Weekend Of Change Coming For Canadian NHL Teams
Afternoon Matinee Home Games For Ottawa And Calgary On Saturday
The Ottawa Senators kick off a large Saturday card with a 2:00 pm home game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Philly has already made a significant trade in getting goalie Petr Mrazek from Detroit and he looked stellar for them in his first start - a 2-1 Philly win over Columbus. The Flyers enter this matinee affair as slight road favourites, and considering Ottawa has lost three in a row and may be shipping out some huge names before/after this contest, that small chalk of -130ish on Phildelphia probably should be considered a bargain.
Calgary follows the board with a 4:00 pm EST home game themselves, hosting a Colorado team that the Flames are trying to stay ahead of in the standings. Calgary sits in 10th spot in the West, two points ahead of 11th place Colorado, and just three points behind 4th place San Jose. That's quite a bunched up group of teams and as home favourites here, the Flames have to make sure they find a way to get the job done. It's the first of two meetings with the Avalanche over Calgary's next three games, so look for Calgary to try and jump out to an early lead and force Colorado to play catch-up the entire way.
Toronto Hosts Boston In a Huge Matchup
Arguably the biggest game on the board Saturday night is the Boston/Toronto game in Toronto as both teams are doing what they can to sit 3rd in the East. Boston currently has a one-point advantage over Toronto in that regard (Boston does have five games in hand though), meaning this one is absolutely critical to Toronto to have success. The Leafs are 2-1 SU against the Bruins already this year, but Boston blew them out in the most recent meeting (4-1) and would love to knot the season series at two a piece after Saturday.
Both teams enter the game playing some phenomenal hockey at the moment as Boston is 8-2 SU in their last 10 overall, while the Leafs have an identical 8-2 SU record over their last 10 games. Both sides are coming off impressive comeback wins in their last outing, so look for this game to be tight throughout. With playoff implications on the line between two rivals at the top of their game, I'd look for this game to stay 'under' the total when the odds come out, and possibly side with the underdog (no matter who it is) depending on the price.
Edmonton's Self Pity Tour Is Back In California Again
At the beginning of the month (Feb 7-10), the Edmonton Oilers embarked on a three-game trip through California agaisnt the Kings, Ducks, and Sharks that did not go well. Edmonton went 0-3 SU in those games, getting outscored 14-8 in the process as that stretch basically was the final nail in the coffin for Edmonton's season. Saturday marks the start of an identical road trip for the Oilers as they play three games in four nights againt the Kings, Ducks, and Sharks again. If you ever want to physically see a team's mental will get broken, tune into Oilers games over this stretch and chances are it will come to fruition.
Edmonton is listed as a +135 underdog for Saturday's night cap in LA, a price 20 cents higher than when they were here on February 7th. That turned out ot be a 5-2 win by the Kings and while the seven total goals might not be reached again, the final result of a Kings victory isn't likely to change. Edmonton just hasn't had anything go their way this year and the disappointment is completely evident on their faces. I'd only look to fade this team until the trade deadline passes when new faces begin building to rebound next year.
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