NHL Puck-Line Power Poll as of 3/12/14
- Updated: March 13, 2014
Anyone can easily look up who the best teams are in terms of wins and losses in the NHL, but the really successful NHL betting fans are the ones who analyze every aspect of the game. Today, we’re going to look at the puck-lines for the hottest and the coldest teams in the NHL through games completed on 3/12/14.
1: Columbus Blue Jackets (43-22, +$2,320) – The Blue Jackets have gone 5-1 against the puck-line since we last checked in and moved all the way to the top of the rankings this week. They were part of an unfortunate incident on Monday night when Dallas Stars C Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench and the game was postponed. Columbus rebounded from that horrifying moment to get a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday. The only blemish on its puck-line record was a 6-1 loss to the league’s defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on the road. This team has started to play some solid defense behind G Sergei Bobrovsky who has put up a 1.88 GAA in his L/6 starts and a 5-1 SU record. Bobrovsky recorded his third shutout of the season last Saturday in a 1-0 victory over the Nashville Predators. The offense ranks No. 8 in the league scoring 2.9 goals per game as this team tries to keep up with the New York Rangers in the race for third in the Metropolitan Division. It really is unbelievable how good this team has been against the puck-line of late, with a favorable schedule ahead we highly suggest bettors to ride with the Blue Jackets at every opportunity.
2: Boston Bruins (33-31, +1,751) – The Bruins went 4-2 against the puck-line in the last two weeks putting up multiple goal wins as ‘favorites’ in all of their victories. That of course is very important because the odds go up when bettors can cash on a team winning by multiple goals when they are favored to win. Boston is running away with the Atlantic Division title at 42-17-5 SU on the season. This team has been torching the nets all season scoring 3.2 goals per game as the league’s third ranked offense. Bruins C Patrice Bergeron is having a great year scoring 18 goals and dishing out 25 assists. Bergeron had a goal and two assists on Sunday to help his team beat up on the Florida Panthers with a 5-2 victory on the road. The goaltending of Tuukka Rask has led this team to many multiple goal wins, he recorded his league leading sixth shutout of the season in last Friday’s 3-0 win over the Washington Capitals. Rask’s 2.15 GAA and .926 save percentage is near the top of the league and will help this team go far come playoff time. The Bruins will look to stay hot against some pretty favorable match-ups in their next five games and will make bettors a lot of money if this puck-line streak continues.
3: Tampa Bay Lightning (28-27, +$1,444) – The Lightning have fallen a spot in this week’s standings as they have gone 3-4 against the puck-line since returning from the Olympic break. While that record is respectable it is unacceptable for this team to have gone 1-4-2 SU over that stretch. Part of Tampa Bay’s problem is that it sent leading goal scorer RW Martin St. Louis to the New York Rangers last week. Some adjustments will have to be made for this team to get back on track and it should help that C Steven Stamkos has returned from injury. Lightning G Ben Bishop has slipped since the break he has a 3.00 GAA in his L/6 starts. Bishop still has a great 2.10 GAA on the season, but he was at a 2.00 GAA heading into the break. This team will only go as far as Bishop’s net minding will take them, they will need him to turn his play around quickly or their playoff chances will go down the drain. Tampa Bay doesn’t play any of the league’s top puck-line teams in its next five games and that should help as it tries to get things going back in the right direction. Bettors should tread lightly when the Lightning are favored, but feel comfortable if they are in the ‘underdog’ role.
4: Pittsburgh Penguins (30-35, +$1,414) – The Penguins dropped a spot in the standings this week after putting up a 4-3 record against the puck-line since returning from the Olympic break. They faced the Washington Capitals twice beating them 3-2 on Monday and 2-0 on Tuesday in a home-and-home. Tuesday marked the seventh time in a row that Pittsburgh has beaten Washington. Pens C Sidney Crosby had the puck-line covering goal in Tuesday’s win, it was his 88th point of the season. In the same game G Marc-Andre Fleury put up his fifth shutout, it was also his league leading 34th win of the year. Fleury is having a great year in Pittsburgh he has a 2.26 GAA and a .918 save percentage. This team continues to run away with the Metropolitan Division as it holds a wide lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs. We say this a lot about this veteran group, but if the Penguins can stay healthy there’s most likely no stopping their ability to go far in the playoffs. Bettors should feel comfortable rolling with these guys on the puck-line any night of the week. They score goals, have the league’s best power play, and play solid defense to keep opponents safely in their rearview mirror.
5: Winnipeg Jets (39-27, +$1,055) – The Jets did just enough to stay in the puck-line power poll top five since the Olympic break putting up a 2-4 mark against the puck-line. There’s really not much special about this team that is just 30-28-8 SU this season. They are second to last place in the Central Division standings and have no real shot at making the playoffs, but they remain a strong puck-line team because of their ability to cover at +1.5 on a regular basis. Helping the Jets cause has been the play of G Al Montoya who has a 2.17 GAA and a .926 save percentage on the year. He hasn’t been the regular starter, but Montoya is 4-1 against the puck-line in his L/5 starts. Winnipeg plays offense respectably as it scores 2.7 goals per game as the league’s No. 17 offensive unit. Leading the way for this team has been C Bryan Little whose 52 points is the best on the Jets. Little has scored five points in the six games since the break and must continue to be a strong asset for his team. Winnipeg plays some teams it will be ‘underdogs’ against in the next five games and should be able to make bettors a few bucks with its ability to force overtime.
