirmed as the starter. No lineup changes are expected.
We’ll wait for a line to open here but probably won’t be getting involved. It has to be the Wings or nothing seeing how the Oilers looked last night. Something is clearly wrong with this team and things are bound to get worse before they get better.
VANCOUVER CANUCKS @ PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Vancouver – Anders Nilsson (expected)
Pittsburgh – Matt Murray (expected)
Vancouver – Dorsett (out), Stecher (questionable), Tanev (possible)
Pittsburgh – Malkin (out), Maatta (probable)
Vancouver started a six game road trip last night with a 5-2 win in Philadelphia. The Flyers were the better team early but couldn’t convert and the Canucks kept chipping away. Brock Boeser had a couple of beautiful wrist shots that found the back of the net.
Derek Dorsett had to fly back to Vancouver as he’s dealing with an injury issue. Defenseman Chris Tanev is a strong possibility to be back in the lineup tonight which would be a big boost, as I mentioned yesterday. Anders Nilsson should get the start in net after Markstrom played last night.
The Pittsburgh Penguins lost their first game in regulation on home ice last time out with a 2-1 loss to Chicago.
The big news here is Evgeni Malkin is out tonight with an upper-body injury. The lineup is TBA tonight as it will depend on who else is available. Yesterday in practice, Jake Guentzel was moved to center between Kessel and Rust on the second line and could be a short-term fix. Center Carter Rowney has missed the last 13 games but was cleared for full contact and practiced yesterday. Rowney’s status for tonight is still questionable but if he plays, Pittsburgh’s centers tonight could be Crosby, Sheahan, McKegg and Rowney according to Sullivan. Yuck.
This line opened at -225 with Malkin expected in but the market has corrected that overnight by moving the Pens down to -206. I thought the original line was very high and the Penguins are still being priced like they are the juggernaut from last year. They have been tough on home ice and could very well win this one, but I can’t get my number anywhere near the current line, so we’re going to play the value on Vancouver here. They’ve come through for us as a big road pup already this year and we’ll hope they have some bite left in them tonight
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS @ TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Chicago – Corey Crawford (likely)
Tampa Bay – Andrei Vasilevskiy (likely)
Chicago – Hossa (out)
Tampa Bay – Dotchin (questionable)
The Chicago Blackhawks have quietly put together a nice little current run with wins in three of their last four and have responded well with a pair of quality wins after the confusing 4-1 blown lead against the Devils. I didn’t see much news for the Hawks here so not expecting any major changes.
Tampa Bay are coming off a 5-3 loss to the Islanders and wrap up a three game homestand tonight before heading up the East Coast for a four game trip. The Lightning have done well to avoid the injury bug this season which was their major downfall last year but defenseman Jake Dotchin is currently day-to-day and Cooper said he wasn’t sure if he’d be available tonight after missing practice for the second straight day. Dotchin has been playing very well on the top pair with Hedman but look for Slater Koekkoek to draw into the lineup if Dotchin can’t go.
Tyler Johnson returned to practice after missing Monday’s session and should be good to go tonight.
Tampa is off to an incredible start but that means their lines are becoming a bit more inflated each game. We cashed in on the Islanders last time against them and we’ll go back to the well again tonight with some value on a Hawks team who have looked better the past couple games. I would play Chicago down to +137 here.
MONTREAL CANADIENS @ NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Montreal – Charlie Lindgren/Antti Niemi/Carey Price (unknown)
Nashville – Pekka Rinne (expected)
Montreal – Hemsky (out), Lehkonen (out), Schlemko (questionable), Weber (questionable)
Nashville – Hartnell (out), Ellis (out), Weber (out)
Montreal has dropped four straight after last night’s 3-1 loss at Dallas. The Canadiens played pretty well and carried a 1-0 lead late into the second before giving up a pair of goals in under a minute. Giving up goals in bunches has been all too common for Montreal this year as that’s already the ninth time they’ve given up multiple goals in the span of under a minute.
Carey Price has returned to practice but it doesn’t appear he’ll be ready for tonight which means it will either be Charlie Lindgren again or (gulp) Antti Niemi. Shea Weber skated yesterday morning but was a surprise scratch last night with a lower-body injury and is questionable for tonight.
David Schlemko has been activated and appears ready to go but Julien held him out last night, possibly just because he didn’t want him to play back-to-back. He’s also questionable for tonight.
The Nashville Predators are flying right now as winners in seven of their last eight, including four in a row at home. This will be P.K. Subban’s first home game against his former team as he was injured during last year’s visit and this is no doubt a big one for him, even if he won’t admit it.
I’m not expecting to find value in this line when it opens but I’ll most assuredly be looking to fire on Nashville here. We’ll see who the Canadiens are rolling with in net and Weber’s status and make a call from there.
SAN JOSE SHARKS @ ARIZONA COYOTES
San Jose – Martin Jones (expected)
Arizona – Antti Raanta (likely)
San Jose – Martin (out), Karlsson (doubtful)
Arizona – Chychrun (out)
The San Jose Sharks are probably happy to hit the road for a pair of games after losing all three on their recent homestand. The Sharks have been dealing with some injuries to key players like Thornton and Pavelski but it hasn’t kept them out of the lineup to this point. Defenseman Paul Martin was supposed to be back by now but he had a setback in a separate issue from his ankle recovery according to DeBoer and won’t be available this week. DeBoer says Martin’s absence hasn’t had an effect on his playing partner, Norris Trophy winning Brent Burns, but we’re now 19 games into the season and Burns is still remarkably without a goal, despite leading the team in shots on goal.
