There are only four games on the NHL docket on post-Super Bowl Monday and a bunch of the league’s top teams are in action in games they really want to have. The Minnesota Wild, fresh off a big win over the Carolina Hurricanes, host the upstart Detroit Red Wings while the scuffling Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Seattle Kraken with a chance to get back on track. Plus, the always-interesting Edmonton Oilers have a key Pacific Division matchup with the San Jose Sharks.
Let’s preview each game with an eye to the NHL betting lines:
Detroit Red Wings vs. Minnesota Wild
Minnesota is red hot right now, having won seven of nine and 10 of 12 overall. The Wild are dominating teams on both ends of the ice, with relentless offensive pressure and high-level finishing ability on one end and solid goaltending from both Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen on the other.
Detroit has won two in a row and three of four but the last two wins were against the lowly Philadelphia Flyers. The Red Wings have been really bad against contending teams. In the last 2½ months, Detroit has only beaten one team currently in a playoff spot — the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Wild have proven that they’re one of the best teams in the NHL so this is going to be a tough one for the Red Wings to steal.
Minnesota is a huge home favorite. There’s a little value on the Wild on the puckline, which might be the smart move if you’re betting online. The under (six goals) is also worth considering as four of Minnesota’s last five games have gone under.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Winnipeg Jets
The Winnipeg Jets have a good chance tonight to build off the momentum of a big weekend road win over the Nashville Predators as they host the Chicago Blackhawks, who have lost four of their last five games and are going through a rough offensive slump. Chicago has scored one goal or fewer in three of four and is reeling from a particularly listless 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.
Winnipeg is still on the outside looking in of the Western Conference playoff picture right now, but the Jets have some games in hand and have recovered a bit from a brutal six-game losing streak in January. They’ve also taken down the Predators, Blues and Wild in the last few weeks, which is a sign that Winnipeg is playing much better hockey. The next step is for the Jets to bring that necessary level of intensity toevery game, regardless of who they’re playing.
As expected, Winnipeg is a sizable home favorite. The over (5½ goals) is a little low, which presents a great betting opportunity.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Seattle Kraken
The Toronto Maple Leafs look to avoid a winless three-game Western Conference road trip as they visit the Seattle Kraken, who have actually played much better the last few weeks but still aren’t great on either end of the ice.
Toronto will likely barrage Philipp Grubauer (or Chris Driedger) with a ton of shots, as the Maple Leafs have had 101 shots in goal in the first two losses of this road trip. Considering how the Kraken have the lowest save percentage in the NHL, odds are that Toronto will find the back of the net a bunch of times.
As expected, the Maple Leafs are big road favorites on the BetUS sportsbook. This is a good spot to take Toronto on the puckline and to take the over (six goals) with how bad of a matchup it is for Seattle — and with the Maple Leafs coming off back-to-back losses.
Edmonton Oilers vs San Jose Sharks
The up-and-down Edmonton Oilers season is currently on an upswing as they beat the New York Islanders 3-1 on Friday in their first game after head coach Dave Tippett was fired. Edmonton has still lost three of its last five games and is in a precarious playoff situation, but gets to play a reeling San Jose Sharks team that has lost three in a row (and five of six) and is still without star defenseman Erik Karlsson.
San Jose had been sticking around the playoff picture when Karlsson went down in late January and it has been rough sledding since. Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier and Logan Couture have been helping the Sharks stay afloat, but it’s tough for such a top-heavy team to provide enough offensive juice every night.
The Oilers are solidly favored on the road. Edmonton is an inconsistent team so it’s tough to know what kind of performance the Oilers will bring to the table every night. However, the Oilers looked pretty good under interim coach Jay Woodcroft in his debut on the bench so maybe Edmonton goes on a run now with Tippett out of the picture.