Connor McDavid invades Southern California, P.K. Subban returns to his former hockey home in Montreal for a Saturday night affair, and the Golden Knights open a seven-game homestand Sunday in Las Vegas. We break down all of the betting angles you’ll need to know for this weekend’s action on the ice with our NHL Cheat Sheet.
The Anaheim Ducks have the unenviable task of trying to slow down defending NHL scoring champion Connor McDavid as the Edmonton Oilers head to Honda Center for a Friday night encounter. McDavid enters the game having recorded seven goals over his previous (two) games, and his scoring exploits have helped the Oilers to a 5-2-1 record over their previous eight games. But if Edmonton is going to do the unlikely and qualify for the Western Conference playoffs, it will need to see dramatic improvement on special teams; the Oilers come into the weekend ranked 29th on the power play and 31st in penalty-killing success rate.
It’s always a memorable occasion whenever P.K. Subban faces his former team, the Montreal Canadiens. But it’s extra special when that reunion takes place at the Bell Centre – and that’s what fans will be treated to this Saturday night as the Habs host Subban’s Nashville Predators. The Canadiens were +175 underdogs in the first meeting between the teams earlier this season at Bridgestone Arena, but couldn’t reward bettors as they dropped a 3-2 shootout decision. Subban recorded in assist in that game, and has two helpers in two career games against the team that drafted him in the second round back in 2007.
Home Sweet Home
The Vegas Golden Knights finally head back to Sin City to end the week as they kick off a seven-game homestand Sunday night against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Golden Knights entered Thursday night’s encounter in San Jose having gone 3-2-0 through the first five games of a six-game trek that included wins against contenders Winnipeg and Washington. Vegas remains the most shocking story in the NHL so far this season, carrying +800 odds on Bet365 to win the Stanley Cup in its first season of existence. And this next stretch of games could improve those odds, with the Golden Knights rocking a 19-3-2 home record.
* Calgary Flames general manager Brian Burke insists he won’t mortgage his team’s future for any rental player ahead of the upcoming trade deadline. The Flames remain a Stanley Cup longshot, installed at +2,800 on Bet365 to win the title.
* New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero is of the same mind as Burke, although he says he’ll make a deal involving lesser prospects for the right kind of player. New Jersey remains in the hunt in the East, and is listed at +2,000 to claim the championship.
* The Ottawa Senators will be without forward Alex Burrows for a while – he has been slapped with a 10-game suspension for kneeing New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall. Burrows has been a non-factor this season with eight points in 51 games.
* Minnesota’s forward depth will be put to the test, with defenseman Jonas Brodin expected to miss up to four weeks as he recovers from hand surgery. Minnesota enters the weekend at +2,500 to win the first Stanley Cup title in franchise history.
* The Montreal Canadiens got some good news this week after defenseman Shea Weber returned to the ice for the first time since suffering a left foot injury back in December. The Canadiens are 6-3-1 SU when Weber records a point this season.
* More bad news for the Senators, as winger Bobby Ryan is listed as week-to-week while recovering from his latest finger injury. Ryan is a four-time 30-goal scorer but has fallen on hard times this season with just seven goals through 39 games.
Stanley Cup Futures
* The Tampa Bay Lightning aren’t exactly playing their best hockey, but they’re still the team to beat in the eyes of oddsmakers. The Lightning have the best odds on Bet365 to win the Stanley Cup, sitting at +575 as of Thursday.
* Winnipeg’s 10-game homestand is going exactly as bettors thought it would; the Jets are 3-0-1 through the first four games, and that surge has propelled them to +1,000 in the Stanley Cup odds race – behind only three other teams.
* The Columbus Blue Jackets are in free-fall – both in the Eastern Conference standings, and in the Stanley Cup futures section. The Blue Jackets have dropped four consecutive games to drop to fifth in the Metropolitan Division, and are +2,800 to win the Cup.
* The Florida Panthers have been a sensational over play in 2018, but they’re starting to lose some steam. After going above the total eight times in a nine-game stretch, they have converted the under in three of their last four.
* You won’t find a stronger under play than the Detroit Red Wings, who have gone below the total in seven of their previous eight games entering Friday’s encounter with the Islanders. Detroit is now 22-30 O/U for the season.
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