30: Vancouver Canucks (25-42, -$2,395) – The Canucks have gone 1-6 against the puck-line since the Olympic break to find themselves in our cellar this week. They lost to the New York Islanders 7-4 on Monday night and lost 6-1 to the Dallas Stars last Thursday. Vancouver has made itself easy to dominate of late and is 2-7-1 SU in its L/10 games. This team had its chances to catch up in the Pacific Division, but we feel as if the chance has been blown and this team will be staying in the cellar for good. One good thing we can say about this team is they finally decided to give G Eddie Lack the top spot between the pipes. Lack had been the back-up goaltender, but now he brings his 2.30 GAA to the forefront for the Canucks. He got his third shutout of the season back on February 26th in a 1-0 win over the St. Louis Blues who own one of the league’s top offensive units. Scoring just 2.3 goals per game doesn’t get the job done in the NHL and Vancouver has a tough road ahead that will make things difficult for it to ever find a way out of the cellar.
29: Edmonton Oilers (32-34, -$2,185) – The Oilers are a tough team to figure out as the odds makers continue to make them ‘favorites’ seemingly every night and they fail to cover puck-lines even when they are winning games. Edmonton is 1-5 against the puck-line since the Olympic break even though it is 3-2-1 SU in that stretch. This team is in dead last place in the Pacific Division standings, but the good news is they should find themselves ‘underdogs’ in a few games coming up that could help their puck-line numbers. As one of the worst defensive teams in the league, Edmonton gives up 3.2 goals per game. The good news for the Oilers is they brought in G Ben Scrivens from the Los Angeles Kings and he has gone 5-5 in his L/10 starts with a GAA of 3.00 in those games. Scrivens has immensely helped this team’s defense and figures to be a key piece in the long run in Edmonton. In order for the Oilers to get things going they will need to start putting the puck in the net more often. They score just 2.1 goals per game which ranks them No. 21 in the NHL. Bettors should steer clear of Edmonton unless they are +1.5 because they have not beaten an opponent by multiple goals since a January 29th 3-0 win over the San Jose Sharks.
28: <ahref=”http://www.bangthebook.com/picks/wagertools/teamdetails/league/NHL/TeamId/28/”> Washington Capitals (28-39, -$2,107) – The Capitals have had a rough week as the schedule did them no favors with back-to-back games against the Pittsburgh Penguins in which they suffered close losses. On Monday the Caps managed to cover the puck-line in a 3-2 loss at home while Tuesday saw them shutout in a 2-0 loss in Pittsburgh. This team’s leader RW Alexander Ovechkin has been completely shut down in his L/4 games registering no points. Washington is 3-4-1 SU since the Olympic break and Ovechkin has been silent in that stretch putting up just three goals and three assists. There is solid proof that this offense only goes as Ovechkin makes it go and lately they just haven’t been on the same page. The Caps power play ranks No. 2 in the NHL scoring 23.0 percent of the time on the man advantage, but in recent weeks they have been stymied by opponents’ penalty killing units. In order for this team to get going it will be up to Ovechkin and that power play unit to start scoring goals or the playoff dreams will die in the nation’s capital. The Caps have two home games this week and will hope to get things rolling again on the puck-line against the cellar dwelling Canucks and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
27: Nashville Predators (32-34, -$2,002) – The Predators have gone 3-4 against the puck-line since the Olympic break as they have climbed out of the cellar in this week’s standings. If they can stay close to .500 against the puck-line they will quickly find a way out of the “who’s not” list the next time we check in. Nashville’s offense is about as low scoring as it gets as it scores just 2.4 goals per game. When the offense is led by a defensive player that’s never a good sign and this team is led offensively by D Shea Weber who has 42 points on the year. Weber has 16 goals and 26 assists this season, but he will need a lot of help for this team to start scoring more often. The defense has also been a nightmare as they give up 2.8 goals per game. They have showed some promise during the last two games that were wins over the Buffalo Sabres and the Ottawa Senators. Sitting at the bottom of the Central Division standings at 28-28-10 SU has all but dashed this team’s chances to make the playoffs. The schedule doesn’t look favorable as they face the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues in their next two games.
26: <ahref=”http://www.bangthebook.com/picks/wagertools/teamdetails/league/NHL/TeamId/19/”> Ottawa Senators (29-36, -$1,956) – The Senators hopped up a spot going 2-4 against the puck-line since the Olympic break and have played well in some close losses. They allowed the Predators to cover a puck-line against them on Monday night in a 4-3 overtime loss. Ottawa has a respectable offense ranking 11th in the league as it scores 2.8 goals per game. The safest bet when bettors find themselves dealing with the Senators is to ride the ‘over’ as it has cashed in six of their L/10 games and come close to cashing in two others. We found another offense led by a defensive player as D Erik Karlsson leads this team with 17 goals and 41 assists this season. The Senators really don’t play any defense as they give up 3.2 goals per game ranking them right near the bottom in the league. Their penalty kill has also been awful giving up goals on 20.9 percent of the power plays their penalties create. Ottawa G Craig Anderson has a respectable 21-14-8 record, but his 3.10 GAA is a big problem for this team. The puck-line schedule doesn’t get any easier with games against the Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, and Tampa Bay Lightning coming up, but again don’t forget what we said about the ‘over’.