Well, there isn’t much to say about this week in the NHL. The All-Star Break begins on Thursday and 17 teams don’t play at all. The NHL has added some days off before and after the break for teams to have a “bye” week, so there are 17 teams that finished up over the weekend and they will get some well-deserved R&R.
Of course, 17 teams not in action means that we do have 14 teams that are playing games and some of them have some tough spots this week and some tough spots coming out of last week. We’ve only got three days worth of games to look at, but that is more than enough to have some situations worth evaluating.
Here are the NHL situational spots to consider for the week ending January 26:
Monday January 20
Detroit Red Wings at Colorado Avalanche – We’ve got two games on Monday and really only one good situational spot. The Red Wings play a third game in four nights as they head to Denver to take on the Avalanche. It goes without saying that this is an altitude game. It is not the last game for the Red Wings, but it is for the Avs. Colorado won’t want a loss to the worst team in the NHL to fester for over a week, so they’re very likely to hold serve here as a massive favorite. You can either lay it straight or find a parlay piece to go with it.
Tuesday January 21
Florida Panthers at Chicago Blackhawks – I generally try to go chronologically as often as I can, but this spot is the most obvious on Tuesday because it is a B2B with travel for the Panthers. Florida is in Minnesota in Monday’s other game. This is a 4-in-6 for Florida and a 3-in-4 in some cold-weather cities, which is never any fun. This is a 5-in-8 for the Blackhawks off of a couple of back-to-backs last week, but the spot still favors them in my opinion.
Vegas Golden Knights at Boston Bruins – This is a toughie for me. The Golden Knights are finishing up a long road trip in which their coach got fired. It might be good for the team to step away a little bit and do some reevaluation. The Bruins are playing a 4-in-6 here, while the Knights have had a fairly decent itinerary for an east coast road trip. I’m not sure how to handle this one, but the Knights might not be too upset to get this one over with and go back home.
New York Islanders at New York Rangers – The Islanders played five games in seven days last week, so this is a 6-in-9 for them and that is anything but nice. The Rangers and Islanders are actually playing for the third time in a week and a half, which is kind of strange. Also strange is that the Islanders lost both of those meetings. I can’t see them losing a third straight, despite the tough spot here.
Wednesday January 22
Winnipeg Jets at Columbus Blue Jackets – The Blue Jackets have played extremely well with Elvis Merzlikins in net. I would expect Columbus to be fully focused to go into the break and the bye on a high note. The Jets are in a tough spot here with a B2B with travel coming in from Raleigh after playing a solid Hurricanes squad. The Jets have actually been one of the league’s better road teams this season, but this strikes me as a very challenging spot, particularly with some days off ahead.
Detroit Red Wings at Minnesota Wild – Winning the last game before the break doesn’t mean much to a Red Wings team that will be the frontrunner for Alexis Lafreniere in the NHL Draft Lottery. Minnesota has been in last place for a bit in the Central Division, but the Wild are not that far away from playoff contention and only have to look to division rival St. Louis for some inspiration based on what the Blues did last season. I think both home favorites hold serve here and could be a nice, little money line parlay piece.
Keep an eye out for these NHL situational spots every week at BangTheBook.com!