That is correct! Saturday features ten games in all for the National Hockey League. Two of them have lines at or over -300. There are reasons for these short prices, hwever, it is noteworthy. Here are the games in question.
Boston Bruins (-300, 6 O/U) versus New Jersey Devils
Tampa Bay Lightning (-450, 6 ½ O/U) versus Ottawa Senators
It becomes time to examine the why.
Boston Bruins versus New Jersey Devils
Consider the dynamics of this game from the outset. New Jersey is coming in not rested after playing at home against the Philadelphia Flyers. They also had to exit New Jersey after a surprise snow storm which dumped almost a half foot of snow in some places.
That is only the beginning.
New Jersey lost 6-3 to Philadelphia on Friday night. It was a rough night for one of the worst teams in the league. The biggest problem for the Devils is all the injuries. This injury report only tells part of the story. Add Nick Lappin potentially to this list as he suffered a lower-body injury after blocking a shot. So, that’s eight players in total. That is a lot. When a team is forced to play a bottom-six forward group entirely from their AHL affiliate, that’s a bad sign.
The Devils’ MVP from last year, Taylor Hall, is out after knee surgery, and has missed over 30 games and counting. Mackenzie Blackwood expects to start for New Jersey which adds to the increased odds for Boston.
What most forget is that the Boston Bruins have a point in 15 straight games (11-0-4). Most of this has happened without David Pastrnak (thumb injury). The Pastrnak injury may have helped Boston balance their lines. Their goaltending has been excellent behind the duo of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. Boston’s 23-7-3 home mark carries a +1.16 goal per game differential. This is while New Jersey’s road mark is just 8-20-3 with a -1.32 goals per game differential.
It will matter little who starts for Boston. Watch New Jersey’s lines as every line was attacked on Friday by Philadelphia.
Tampa Bay Lightning versus Ottawa Senators
The line was destined to be crazy on this game from the beginning. Ottawa is 31st in the league by a wide margin while Tampa Bay is the best team by an equally high margin. There is a whopping 53 points difference in the standings alone. Sadly, Ottawa can barely form NHL caliber lines and just fired their coach on top of everything.
The Ottawa Senators were one game from the Stanley Cup Final a little less than two seasons ago. Now, they are just trying to survive with dignity. Even that has proven difficult as their four best players (Erik Karlsson, Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel) have all been traded.
There are a few other factors as well. Ottawa allows a league worst 4.45 goals per game on the road and nearly 37 shots per 60 minutes. Also, they are an NHL worst 8-22-1 away from home and have lost six straight games.
As for Tampa Bay, they have won four of their last five contests and only lost once in regulation in their last ten games. The Lightning perform at a league best 26-5-1-1 at home with a whopping +1.64 goal per game differential (Ottawa is -1.55 goals per game on the opposite side). While Tampa Bay has players like Brayden Point, Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Andrei Vasilevskiy, Ottawa has Craig Anderson, Thomas Chabot, Bobby Ryan, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Having mostly AHL talent with a circus of an atmosphere is why this line is so out there.
Even one of two books had Tampa Bay at or close to a -500 line. The last time that happened was a Buffalo-San Jose game a few years ago. Needless to say, it might be awhile before this is seen again.
By Chris Wassel