Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:59 AM

In the Crease - Week 23

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Streaky Teams
Wins and Losses Streak Over/Under Streak
Boston 10-0-2 past 12 games overall Chicago Over 20-1 past 21 games
Detroit 2-7-2 past 11 games overall Florida Over 5-0-1 past six games
Los Angeles 0-6-2 past eight games overall Nashville Under 4-0 past four games
St. Louis 13-1-1 past 15 games overall N.Y. Islanders Under 15-4-1 past 20 games
Tampa Bay 12-0-2 past 14 games overall St. Louis Under 7-1 past eight games

Johnny T Back To The Island
The New York Islanders host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night at the Uniondale Coliseum, and it should be looked at as a key Eastern Conference showdown between two top powers with playoff implications. However, all eyes will be focused on John Tavares, who makes his first return to New York after spurning the team in free agency to go play in his hometown of Toronto instead. Fans felt betrayed, and have even taken to social media to post asinine videos which, for all intents and purposes, are likely ignored by the star. However, the fans will have a voice inside the arena when Tavares skates against the team, and things could get really interesting when the organization shows a video tribute reflecting on Tavares' nine years in New York.

As far as the game itself is concerned, the Leafs are playing in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 (four games in six days) situation. In the fourth game they have excelled in the situation, going 8-0 in the past eight tries. They're also 6-0 in the past six road games against a team with a winning home mark, and 6-2 overall in the past eight against winning sides. For the Isles, they're 8-2 across the past 10 home games, while going 22-10 in the past 32 games overall. Toronto has won four of the past five in this series, although the home team is 6-2 in the past eight meetings, and the favorite has hit in six of the past seven. The 'over' is 10-2 in the past 12 meetings in New York, and 39-19-2 in the past 60 meetings overall.

Looking Ahead

Thursday, Feb. 28

Tampa Bay at Boston: The Lightning have rolled up 41 victories in the past 52 games overall, and they're 41-11 in the past 52 games as a favorite, too. Boston could have an advantage facing the Lightning since Tampa just played last night, as they're 5-1 in the past six games playing on no rest. They have also won 39 of the past 56 games on the road, too. For the Bruins, they have won eight of the past nine games overall, while going 4-0 in the past four working on one day of rest. They have also tossed up 44 wins in the past 62 at home, but they're just 2-5 in the past seven against Eastern Confernce foes. Tampa is 9-29-3 in the past 41 trips to Boston, but they're 5-0 in the past five meetings in this series. The favorite is also 25-11 in the past 36. The under is 3-1-1 in the past five battles in Beantown, while the under is 7-2-2 in the past 11 in the series.

Vancouver at Arizona: The Canucks limp into Arizona with just one win in the past five outings, while going 2-5 in the past seven against Western Conference foes, too. They're also 1-4 in the past five road contests against teams with a losing overall mark. Arizona has actually rattled off four wins in a row, and they're 6-0 in the past six against losing teams. They have also come away with victories in four of the past five at home. Vancouver has won just once in the past six in this series, and they're 1-4 in the past five trips to Arizona. The under is 13-2-1 in the past 16 skates in Glendale, too.

Friday, March 1

Washington at N.Y. Islanders: The Islanders have another emotional battle on Friday night, as the defending Stanley Cup champs pay a visit to their former coach, Barry Trotz, who has done wonders with the Isles. The Caps were skidding around the All-Star break, but they're 4-1 in the past five overall. They're also 19-8 in the past 27 inside the Eastern Conference. New York has won just eight of the past 10 games at home, while going 9-1 in the past 10 when working on no rest. They're also 7-1 in the past eight in the third game of a 3-in-4 (three games in four days) situation. The 'under' is also 7-3-1 in the past 11 meetings in New York.

Colorado at San Jose: The Avalanche are trying to stay in the Western Conference playoff picture, while the Sharks are trying to win a championship. They built up their roster at the trade deadline, and look like one of the four strongest teams out west. Colorado has owned the west lately, going 5-0 in the past five against Western Conference teams. They're also 5-1 in the past six overall, and 4-1 in the past five against winning teams. San Jose is 8-2 in the past 10 at home, while going 16-7 in the past 23 overall. SAP Center has been a house of horrors for Colorado over the years, as the Avalanche are just 4-22 in the past 26 trips to Silicon Valley. The 'over' is a solid 6-0-1 in the past seven in San Jose, and 15-5-2 in the past 22 meetings overall.

Saturday, March 2

Buffalo at Toronto: The Maple Leafs have won both previous meetings, but it hasn't been easy. The last meeting was a 5-3 win in Toronto on Feb. 25, but it was a late empty-net goal that made it look worse than it was. The Sabres also fell on home ice by a 4-3 score in overtime back on Dec. 4 in the first meeting. In the past eight meetings the 'over' has connected in seven games, and Toronto has outscored Buffalo by a 30-25 margin. 

Ottawa at Tampa Bay: This might be the highest line we've seen all season, perhaps in excess of -400. Ottawa sold off all of their expensive assets at the trade deadline and they're turning it over to the kids. In their first game after selling off on Monday, they were smashed 7-2 in Washington. Tampa Bay won their franchise record 10th consecutive game on Wednesday night at N.Y. Rangers, and they're looking like the Golden State Warriors of hockey right now.

Minnesota at Calgary: The Wild and Flames tangle in Calgary, and the Pacific leaders look to stay hot. Calgary has won the first two meetings this season, but its been a dogfight. They won 2-1 in St. Paul on Dec. 15, and 2-0 in Calgary on Dec. 6. In fact, the 'under' has cashed in four straight meetings in this series. Three of the past four in this series have resulted in one-goal games, and seven of the past nine contests have been decided by one goal. That's news puck-line bettors need to know.

Sunday, March 3

Chicago at San Jose: The Blackhawks are trying to stay afloat in the chase for a playoff spot out west, but a trip to San Jose is a tall order if they want points. These teams have met just once, with San Jose embarrassing Chicago in the Windy City by a 7-3 score back on Dec. 16. San Jose has won three straight in this series, and the 'over' has connected in three in a row. The home team has also won five of the past seven in this series.

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