Melker Karlsson practiced yesterday in a non-contact jersey and hasn’t been ruled out for tonight yet but seems doubtful.
DeBoer shifted Timo Meier up to the top line late last game and it appears he’ll start there tonight with Thornton and Pavelski. Kevin Labanc was dropped to the third line.
When you’re hot, you’re hot and the Arizona Coyotes are finally winning some games. The Coyotes won their third straight game to end their road trip and now return home hoping to carry that momentum with them. Arizona aren’t expected to make any changes for tonight.
The worst part about this current Arizona run is we’ve only been on them once as their games have been lined pretty well according to what I have. Today is another one where this line looks right to me even though I quite like the Coyotes to get the win. I’ll do some more work on this one today and I might just add them anyway if I still really like them.
DALLAS STARS @ COLORADO AVALANCHE
Dallas – Ben Bishop (expected)
Colorado – Jonathan Bernier (confirmed)
Dallas – Hanzal (out), Methot (out)
Colorado – Nemeth (out)
Kari Lehtonen is still away from the team to be with his wife who had a baby boy so Ben Bishop should get the start for Dallas on the back-to-back as I doubt they’ll take a chance on Mike McKenna. Bishop is also from Denver and he was pulled here in a start earlier this year in a game you might remember he was furious with Hitchcock for pulling him. He’ll be looking to make amends for that one.
Hitchcock did something really great last night when he mixed up his lines and I hope he leaves them like this for tonight. The top line became Janmark-Benn-Radulov with a second line of Shore-Seguin-Spezza. Third line consisted of Roussel-Faksa-Pitlick and a fourth with Elie-Smith-Ritchie. Please leave these lines together, Kenny.
Semyon Varlamov is sick for Colorado so Jonathan Bernier will get the start tonight, although Varlamov will reportedly be well enough to back up. Defenseman Patrick Nemeth is still not skating so remains out. Nathan MacKinnon hasn’t minded Matt Duchene being gone as the now clear number one superstar on this team has 17 points over his last nine games.
I’m actually expecting to find some value on Colorado for this one which would be a huge change from our usual road position on the Stars. We actually won a game on the Stars last night so not sure I’m going to feel well about pushing the luck for two in a row but we’ll see where this one opens and make a decision.
WINNIPEG JETS @ LOS ANGELES KINGS
Winnipeg – Connor Hellebuyck/Steve Mason (unknown)
Los Angeles – Jonathan Quick (expected)
Winnipeg – Enstrom (out)
Los Angeles – Carter (out), Clifford (out), Gaborik (questionable)
Winnipeg continues a four game road trip which began with a 5-3 loss at Nashville. They aren’t expected to make any changes for tonight.
Los Angeles has had a tough stretch of games recently so Stevens made some lineup changes in practice yesterday. Tyler Toffoli was moved down from the second line to the third and it seemed to serve its purpose as he responded with a goal and an assist. He’ll be back on the second line tonight with Kempe and Pearson. Marian Gaborik is very close to making his season debut. He fully practiced with a purple jersey yesterday and skated on the fourth line with Jussi Jokinen and Jonny Brodzinski. Gaborik said he feels good and it’s just a matter of days before he’s in the lineup and could return as early as tonight, although it seems that’s a bit of hopeful thinking. Gaborik isn’t the player he once was but he should be a nice boost to the bottom six (until he unfortunately gets injured again).
I had quite a range for this game with my line so wasn’t expecting to find any value but this number has opened a bit short in my opinion. I just started to come around on the Jets but it looks like we’ll take another shot against them here. I actually like this spot for LA so we’ll hope they can come through for us.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS @ ANAHEIM DUCKS
Vegas – Malcolm Subban/Maxime Lagace (unknown)
Anaheim – John Gibson (likely)
Vegas – Sbisa (out)
Anaheim – Kesler (out), Eaves (out), Getzlaf (out), Kase (out)
Lucas Sbisa didn’t make the trip with Vegas and will be out again. Shea Theodore is expected to stay in the lineup which is a very good thing for the Knights.
Marc-Andre Fleury has returned to the ice to watch practices but only from the bench. It’s good to see him making some progress. I haven’t seen anything regarding tonight’s starter so we’ll want to keep an eye out for Subban or Lagace.
Anaheim has somehow managed to win three in a row despite all their key injuries but at least they now have a full defense corps as Cam Fowler returned to the lineup. The Ducks have one of the best defensive units in the league when healthy and with John Gibson looking outstanding in net, they just might be able to grind out games until some healthy bodies return up front. There shouldn’t be any big changes for tonight.
BetOnline has opened this line at Anaheim -155 which seems a bit high. This one isn’t widely available yet so I’m going to hold off until Pinnacle opens their number and others get on board but it looks like it will be Vegas or nothing. I’m going to re-run the numbers again just to make sure for this one and will update on Twitter later.
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