Philadelphia got out to a surprisingly decent start in its first season under John Tortorella. But injuries and regression have set in and they have come crashing back down to earth. While they managed to snap their 10-game losing streak on Tuesday in an ugly game with the Islanders, I expect them to start a new losing streak today.
Tampa Bay is flying under the radar a little bit, but still hold third place in the Atlantic Division and are above average at controlling play. Nikita Kucherov is looking like a Hart Trophy candidate again with 35 points in the first 22 games, third most in the league.
The Lightning are still one of the most talented teams in the league and when Philadelphia has lost, it hasn’t looked all that competitive. During their 10-game losing streak, the Flyers lost seven of the games by at least two goals. Back the Bolts to blow them out here.
At 12-6-5, the Carolina Hurricanes hold the third spot in the Metro division, but that record is honestly a bit disappointing for how good this team is. Despite being just 4-2-4 in the last 10 games, they’re still one of the best teams in the NHL.
Carolina has totally controlled play in their games. They have a corsi rate of 70%, the best in the league by a wide margin. Their xGF% at even strength is second in the league.
The Hurricanes are light years better than the Blues defensively. They have allowed the fewest shots on goal per game, and St. Louis has struggled on the backend. Carolina has just been snake-bitten on offense. They rank just 28th in the league in goals per game, despite ranking third in shots per game. Carolina is going to start getting the puck across the line soon and this is a good matchup to do it in.
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Washington has been off to a very disappointing start, at just 10-11-3 and on the outside looking in at the playoffs. Seattle has started off red hot, with a 14-5-3 record and winners of six straight games. But I think we are about to see Washington heat up, and Seattle cool off a tad.
While the Kraken are still very good offensively, and that shouldn’t change, they have also gotten really good goaltending from Martin Jones. He is 12-4-2 this season with a 2.90 GAA and .893 save percentage. However, Jones hasn’t posted a GAA under 3.00 in three seasons.
He should come back down to earth soon and we are already starting to see that. In his last three games, he has allowed 17 total goals. Seattle has managed to win all three games, but that is unsustainable.
The Capitals have dealt with a ton of injuries but just got John Carlson and T.J. Oshie back. Those two make this Washington team so much better and with them in the lineup and the edge Darcy Keumper has in net, I like the Caps in this spot.
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Mike is an avid bettor of college football, baseball, and hockey. He grew up in Connecticut but now lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Penn State University and has worked in pro hockey and baseball throughout his career. Mike also covers college football and baseball for The Action Network and co-hosts the "Group of Five Deep Dive" show as part of Big Bets on Campus podcast.More info on Michael Ianniello
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