The NHL announced this past week that they would be introducing a new puck at the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Similar to what the NHL has attempted to do in the past, the new puck will feature sensitive electronic equipment. The puck will transmit data 60 times per second, and it will include location, speed, acceleration/deceleration, and distance traveled. This information will be displayed on the broadcasts during each playoff game. As you can guess, there has already been plenty of controversy over the announcement, and most of it has to do with the timing.
The final month of the regular season is here, and the playoff race continues to heat up. In the East, the Bruins have taken a commanding nine-point lead thanks to an 8-2 record in their last 10. The Blue Jackets and Islanders continue to hold onto the two wild-card spots thanks to some inconsistent play from the Hurricanes, Rangers, and Panthers.
In the West, the defending champions, the St.Louis Blues, continue to roll. They have won eight in a row, but only sit two points ahead of a streaking Avalanche team. The race for the two wild-card spots in the West is shaping up to be a dandy. As of Thursday night, the Canucks and Jets hold onto the two positions, but the Coyotes, Wild, and Predators are all in the hunt.
- The Washington Capitals have the highest over percentage of any team at 64.1% (41-23-0)
- The Florida Panthers have gone over in 60.3% of their games (37-23-0)
- The Dallas Stars have the highest under percentage of any team at 61.9% (39-24-0)
- The Columbus Blue Jackets have gone under in 59.7% of their games (40-27-0)
- The Boston Bruins are the most profitable team ATS at 62.69% (42-25-0)
Bests Bets of the Weekend
Buffalo Sabres at Philadelphia Flyers (Saturday, 7 PM)
The Flyers have been one of the most profitable teams to bet at home this season. They carry a 24-5-4 home record into a Saturday night matchup with a struggling Sabres team. Currently in the midst of an eight-game win streak, the Flyers are in an excellent position to pass the Capitals for first in the Metro division. This Flyers team plays a physical brand of hockey and is looking like a true Stanley Cup contender.
The Pick: Philadelphia Flyers, Regulation
Columbus Blue Jackets at Edmonton Oilers (Saturday, 10 PM)
Superstars Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid have led the Oilers to a 6-2-2 record in their last ten. These top-two NHL point-getters have helped their team chase down the Golden Knights for first place in the Pacific division. They sit only two points behind Vegas and are in a good spot at home Saturday night against a hurting Blue Jackets roster. The Oilers are 16-10-5 in their own arena, and the place should be buzzing on Saturday night as they attempt to jump into first in their division.
The Pick: Edmonton Oilers, Moneyline
Carolina Hurricanes at New York Islanders (Saturday, 1 PM)
This is a huge game between two division rivals. There are serious playoff implications at stake, and every point is big from here on out. The two teams are separated by only a few points and are competing for a wild-card spot. I expect a very tight, hard-checking game on Saturday afternoon. Scoring chances should be few and far between as both teams buckle down for the playoff run. Last month, they played each other tightly as well, with the Islanders coming out on top in a 2-1 game.
The Pick: Under 6 goals
New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers (Saturday, 7 PM)
Every point is massive right now for the New York Rangers. With only 15 games left on their schedule, the Rangers need to string some wins together if they want to have a chance at winning a wild-card position. They have a couple of games in hand on the Blue Jackets, so the five-point deficit isn’t too big of a gap. I expect the Rangers to come out hard in a favorable matchup against a 26-28-12 Devils team. The Devils really struggle on both sides of the ice, and I expect the Rangers to get the job done at home.
The Pick: New York Rangers, Moneyline