NHL Betting Trends Watch
Vegas NHL-Best Road Record Claims Top Of Western Conference
The Golden Knights have been the best surprise in the NHL, continuing to defy expectations by rising to the top of the western conference. A recent match against the Tampa Bay Lightning displayed the considerable ceiling of the first-year franchise.
After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, Vegas evened the score with a pair of power play markers in the second period. The Golden Knights scored early in the third, but Victor Hedman netted an equalizer with under four minutes left. Just when the game was set to go to overtime, rookie defenseman Shea Theodore scored the winner with three seconds left, capping off the most exciting game of the season for the Knights.
Vegas snapped the Tampa Bay Lightning’s seven game win streak in the process, raising their home record to an NHL-best 14-2-1. Last week provided another example of the most surprising NHL betting trend this season: when in Vegas, do not bet against the Golden Knights.
Edmonton Oilers Returning To Full Strength
Oil Nation was ready to blame McDavid and trade half the team away after two months of losing hockey, but Edmonton has managed to return to respectable hockey as the calendar changed to December.
The Oilers enjoy a 5-3 record this month, including four wins of two or more goals. They even managed to pick apart the Blue Jackets in Ohio, whipping Columbus by a 7-2 final score. Perhaps Cam Talbot simply needed a bit of a rest to return to last year’s 42-win, Vezina-worthy season.
A return to health will be the next step forward, as reliable stalwart Andrej Sekera rejoins the lineup from a lengthy rehab due to a torn ACL. This gives Edmonton a chance to rest Oscar Klefbom and reduce the number of minutes for the young defenseman, who’s been struggling through a nagging upper body injury.
Edmonton will need a lengthy win streak to regain their status as favorites in the west. For the first time this season, the Oilers appear positioned to follow through on their promise.
Keep Track Of Canadian Team Injuries
As the mid-way point of the regular season approaches, the first round of wear-and-tear injuries start to take hold of rosters. The longer the season progresses, the greater the likelihood of misfortune. Currently, the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens deal with negative luck in terms of health.
Vancouver’s Bo Horvat has a broken ankle, Sven Baertschi’s out with a cracked jaw, Chris Tanev strained his groin and Brandon Sutter suffers with an upper body injury. Toronto’s missed Austen Matthews for a handful of games due to a mystery upper body problem, while Nikita Zaitsev will miss time with an undisclosed lower body issue. Montreal, who can’t afford another downswing, will miss Shea Weber for their west-coast trip with some type of indefinite foot injury.
The only team which absorbed a serious injury without breaking stride was the Winnipeg Jets, who’ve been without Dustin Byfuglien after he was placed in retroactive IR dating back to December 9th. Certainly, the Jets would prefer to have Big Buff back in the lineup, but Winnipeg should be happy that they’re deep enough to miss one of their biggest contributors without spiraling down the drain.
Winnipeg Wins Statement Game Against St. Louis
Those interested in a great dark horse pick for the Stanley Cup playoffs should begin to consider the Winnipeg Jets as one of the better contenders in the NHL. A recent home-and-home against the St. Louis Blues revealed a powerful lineup able to dictate the pace against one of the strongest clubs in the league.
The Jets poured 48 shots into the Blues crease to begin the home-and-home, and St. Louis was lucky to receive a 48-shot clean sheet on behalf of Carton Hutton, who set a new franchise record for saves in a shutout.
Instead of fretting about a hot goalie, Winnipeg turned around and dominated the Blues in their next game, less than 24 hours later. The result was a 4-0 shutout for the Jets at Bell MTS Place. Two days later, the Jets beat the Nashville Predators in Music City by a score of 6-4, taking out the leader of the western conference. As long as the Jets remain healthy, they should be considered dangerous against any team in the league.
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