Last Updated: 2019-11-10
Let’s fire up a new week in the NHL. With a lot of basketball going on between college and the NBA, do your best not to forget about the ice. Of course, that’s hard to do with the outstanding work done by Parker Michaels every day at BangTheBook.com, but it is easy for things to get lost in the shuffle at this time of the year.
Using the schedule to your advantage remains a viable strategy in the hockey world. Once again, these are not sole justifications for a play. They are starting points to prefer one team over another and then see if the odds, the handicap, and the projected spots line up properly.
Here are the situational spots to consider for the week ending November 17:
Monday November 11
Arizona Coyotes at Washington Capitals – The Coyotes start a run of 4-in-6 this week, with the first three on the road with Monday’s game against the Capitals. This is a long trip for Arizona with Tuesday’s game against a conference foe in St. Louis. Washington also plays 4-in-6 this week with games against three Eastern Conference opponents after this matchup. This spot isn’t really conducive one way or another, but there are only two games on the card for Monday.
Ottawa Senators at Carolina Hurricanes – This is the other game and it could have more teeth to it. The Senators and Hurricanes just played Saturday in Ottawa. There could be some residual carryover from Saturday’s game. Of course, the Rapid Revenge Theory will also be in play with the home-and-home. Ottawa plays 4-in-6 this week. Carolina does not.
Tuesday November 12
Florida Panthers at Boston Bruins – After completing the NYC double, the Panthers head to Boston to take on the Bruins. This marks four games in six days for Florida. The Bruins have a mild rest advantage. They’ll have a couple days off in the middle of the week as well. The spot does favor Boston, though not enough to really take a strong starting position on them. They are the better team and you’ll have to pay a hefty price to back them anyway.
Arizona Coyotes at St. Louis Blues – This is a hell of a back-to-back. The Coyotes fly all the way to D.C. and then fly halfway back across the country to St. Louis. The Blues, meanwhile, have two days off before this game after finishing up a road trip of their own. A lot of people feel like the Blues have been lucky this season. Maybe you can catch a good price on them in this one. This is a run of 6-in-9 for the Coyotes.
Nashville Predators at Vancouver Canucks – A long road trip ends for the Predators on Tuesday. They’ll have three days off after this game, but Nashville skipped town on November 3. It hasn’t been a particularly busy road trip, but it has been a weird one. The Predators played Detroit on November 4, Colorado on November 7 (and allowed nine goals), then went to San Jose on November 9. This is a weird, disjointed, strange, odd road trip. They have to be happy to see it come to an end. I’d be looking at Vancouver or nothing here.
Minnesota Wild at Los Angeles Kings – Speaking of weird road trips, I present the Minnesota Wild. Playing all three California teams when going west is hardly out of the ordinary. Playing them with a gap in between is. The Wild spent last week on the road with stops in Anaheim, San Jose, and Phoenix. Now they go back to California to play the Kings before heading home. The Kings, meanwhile, are playing their first game back after an East Coast roadie. The spot is bad both ways here and I would stay far away from this game.
Wednesday November 13
Dallas Stars at Calgary Flames – Spots are few and far between on Wednesday. This one is kind of interesting in that it is another one of those disjointed road trips. After opening the road trip Sunday in Winnipeg, the Stars get to sit around Calgary for two days before finally playing the Flames. To make matters worse, this game starts a run of three games in four nights. To make matters doubly worse, Dallas plays a Calgary/Vancouver back-to-back before returning to Alberta to face Edmonton. This could be a good fade spot with the wonky schedule.
Chicago Blackhawks at Vegas Golden Knights – Is Chicago a fade team twice this week? The Blackhawks go to two of the best party cities in the NHL and do so with extra rest in both of them. The Blackhawks have two days off before playing Vegas and then have two more days off before playing Nashville. This would be a good one for the Dads’ Trip, but I don’t see anything about it. Either way, this could be a tricky week for the Blackhawks.
Thursday November 14
Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres – The Sabres spent all of last week in Stockholm for the NHL Global Series. Now they are back on home ice. The league built in four off days for Buffalo coming back from Sweden. The Hurricanes are a way to hit the ground running to say the least. I’m not sure what this spot means for either side, but it is just an interesting footnote that the Sabres are back. This is also the start of 3-in-4, including a bad spot on Sunday.
New York Rangers at Tampa Bay Lightning – The Sabres played the Lightning over in Stockholm and this is Tampa Bay’s first game back as well. This starts the Florida double for the Rangers, who have to be happy to get away from NYC as the weather starts to turn. Once again, I’m not quite sure how to read into this spot, but it exists and it is worth your consideration.
Arizona Coyotes at Minnesota Wild – The Coyotes play a 7-in-11 in this one against Minnesota. The Wild aren’t in a great spot either, as they return home from spending the last week and a half on the road. Still, Arizona’s workload is a lot to overlook in this situation. It may be Minnesota or nothing here, but the price will go a long way in determining that.
Friday November 15
I’m just going to save time and group a lot of these Friday games together. The Blue Jackets are the only team not playing the front end of a back-to-back. Nine of the 10 teams in action on Friday will also play on Saturday, so you have essentially the same type of situational spot in all of these games.
Furthermore, all nine teams do some sort of travel. None of the back-to-backs are consecutive home games. For Boston, Montreal, Philadelphia, and St. Louis, Friday’s game is a standalone road game.
You have situational considerations in all five games, so take a close look and see if you can grab some value.
Saturday November 16
Obviously, there are nine teams playing the second game of a back-to-back on Saturday, so you can consider that in the handicap. The rested teams vs. those nine squads are Anaheim, Buffalo, and the Islanders. All three of those teams are great starting points for Saturday.
Most of the other games feature two teams in a back-to-back.
Let’s make it crazier. The 10 teams that are not in a back-to-back on Saturday all play afternoon games, ranging from 1 p.m. CT and PT to 4 p.m. ET.
Everybody is in some sort of situational spot on Saturday.
Sunday November 17
Buffalo Sabres at Chicago Blackhawks – We only have two games on Sunday and guess what. All four teams are playing back-to-backs. This spot is probably better for Chicago than it is for Buffalo, but the Blackhawks are coming back off of trips to Vegas and Nashville. I know if I did both in a week (which I did once), I’d need some recovery time.
Calgary Flames at Vegas Golden Knights – This is a 4 p.m. PT puck drop in Vegas. Calgary and Vegas both played 1 p.m. PT road games on Saturday, so they have a little extra time to get settled in, but this is a real tricky handicap.
Honestly, this week in the NHL has a lot of situational spots, but not a lot of actionable ones and, in particular, later in the week looks real difficult.
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