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The NHL is back on the ice tonight after nearly a week off for the 2024 NHL All-Star Break. Tonight will feature two double-headers that possess serious value in the sports betting industry. One of these games has the potential to be a Stanley Cup Final preview. These games will be fun to watch, but the opportunity to win some earnings through DraftKings will be even better.
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Time: 7:00 PM E.T. - Monday
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Among the first of the double-headers that have slightly less value in the sports betting industry is the Eastern Conference matchup between the New York Islanders (20-17-12) going on the road to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs (25-14-8). This is the third matchup this season between the Islanders and the Maple Leafs as the two previous results remarkably ended in a 4-3 overtime for the Maple Leafs.
Toronto ended their pre-NHL All-Star break winning four of the last five games, including a home-and-home series with the best team in the Western Conference in the Winnipeg Jets. Their defense, which has given an average of 3.17 goals allowed per game (21st in the league), has only given up three goals in the last three games. Meanwhile, their offense is ranked eighth in the league in goals per game (3.45) thanks to the stellar play of center Auston Matthews and forward William Nylander.
The Islanders, on the other hand, started the season as a serious contender in a loaded Eastern Conference. Through the course of the new year, the Islanders started slipping significantly. After the 5-1 home win over the Washington Wizards on December 29, the Islanders would only win three of their next 14 games. They are ranked 24th in the league in goals per game (2.9) and goals allowed per game (3.33).
They are a team that needed the All-Star Break to fix key issues on their team. It is unknown if the defensive efficiency of the Maple Leafs will remain after the series wins over the Jets, but they are feeling great about their chances for the Stanley Cup this season.
Time: 7:00 PM E.T. - Monday
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The second doubleheader of the night might only be the most enjoyable game to watch, but it possesses great betting value. The cross-conference matchup between the Colorado Avalanche (32-14-3) at the New York Rangers (30-16-3) has the potential to be a Stanley Cup Finals preview this postseason. This game tonight will be the first matchup this season between these two elite teams.
The Avalanche are coming into this game with the most explosive offenses in the league after the All-Star break. Colorado is averaging 3.84 goals per game, the most in the league. Among the biggest reasons is the stellar player of potentially the best player in the league in center Nathan MacKinnon. In 49 games this season, MacKinnon has accumulated 84 points with 31 being goals and 53 being assists. The Avalanche also have three more elite players in forward Mikko Rantanen (66 points), defender Cale Makar (58 points), and forward Valeri Nichushkin (42 points) to rely on.
The Rangers’ defense is more than efficient enough to slow down the production of the Avalanche. The Rangers allow an average of 2.86 goals per game (ninth in the league). In the 14 games played in January, the Rangers have given up an average of 3.4 goals per game.
This game could be potentially a high-scoring game as the Avalanche possess an elite offense, but an inconsistent defense, while the Rangers possess a great functioning offense, but are also currently vulnerable on defense.
Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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