It’s a reasonably light Wednesday evening in the NHL, only five games on the docket. However, the biggest storyline going surrounds the Colorado Avalanche and how they’re borderline automatic, particularly at home. They’ve drawn a good challenge on Wednesday, with the Boston Bruins coming into town.
Let’s go through tonight’s games, taking a peek at the NHL betting lines for each:
Anaheim Ducks at Toronto Maple Leafs
The Ducks snapped a four-game skid with a pair of nice wins over the Lightning and Bruins. They’re out to make it three in a row against legitimate playoff contenders as they visit the up-and-down Maple Leafs. Due to some COVID postponements, Toronto hasn’t played a home game in 21 nights. The Leafs are dominant at Scotiabank Arena, with a 14-4-1 record.
If you’re betting online, this might be a spot to consider taking Toronto to win in regulation or on the puck line. The Maple Leafs have starting goalie Jack Campbell back in net. Toronto will be looking forward to playing on home ice after being away a few weeks. The Ducks aren’t a great road team, and could be missing a few key pieces from their lineup.
San Jose Sharks at Washington Capitals
After a promising three-game winning streak, the Sharks have hit an offensive cold spell over the past week or so. They’ve lost four of five, scoring two goals or fewer in each of the losses. Adin Hill-who has essentially taken over No. 1 goaltender duties from veteran James Reimer-has played fine. The issue is that San Jose just can’t find the back of the net themselves, and the news that Erik Karlsson will be out until March due to forearm surgery doesn’t help.
Washington is going through a rough patch of its own, as the Capitals are just 3-5-2 in their last 10 games. As with the Sharks, the problem for the Caps’ lately has been scoring. They’re averaging just 2.4 goals in that 10-game span, with most of those games at home. This game is a great spot for Alexander Ovechkin and Co. to break out of a funk. Washington is above even-money on the puck line, so there’s some value in that prop.
Calgary Flames at Columbus Blue Jackets
The Flames have really cooled off (no pun intended) after getting out to one of the more surprising starts in league. Calgary’s in a playoff spot, but just 2-5-0 in the last seven games and lacking any of consistency over the past few weeks. The Flames come off a thorough 7-1 beatdown of the Blues Monday that after a disappointing loss to the scuffling Oilers.
Calgary looks to maintain the momentum as it starts a quick, two-games-in-two-nights road trip against the Blue Jackets. Columbus is 4-7-0 since the holiday break, looking to be sellers before/at the trade deadline. The Jackets have some nice players, but just can’t put things together as they seem destined for a second consecutive playoff-less season.
Chicago Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings
The BetUS Sportsbook essentially has this game as a pick’em, probably because the Blackhawks have lost four games in a row (7-12-4 on the road), while the Red Wings have lost six of their last eight. Detroit is an impressive 13-6-3 at home, however.
With neither team playing very well right now, this game is sort of hard to predict. Marc-Andre Fleury gets his 10th goaltending start in the Blackhawks’ last 11 games, while Alex Nedeljkovic will likely go for Detroit. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a relatively low-scoring game, given just how much trouble these teams have with their offenses.
Boston Bruins at Colorado Avalanche
Colorado has won seven games in a row and 12 of itz last 13. Night after night, it finds ways to win. usually by blowing the opponents out. Colorado doesn’t lose at home, either, having won 16 consecutive games and possessing a ridiculous 18-2-1 record at Ball Arena.
Boston has split its last four games after a four-game winning streak. Returning goalie Tuukka Rask has been a shaky of late, and the Bruins haven’t received much recently from leading scorer Brad Marchand. With just nine shots on goal in the last five games and without a goal in over a week, he’ll need to contribute if Boston has any chance against Colorado. The Avalanche are interesting puck-line favorites