The NHL gets the work week started with a solid, but unspectacular five game slate on Monday night. Despite the smaller schedule, I think there’s some betting edges to be explored.
The Rangers have won just two of their first eight games and it appears frustrations might be beginning to boil over.
After defenseman Tony DeAngelo and goaltender Alexandar Georgiev had a miscommunication in overtime that led to Sidney Crosby winning the game on Saturday, things got heated. According to reports, the two got into an altercation which had to be broken up. Unconfirmed rumors say the altercation led to a different teammate punching DeAngelo.
The Rangers put the 25 year old defenseman on waivers on Sunday. From the macro view point, it’s a shocking move. DeAngelo finished 4th amongst defensemen in scoring last season and had just signed a two year extension worth almost $10 million over the offseason.
However, DeAngelo has a history. In juniors, he got suspended for harassing a teammate. He also was suspended for abusing an official. Over the past few months, DeAngelo has been vocal on Twitter in regards to his support of former President Donald Trump. He even deleted Twitter and told his followers to find him on Parler.
The Rangers had enough of the drama, but it’s an insight into how the team is handling their poor performance.
On the ice on Saturday, Pittsburgh was the much better team. They had over 58% of the shot attempts and over 61% of the high danger chances. They won the expected goal battle 2.46 to 1.45 over the Rangers. The only reason the game was close was due to special teams as New York scored both a powerplay goal and a shorthanded goal.
These teams have played three times already to begin the season, and Pittsburgh has won all three games. The Rangers have gotten underwhelming goaltending from the duo of Georgiev and Igor Shesterkin. Additionally, they need more from Mika Zibanejad. The Swedish forward scored 41 goals last season, but has just one goal to begin this year.
When you couple the fact that I think Pittsburgh is the better team along with the Rangers off-ice drama, I like the Penguins here as short favorites.
Bet: Pittsburgh ML @ -108 (Click To Bet)
I bet the Bruins in this exact matchup on Saturday night and I have no regrets. The Bruins outshot the Capitals 43-23 but somehow lost the game 4-3. Boston had over 63% of the shot attempts, 60% of the expected goals and nearly 59% of the high danger chances.
If you presented me these stats before the game and said “this is how this game is going to go”, I’d bet Boston every time.
I don’t think these statistics are far from the truth either. The fact that Washington has not yet lost a game in regulation this season is unfathomable. The Capitals are a bottom five team in the league in terms of expected goals rate. They are fifth from the bottom in terms of shot attempts and the sixth worst in terms of high danger chances.
On the season, the Capitals are the second worst team in the league in terms of expected goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 with just 1.76. They are almost doubling their expectations, scoring 3.2 goals per hour at 5-on-5.. This bubble will eventually burst, and it will not be pretty.
On the other side, Boston is a top three team in the league in terms of expected-goal rate. They lead the league in terms of expected goals against per hour.
We have one of the league’s best teams in terms of slowing down offenses against one of the league’s worst offenses in terms of generating consistent pressure. It’s worth noting that the Capitals scored many of their goals on Saturday, including the overtime winner, from non dangerous areas of the ice.
If you want to bet on Tuukka Rask getting beat four times on 23 shots again, be my guest. It’d be a foolish bet as he has been one of the best goalies in the league for the past decade-plus. At the same time, if you think rookie Vitek Vanecek is going to make 40 saves every night, I’ll take the under.
Don’t let the final score fool you. Boston deserved the win on Saturday and I expect them to avenge their loss here.
Bet: Boston -137 @ -137 (Click To Bet)
Get the latest free bets and promotions HERE
Expert NHL Picks
Bruins at Capitals - Boston -137 @ -137 (Click To Bet)
Penguins at Rangers - Pittsburgh ML @ -108 (Click To Bet)
Daily NHL Picks
Every day we'll be giving you the very best free NHL picks on the planet. Whether you're a fan of the Penguins, Islanders or Maple Leafs, you'll love reading this picks as we aim to win some money togther.
Our expert handicapper Pete Truszkowski is a die-hard Islanders fan but doesn't let it bias him. He was born and raised on Long Island and he's been betting on hockey for a decade. Don't miss out on his picks.