Skip to content

NHL Highs & Lows: On the Comeback

Several Teams Flip the Script and Make a Run

The NHL is a season of streaks, either good or bad. A team that goes 3-0 one week can easily go 0-3 the following week. That’s best exemplified by several of the teams on our new “NHL Highs & Lows”. A few Stanley Cup Contenders are where most NHL predictions have them.

The Tampa Bay Lightning returns to the Top Five after a string of terrible weeks. Obviously, talks of their demise were greatly exaggerated. It’s why their Stanley Cup odds never shifted from 14-1. And on the flip side, the “Bottom Five” consists of the obvious “contenders.”

Erik Karlsson #65 of the San Jose Sharks
Erik Karlsson #65 of the San Jose Sharks - Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/afp

Top Five

1. Oilers

The Oilers not only went 4-0 for the week but they also scored the most goals thanks to a whopping 50 percent success rate on the power play. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl continue to tear up the league but lost in their enormous shadows is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The former first overall pick had five points in Edmonton’s 7-4 win over Vegas and is just three points away from hitting 100.

If the prospect of the Oilers having three 100-point scorers is not terrifying enough, both of their goaltenders posted shutouts. If Edmonton can maintain this level of play in the postseason, bet online on this team to win it all.

  • Championship odds: +1100

2. Lightning

Now, this is more like the Tampa Bay everyone knows about. The Lightning are finally on the positive side of NHL news thanks to a week where they allowed just one goal. And these are not scrubs that Tampa Bay is shutting out. How about Carolina and the New York Islanders? These are two playoff teams with Carolina being a Stanley Cup contender.

Andrei Vasilevskiy was in last week’s “Hot” list and has a ridiculous 97.8 save percent (SV%) in his last four starts. He’s allowed just three goals on 134 shots. The Maple Leafs, who Tampa Bay faces in Round 1 again, have a reason to be alarmed.

  • Championship odds: +1400

3. Sharks

Once in a blue moon, the Sharks will put on a fantastic stretch of hockey. San Jose blanked Winnipeg and followed it up with an upset over Vegas. A 7-2 dismantling of Arizona at pick’em odds put a punctuation mark on what was San Jose’s first three-game winning streak since Nov. 15.

Don’t get carried away with San Jose. This is still a terrible team despite defenseman Erik Karlsson’s historic season (could be the first to hit 100 points in over 30 years). The Sharks face Colorado next in what will either be the end of their streak or a big upset (+175).

  • Championship odds: OTB

4. Sabres

Don’t count out Buffalo just yet. Fighting for their fading playoff hopes (+600 to make it), the Sabres collected nine points in their last five games. And you can’t discount the teams that Buffalo has beaten: both New York teams and New Jersey.

Tage Thompson and Rasmus Dahlin are still not producing at the prolific levels from earlier in the season, which makes Buffalo’s recent success more refreshing. Eric Comrie redeemed himself in net and posted a shutout and Devon Levi made quite the NHL debut against the Rangers.

  • Championship odds: +20000

5. Panthers

Speaking of fringe playoff teams, Florida increased its NHL odds immensely by winning its last three games, including a 3-2 overtime victory over Toronto. Florida is now at 50/50 odds (-115) to clinch that final wild card spot thanks to a loss from Pittsburgh.

Florida’s offense is clicking at the right time as the team is behind only Edmonton with 4.3 goals scored per game in the past three weeks. If one of their goaltenders can level up their play, namely Sergei Bobrovsky, the Panthers may just edge Pittsburgh for that playoff spot.

  • Championship odds: +5000


Bottom Five

28. Capitals

While Buffalo and Florida are still alive in the playoff race, Washington is this close to being eliminated. The Capitals went 0-2-1 this past week and will need to win its final five games while both Pittsburgh and Florida go on losing streaks. Washington’s Saturday game against Florida could be a do-or-die for either team. But with the way it’s looking, this will be the first time the Capitals miss the postseason since the 2013-14 season.

  • Championship odds: +25000

29. Blue Jackets

Columbus eliminated Ottawa from playoff contention with a 4-3 win in overtime. But that does not hide the fact that this team gave up seven, six and eight goals in three of their last four losses. The Blue Jackets continue to be a good team to make NHL picks against as they lose four or five games for every one they win.

  • Championship odds: OTB

30. Blackhawks

The Blackhawks solidified their odds in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes by losing their eighth straight game against the Devils. Chicago faced mostly playoff teams but it also found ways to let St. Louis and Vancouver win. The team now heads on a three-game road trip out West so by this time next week, Chicago could be No. 32 in these rankings with an 11-game losing streak.

  • Championship odds: OTB

31. Coyotes

The Coyotes won’t be outdone by Chicago in these “tank wars.” Arizona lost its seventh straight game against San Jose. Clayton Keller saw his 14-game point streak snapped. But even if he’s still scoring at better than a point-per-game pace, the team’s porous netminding will sink its chances of winning.

  • Championship odds: OTB

32. Ducks

The Ducks are not too far behind Chicago and they are trying desperately to be as bad as possible. Anaheim has lost eight straight, and this past week, the Ducks gave up the most goals (20) and the most shots on goal (42.3). John Gibson continues the Sisyphean duty of tending the net as Anaheim’s sportsbook lines continue to lengthen.

  • Championship odds: OTB

Did you find this article interesting?

Comments (0)

Featured NHL Picks
Related News