Welcome back to HNIC Coast To Coast! Every Friday, Canada Sports Betting looks at the National Hockey League matchups featuring Canadian teams, particularly the ones that headline Hockey Night in Canada. This week, all of the country’s teams are playing on Saturday, allowing for an action-packed day of puck. Let’s dive in!
7:00 p.m. ET HNIC Matchup: Montreal Canadiens @ Pittsburgh Penguins
On a night when the loudest ovation in their own building went to the opposing coach, the Habs managed to hold onto their endless balancing act of not pulling too far away in either direction. With the potential drop to three-under for the first time on the line against the Islanders, Montreal stormed out of the gate with three first-period goals, just enough to withstand the Long Island storm before Sean Monahan added the game-winner with two and a half minutes to go.
The biggest story of this game, however remains an ugly high hit from Brendan Gallagher on Adam Pelech, which we still await details on in terms of supplementary discipline. Until then, the Canadiens can only focus on the Penguins team in front of them on Saturday. Pittsburgh continues to wobble along its boom-or-bust year, dropping two games over the past week to Vegas and Arizona, the latter of which featured an incredible Evgeni Malkin own goal. They should be hungry to re-prove themselves, though Montreal always finds ways to make Saturday nights interesting.
Bet on Canadiens vs. Penguins
10:00 p.m. ET HNIC Headliner: Chicago Blackhawks @ Calgary Flames
On the surface, this should be an easy win for the Flames, but looks may be deceiving.
For one, Calgary has had a rough week and change, dropping four in a row to Toronto, Edmonton, St. Louis, and Columbus, all in regulation. Secondly, as depleted as the Hawks roster is right now, they’ve found ways to stay in the mix of games. While they couldn’t get goals of their own in either game, they were able to limit Vancouver and Edmonton to two non-empty net goals this week.
Knowing the Hawks typically struggle to string together offence, getting a few in early would be huge. Calgary will look to the likes of Yegor Sharangovich (8 goals in his last 10 GP), Nazem Kadri (5), and Blake Coleman (5) to set the tone.
Bet on Blackhawks vs. Oilers
Other Canadian NHL Games On Saturday
There are four other games in Canadian NHL action on Saturday:
Nashville Predators @ Edmonton Oilers, 4:00 p.m. ET – There would likely be more fanfare about this game if it were on the primetime or late-night slot, given what’s at stake. The Oilers are chasing the longest win streak in NHL history right now, having 15 consecutive W’s notched onto their belt since December 21st. It’s been nothing short of a magical run, with the team not conceding more than two goals since Game 3 of the streak. A win in this game would move them into a tie for second, giving them a week and a half of nerves before they aim for history. Not bad for a team that almost played itself out of the playoffs before American Thanksgiving!
New York Rangers @ Ottawa Senators, 7:00 p.m. ET – The Senators have struggled over the past two months, but seem to be turning a slight bit of a corner lately. Since January 18th, they’ve gone 3-0-2 and outscored their opponents 18-8, including a 5-3 win against Philadelphia and tight overtime losses to Winnipeg and Boston. The Rangers are among the league’s best, but lost to San Jose earlier this week and have to take on Vegas tonight before making the trip to Ottawa. This could have some upset potential.
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Winnipeg Jets, 7:00 p.m. ET – For many, this will be the big game of the weekend, given the grudge match situation, the strength of the Jets, the attention-sucking of the Leafs, and the fact that it’s the only double-Canada matchup on the day. We’ll be focusing on it too, and we’ll have a separate preview available for you on Saturday morning.
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Vancouver Canucks, 7:00 p.m. ET – The Pius Suter show was on full, unexpected display on Wednesday, as the Canucks’ core saw their sticks dry up but kept their point streak alive thanks to an unlikely hero. St. Louis carried a 2-0 lead into the third period, but Suter’s 10th, 11th, and 12th goals of the year ultimately pulled Vancouver back in, before losing in overtime. The Canucks are 8-0-2 in their last ten and hope to take advantage of a Columbus team that continues to struggle. The one concern? The Blue Jackets were the other team to pull an overtime point away from Vancouver on this run.
|New York Rangers
|Toronto Maple Leafs
|Columbus Blue Jackets
Sunday Canadian NHL Action
There are no Sunday games featuring Canadian NHL teams. Sorry! You can either check with Jake’s Takes for some NFL Conference Championship action to get you through the weekend, or there are two games in the NHL schedule that you can take as substitutes. Hey, Seattle is almost in Canada, right?