NHL PICKS; NOVEMBER 1ST 2018

Dallas Stars(6-5-0) vs Toronto Maple Leafs(8-4-0)

The Leafs are without Auston Matthews, the Stars are starting their back up goalie, Anton Khudobin, who honestly many fans forgot was a goalie in the league still. Frederick Anderson seems to be the likely starter for tonight. Looking at the Stars last few games they are 3-1 in their last four games scoring 15 goals allowing 9 goals. The Stars may be without Alexander Radulov tonight as well although he returned vs Montreal Radulov is not expected to play tonight. The Leafs are 2-2 in their last four games scoring 9 goals and allowing 11 goals as well. The spread in this game is Leafs are favored right now as the Stars are given 1.5 to start so essentially going with the Stars to cover a 2 goal spread is not unheard of. The over/under is 6 goals which is do able as well. Tough to choose between the two, I’d say go Leafs money line for a safe choice or even Stars to cover the spread.

Pittsburgh Penguins(6-2-2) vs New York Islanders(6-4-1)

The Penguins have to figure out a goalie situation right now because Matt Murray looks terrible he got pulled last game vs the Islanders this week. This will be their second time meeting in four days and the Islanders absolutely blew the Penguins out of the building winning 6-3 Tuesday night. Murray got pulled after allowing 3 goals and with the Islanders on a three game winning streak scoring 14 goals in their last three games whoever is in net for Pittsburgh may get shelled again. The Islanders are without Robin Lehner for a short period of time as he is dealing with an injury so Tomas Greiss picks up the majority of starts and draws into the line up tonight. Greiss is 2-2 this year with a 2.26 GAA and .933 save percentage. The Islanders and Penguins offenses have been exceptional to start the year, an over of 6.5 hit last game and tonight it can happen again. The Islanders are not favored this game even at home, they are given 1.5 goals to start the game. Tonight with the Penguins getting shelled last game on Tuesday vs NYI I’d go Pittsburgh tonight.

Buffalo Sabres(6-4-2) vs Ottawa Senators(4-5-2) 

The Senators got run out of Arizona with their 5-1 loss Tuesday night and the Sabres blew a lead Tuesday to Calgary losing in overtime. The Sabres have been a different team to start the season starting off on the right foot and continuing to play like a potential contender. The Senators are where we expect them to be, especially dealing with the injuries they have this season. The goalies seem to be Carter Hutton (4-4-1, 2.94 GAA, .910 SV %) vs Craig Anderson (4-3-2, 3.48 GAA, .909 SV %) Hutton has seemed to be holding his own in Buffalo and will only improve from here on out. Anderson is just getting worse as the years go on and the Senators blue line continues to thin the veteran goalie cannot be expected to carry this team. The Senators offense produces around 3 goals a game while the Sabres are performing at a rate of 2.58 goals a game expect the Senators allow 4 goals a game and Sabres allow 2.92 goals a game. With the Senators in Ottawa and Sabres on the road the Sens are given 1.5 goals to start the game and the over/under is six goals. Stay away from the over and go Sabres money line.

Nashville Predators(9-3-0) vs Tampa Bay Lightning(8-2-1)

A battle of the two best teams in the NHL and possible Stanley Cup preview could be underway. The Predators have been on par with how everyone expects them to be, they have won 5 of their last 7 games and seem to be the team to beat in the West right now. They are expecting Pekka Rinne back after his injury it is not confirmed if he is playing but it is saying he is expected to play. Rinne first game back, on the road vs Tampa Bay. I don’t know, I’d say that is a good reason to go Tampa Bay here tonight. With Victor Hedman out and Ondrej Palat day to day the Lightning are dealing with some injuries but seem to be put together with a solid top six of Kucherov, Stamkos, Point, Johnson, Gourde and Miller. With the Predators under dogs here, I’d go Predators with the spread or the Lightning money line and stay away from the over/under. No way this game is a 3 goal differential, the Lightning won’t win 4-1 or 5-2, no way going to be a one goal game.

Colorado Avalanche(7-3-2) vs Calgary Flames(7-5-1)

The Avalanche have been rolling, they have some of their best players clicking on all cylinders right now. Getting unreal production from Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, Nate McKinnon and Semyonov Varlamov in net the Avalanche look to be a team on a mission. They score around 3.42 goals a game compared to Flames 3.15. Avalanche allow the league lowest 2.17 goals a game while Flames allow one of the leagues higher 3.15 goals a game. Mike Smith vs Varlamov tonight, Smith has been very inconsistent but at home the Flames can pull this one out especially after a big come from behind overtime winner vs Buffalo Tuesday. Flames are favorites here having to cover a two-goal spread, therefore the Avalanche given two goals to start the game seems like a no brainer. Definitely not the over of six and go Avalanche spread.

Chicago Blackhawks(6-4-3) vs Edmonton Oilers(6-4-1)

Very interesting game as the Blackhawks are coming back to back off a bad loss to Vancouver staying on the road vs Edmonton who is coming off a win vs Nashville Sunday night and their most recent loss to Minnesota Tuesday night. The Oilers have been a solid team to start, competitive at least and not a shoe-in for a loss every night it seems. The Blackhawks are off to a better start as well, and at least Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews are alive. Tonight both back ups draw into net tonight with Mikko Koskinen in Edmonton with a 1-0 record, 3.05 GAA and .889 save percentage, and Cam Ward in net for Chicago (expected) a 3-1-3 record, 3.92 goals against and .889 save percentage. Chicago averages 3.3 goals a game to Edmonton’s 2.91 goals a game, Chicago allows near league high 3.62 goals a game vs Edmonton’s middle of the pack 3.09 goals a game. Very similar teams, they have 2-3 players who do their heavy lifting and that’s it. With Chicago the underdogs here I like it a lot they are coming back to back now, sure but they are a veteran team not their first time and they are not going to drop now four in a row with a loss to Edmonton. Edmonton’s back up in net I’m going Chicago here with the spread or money line honestly.

Other games worth looking at tonight

Washington Capitals (5-3-2) vs Montreal Canadiens (6-3-2)

Montreal are the underdogs at home here tonight given 1.5 to start and +105 not a big underdog and the Capitals are -125 so it is essentially even but with Montreal losing at home to Dallas it would be interesting to see them drop two games in a row at home.

Vegas Golden Knights(5-6-1) vs St. Louis Blues(3-4-3) 

The Golden Knights are given 1.5 goals to start this game and the underdogs, sure both teams have not been great to start the year. But, both very competitive teams looking to get some confidence and this could be a major turn in the right direction for Vegas, I seem to like the under dogs tonight but Vegas to cover a 2 goal spread is appealing to me to say the least. Both Jake Allen and Marc Andre Fleury are to draw in the net tonight. Vegas coming off a 4-1 loss and St. Louis a 7-3 win going to be a good game to gamble on.

Not worth the time games

Flyers vs Kings: Flyers are given 1.5 goals to start only interesting thing here, other than that, too risky but way to inconsistent. But Quick is out for Kings, Flyers have no goaltending either though.

Rangers vs Ducks: To risky both teams are struggling.

Devils vs Red Wings: Devils should win, key word, SHOULD!

Blue Jackets vs Sharks: Both too unpredictable right now and inconsistent.

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