Is Thursday's Schedule Loaded With Winnable Games For Canadian NHL Teams?
Toronto Laying Heavy Chalk With Islanders In Town
Toronto comes into Thursday's action listed as -200 home favorites against the Islanders and we might see the red light get lit early and often in this one. The Islanders and Leafs are ranked 4th and 6th in goals scored per game respectively, as NHL bettors know New York has been one of the best 'over' bets all year long. The combination of being able to score plenty and give up plenty of goals has defined the Islanders season and it's a big reason why New York finds themselves currently on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Toronto sits in 6th in that regard, well ahead of NYI, but even though the Leafs have won six of seven with the only loss coming against the defending champs, I'm not entirely sure they deserve to be laying this much juice here. Toronto has a big game with Boston on deck, and Toronto has a 3-2 SU record this year when coming off a shutout win. With goals from both sides likely to come early and often, the Islanders are more of a live underdog than many would want to believe. I think it's got to be a play on the 'over' or nothing in this game.
Calgary Out On The Road In Arizona
The Calgary Flames are the lone Canadian team playing a road game on Thursday night as they are in the desert to take on the Coyotes. With three losses in their last four games overall, the Flames are looking to get back on track against Arizona but it might not be that easy. The Coyotes enter on four-game winning streak where they've outscored the opposition 14-4 and are seemingly playing their best hockey at the moment.
What makes matters worse for the Flames is the fact that this is the latter half of a back-to-back for Calgary after playing in Vegas on Wednesday. Depending on how the Flames do in that spot as +150 underdogs, we should see this opening line for their game agaisnt Arizona be adjusted accordingly. Regardless, if the Flames do end up beating the Golden Knights on Wednesday, I'd look to actually fade them against the Coyotes 100%. Should the Flames lose on Wednesday, the fade still might be in order on Thursday depending on the price, so keep that in mind when you do decide to break this game down.
How Will Edmonton Deal With Tank Mode This Time?
I'd never thought I'd be advocating for any NHL team with the reigning MVP, Art Ross winner, and current/future face of the entire league to go into tank mode but that's precisely what we've got with the Edmonton Oilers this year. Connor McDavid is only one man and while he's on pace for another all-world season productivity-wise, he's getting next to nothing in terms of help as the Oilers are going to miss the playoffs. There will be wholesale changes coming in the next few days for Edmonton and it will be interesting to see the moves they make.
Edmonton hosts Colorado on Thursday night as slight -125 home favorites, and there is little chance I want a piece of the Oilers right now. There is a chance that after the trade deadline comes and goes and Edmonton has a few new faces in there who know their job is to build chemstry, trust etc around McDavid heading into next year that Edmonton will be a solid team to bet on, but until that day comes early next week it's fade Edmonton or nothing for Oilers games over the next few games.
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