Well that was a tough one to swallow last night. Our 5 Star pick on the Under between the Avs/Flames fell through late in the third period from an empty net goal in the last minute of play. I thought things were looking good with a 3-1 score mid third period, but things didn’t go our way yet again in this young season. The 1 unit pick on the Canucks/Oilers was a winner to help some of the damage, but overall a bad night.
The good thing is it is very early in the NHL season and I’ve got a lot of hockey to watch to find weak lines and get back into the green. I’ve lost just over 9% of my starting bankroll, so it isn’t the end of the world. I’ve said it before – this is a marathon not a sprint… there is still 6+ months of NHL hockey left.
I’ve got two plays for Thursday locked in…
Los Angeles Kings @ Dallas Stars – UNDER 5 GOALS (-118) **TWO UNIT PLAY SEE BELOW**
(Note: I’m risking 1.18 units to win 1 unit)
**Added 1 Unit** (Note: I’m risking 1.13 units to win 1 unit)
**I hope this doesn’t confuse anyone. I originally put 1 unit on this play early this morning, but have since added another unit to make it a two unit play. The line has changed a bit, so I have two different bets locked in (one at -118 odds and one at -113 odds). Overall I am risking 2.31 units to win 2 units.**
Arguably two of the NHL’s best goalies this season square off tonight, with Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick and Dallas’ Kari Lehtonen. Quick is 5-0-1 with a 0.81 GAA, .972 SV%, and 3 shutouts – amazing numbers for being 6 games into the season. Lehtonen is 7-0-0 with a 1.54 GAA and .955 SV%. Both teams have been good to start the season, but are relying on their defensive play and goalies more than their scoring. The Kings are averaging just 2.2 goals per game, while allowing just 1.50 goals against per game. Dallas is scoring just 2.2 goals per game while allowing 1.89 goals against per game. These two teams met on Saturday night in Los Angeles with the Kings winning 1-0. Note that the UNDER is 21-8-2 in the Kings last 31 road games, 12-3-1 in their last 16 games playing on 1 days rest, and 6-2 in their last 8 games as a road favorite of -110 to -150. The UNDER is also 16-7-2 in the Stars last 25 home games, and 7-0 in their last 7 games as a home underdog. The UNDER is 6-2-1 in their last 9 meetings in Dallas and 4-1-1 in their last 6 meetings overall. With these two goalies so hot right now and neither team doing much offensively I am finding enough value in this play to make it a 2 unit pick.
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Buffalo Sabres – SABRES -1.5 [Puck Line] (+152)
(Note: I’m risking 1 unit to win 1.52 units)
The Blue Jackets got a big win on Tuesday, beating the Red Wings 4-1 in front of their home crowd. Unfortunately for the Blue Jackets we have to note that it was their first win of the season (and the Red Wings had their back up in net). Columbus is just 1-7-1 on the season. The Sabres dropped both games in a home and home with the Tampa Bay Lightning to fall to 5-3 on the season. Despite the recent set back the Sabres have looked like one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams thus far this season. Jhonas Enroth will get the start in goal for the Sabres. He is 1-0 on the season as he got the win in Pittsburgh allowing just 2 goals on 31 shots against. Last season Enroth went 9-2-2 with the Sabres with a 2.73 GAA and .907 SV%. The Blue Jackets are allowing 3.22 goals against per game, and that number jumps up to 4.25 on the road. Also note that the Sabres are averaging 2.9 goals per game on the season and 3 goals per game at home. Buffalo’s third ranked penalty kill at 92% should give Columbus’ power play (converting at 11.1%) some troubles, while Columbus ranks dead last with a 67.7% penalty kill and an even worse 46.7% on the road. Buffalo beat the Blue Jackets in both of their meetings last season, and won by 5 goals in their game in Buffalo. The Sabres have yet to win at home (as their only home win was actually a game played in Europe) and after two straight losses we know this team will come out hard against the Blue Jackets. The Sabres are the far better team, and given that they haven’t won at home and are coming off two straight losses I think they play with an edge tonight and get a big win in front of their home crowd.