Lightning/Leafs, Capitals/Predators and Bruins/Avalanche highlight an 11-game board tonight in the National Hockey League as the schedule begins to ramp up.
We’ll keep an eye on those games for sure, but our biggest interest tonight comes in Chicago where we’ve got a play on the Blackhawks/Sharks tilt.
Still going light after dropping our only play Tuesday on the Penguins, although it was encouraging to see the opinions on the Oilers +0.5 and Predators Team Total Over 3.5 come in easily. Again, we’ll start to ramp it up ourselves in another week or two, once there’s more data for each team to work with.
Writeup for Sharks/Hawks is below, along with a couple of opinions.
Good luck on whatever you play!
Odds below are at the time we made the pick.
Tough spot for the Blackhawks here, playing their first game since losing to the Flyers last Friday
in Prague. Six days between games is never ideal — and then add in a cross-Atlantic flight into
the mix. Teams in this type of situation have not fared well at all over the years. Going back to
1997, NHL teams that opened the regular season overseas (we’ll include Japan in this mix) are
just 8-17-2 in their first game back on North American soil. There’s been some bad overtime
luck in there as well (0-5 in the extra session), but that still boils down to an 8-12-7 mark.
We thought the first period moneyline might be the best way to take advantage of this
situation, but the historical numbers say otherwise. Despite winning just eight of 27 games in
this spot, teams coming off overseas openers have gone 10-8-9 against the first period
moneyline in their first game back. It seems like all that travel and time off takes its toll as the
game goes along.
Chicago will also face a Sharks team tonight that is desperate for its first victory, dropping its
first four contests. San Jose at least showed some fight last time out, outshooting the Predators
35-24 in a 5-2 loss Tuesday in Nashville, and now the locker room is buoyed by the return of
Patrick Marleau. Marleau’s value on the ice is debatable at this point in his career, but his
return could give a boost to a team that badly needs it right now.
Finally, while the Sharks have scuffled along offensively through four games, there aren’t many better candidates to break
out of a slump against than a Hawks team that allowed the second-most goals in the NHL last
season. San Jose certainly lit them up with regularity last year, potting 4, 5 and 7 goals in the
three regular-season meetings.
Bet this game at Pinnacle – The best NHL odds online!
Ducks +0.5 -122 or Moneyline +131
Stars Moneyline -106
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