FLAMES WON’T MELT THIS AVALANCHE
On Monday,the second-place team in the Western Conference, the Colorado Avalanche, will host the Calgary Flames who will be on the front-end of a back-to-back road trip. The Avs offense is at full strength with its top-line finally back together after nearly a monthapart due to injuries.
The reunion is bad news for the league as Colorado has ripped off six straight wins and have outscored its opponents 26-10 since November 27.
Calgary has been playing good hockey of late, having won its last four, but those wins came against the Sabres (2), Kings and Senators while the Flames are scoring just 2.1 goals over thei last 10.
Avs’ starting goalie Philipp Grubauer is questionable after leaving Saturday’s game, but backup Pavel Francouz is no slouch and has won his last three games, holding opponents to just four goals on 92 shots.
Colorado is 7-1 ATS at home in its last eight wins this year. We are stacking this game and playing the Avalanche 3-way ML (-105) as well as the -1.5 for +170.
WILD FOR THE OVER
Since starting goalie Devan Dubnyk went down with an injury on November 17, the Minnesota Wild have allowed the third-most goals in the league. Minny is 3-0-2 O/U in its last five thanks to scoring three or more goals in each of its home games where they average 3.8 goals a game.
The Anaheim Ducks will travel to Minnesota on Tuesday for the second game of a two-game road trip before heading back to California. The Ducks have been playing some loose hockey on the road this year as they are 6-2 O/U in their last eight road games as their penalty kill is getting scored on nearly 40 percent of the time since mid-November — the worst-mark in the league.
We expect the Wild to start backup Kappo Kahkonen who is only 23 and has played just two games in the league. The rookie is due for a poor performance after two solid starts to begin his career and teams having more tape on him. Take the Over 6 and we will pound it if it opens at 5.5.
DETROIT SAD WINGS
The Winnipeg Jets will welcome the Detroit Red Wings to the Bell MTS Place (terrible name) with open arms on Tuesday as the Wings are riding a laughable 11-game losing streak. Over this shameful streak that began on November 14, Detroit’s opponents are scoring an average of 4.4 goals a game and have scored four or more in nine of the 11 games.
Things won’t get better for Detroit as they could be without their leading scorer in Tyler Bertuzzi who is playing close to 20 minutes a game but left Saturday’s game with an injury.
We are taking the Jets -1.5 as Detroit is 0-7 ATS in its last seven.
POOR PLAY POWERS OVER
On Wednesday, we turn our attention to two Eastern Conference teams who sit 13th and 14th in points over their last 10 games. The Montreal Canadiens have recently brought up rookie goalie Cayden Primeau after waiving backup Keith Kinklaid.
The move is an effort to spark something from the club as the Canadiens sit on the outskirts of a playoff spot and are tied for the league lead in goals allowed over their last 10. Although the Habs are just 1-4 O/U in their last five games as of Monday, they are 4-1-1 O/U in their previous six contests at home.
The Ottawa Senators have rewarded Over backers when they travel as the 14th-place Sens are 4-1 O/U in their last five road contests. This will also be their seventh road game in an eight-game stretch.
Making matters worse for Ottawa is the fact that its starting goalie Craig Andersen, who just returned from injury, was lifted from Saturday’s game against Philadelphia with another injury and his status is up in the air. We are banging the Over 6.5 on this Canadian hump day contest.
GOALIE PROFILE: Tristan Jarry, PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
Tristan Jarry has stopped all 61 shots he has faced over his last two starts and hasn’t allowed a goal in nearly 140 minutes of action. The Pens have also won five of his last six starts as the 24-year-old netminder is becoming one of a handful of bright young goaltenders in the league. Incredibly, Jarry has allowed more than two goals in just two of his 11 games this year and sits first in goals against (1.81) and save percentage (.943).
The Montreal Canadiens will try their best to solve Jarry on Tuesday and will probably have to do so at even strength. Montreal’s power play is in the bottom-10 over the last three weeks at 15 percent which is slightly better than its 28th-ranked penalty kill.
We are riding the hottest goalie in the league and will take the Pens 3-way ML on Tuesday night.
INJURY UPDATE: F Patrice Bergeron, BOSTON BRUINS
The best could get better this week as the No. 1 team in the East, the Boston Bruins, may get the services of their top center in Patrice Bergeron. The two-way pivot has been out since Nov 26 and could suit up Monday versus the Ottawa Senators or Wednesday against the Washington Capitals. The Bruins went 5-2 SU without the centerman but have dropped their last two games and now head out on a four-game road trip along the East coast.
Getting Bergeron back will help in shaping out all four lines and especially the team’s power play. The Bruins’ PP scored at 17 percent without Bergeron but was the best in the league at 32 percent with him on the ice. Look for the Bruins to top their team total of 3.5 on Monday and Wednesday if Bergeron does rejoin the team.
HAT TRICK TRENDS
• Through 14 home games, the Washington Capitals have been an Over machine going 11-2-1 O/U at Capital One Arena this year. On Monday, the Metropolitan’s best will entertain the Columbus Blue Jackets with the Over set at 6. The Caps are 8-2-1 O/U on totals of six and the Blue Jackets are 7-7-1 on totals of six.
• The L.A. Kings are surprisingly the only team in the league hitting first-period Overs at 80 percent in their last 10. The Kings will host the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. New York is 8-4 O/U on the road in first-period totals and is 6-4 O/U in its last 10.
• Away favorites went a cool 6-7 ATS last week which hasn’t happened often this year as away favorites are 34-76 (31%) over the course of the season. Away teams hit at over 57 percent in the last seven days going 26-19 which is almost bang on to their season mark of 56.59 percent. On Monday, the Boston Bruins are the only away favorite with their Puck Line (-1.5) at +135.