Busy Weekend Ahead For Canadian NHL Teams Not Named Edmonton
Back-To-Back Afternoon Matinees For Ottawa And Montreal
With it being Super Bowl Sunday this week and no other professional sports league wanting to compete with that juggernaut for viewership, we get a few matinee games to bet that day. Ottawa is in Montreal on Sunday afternoon for an all-Canadian matchup of disappointing teams this year, but it's also the latter half of two games in two days for both as they each hit the ice on Saturday afternoon as well. Montreal at least gets the better deal of the two with them being at home both days, and that's something to keep in mind when Sunday's contest rolls around.
Neither of these squads are likely playoff bound this year which may be tough for some in those fanbases to hear, but that doesn't mean Sunday's game between the two won't be without hostility and rivalry. Yet, it's impossible to make a prediction ahead of time for this contest because of many factors, most importantly the notion of possibly seeing a battle of backup goalies in net with both starters potentially hitting the ice on Saturday. So make sure you keep an eye on who gets the nod between the pipes on both days, but with afternoon games out of the norm for professional hockey players, all things being equal, 'under' the total is the first place I'd look for either game.
Toronto Is In Boston For A Huge Game With The Bruins
The Leafs and Bruins haven't met since they played a home-and-home in early November, a two-day period that saw Toronto sweep both meetings. Now we've got that same Leafs team on a four-game winning streak, the last two by shutout, going into Beantown to take on a Bruins team they are neck-and-neck with in the standings. With the NHL All-Star game come and gone, it's games like this where the two points in the standings loom large.
Toronto has opened up as a slight underdog for this game (+100 to +110 range), but after consecutive games of shutting out their foes, the side is not somewhere I'd look here. Having a spot where a team is off two straight shutout wins it's the total I prefer to look at and it's always going to be a play on the 'over' in that spot. It is so hard to hold opponents down off the scoresheet in this league, and after consecutive games of doing so, said team is overdue for allowing multiple tallies. With it being the Leafs in this case - a team that is defensively challenged at times this year - the situation for an 'over' play looks even better.
Will Calgary Halt This Losing Streak?
The Calgary Flames have lost six in a row entering their home game with Chicago on Saturday night and would love desperately to get a W. Thankfully for them this Blackhawks team is not the dominant force they've been over the past decade and beating up on this current last place team may be exactly what the Flames need right now. Most of these six straight losses have come against tough opponents and not all has been lost in the standings with four of them coming in extra time or via the shootout.
But before I decide to lay any sort of chalk with Calgary, I've got to see better play from them in their own end of the rink. They've allowed 4 or more goals in each of their last three losses, and until they get things tightened up there, chances are I'll be on the sidelines for Flames games in the foreseeable future.
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