Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM
In the Crease - Week 6
Editor's Note: Don't miss out on 30 days of Winning Hockey Picks from Joe Williams for the 2019-20 NHL regular season. Click to win!
The Boston Bruins have fired out of the game with an 11-1-2 record, which means they have dropped just one game in regulation. The only team which beat the B's in regulation was the Colorado Avalanche back on Oct. 10 in Denver. The only other setbacks were back-to-back games Oct. 17-19 in a shootout loss against Tampa Bay in Beantown, and a 4-3 overtime loss in Toronto. The Bruins have rolled up six consecutive victories since that setback to the Maple Leafs, and they are working on a streak of 10 straight games with three or more goals since that lone regulation loss. The B's rank ninth in the NHL with 3.4 goals per game, and they possess the No. 1 power play in the NHL at 31.0 percent. The defense is also No. 1 in the league with just 2.0 goals per game allowed, and they're a respectable 83.8 percent on the penalty kill.
Tuesday, Nov. 5
Ottawa at N.Y. Islanders: The Islanders head into Tuesday's game as steep favorites, looking for their 10th consecutive victory. They have won nine in a row dating back to their last setback on Oct. 11 in Carolina (a game I attended, oddly enough), and the streak includes a 4-2 road win against the Senators. In that matchup we saw a goaltender duel between Thomas Greiss and Anders Nilsson. In this installment we're expected to see Craig Anderson against Semyon Varlamov. While Varlamov might technically be considered the backup for the Isles, he has a sparkling 5-2-0 record, 2.14 goals-against average and .929 save percentage.
Colorado at Dallas: The Avalanche fired out of the gates with a 7-0-1 record to start the season, including that aforementioned victory against the Bruins. The defending champs, the St. Louis Blues, topped them on Oct. 21, and that kicked off a 1-4-1 stretch which also included a 2-1 loss at home against the Stars in a goaltender battle between Phillip Grubauer and Anton Khudobin. Grubauer is expected to man the crease again, facing Ben Bishop this time. Grubauer is 6-2-2 with a 2.68 GAA and .918 save percentage, and he allowed just two goals on 31 shots in that meetings with Dallas last time out. He has allowed three or more goals in just two of his 10 appearances this season.
St. Louis at Vancouver: Speaking of the defending champs, they have won six of the past seven after an 0-2-2 run. These two teams met on Oct. 17 in St. Louis, with the Canucks coming away with a 4-3 win in a shootout, as Thatcher Demko bested Jordan Binnington. For the Canucks, the 'over' has cashed in five of the past six games, and they have posted five or more goals in six of the past seven. Overall the Canucks are scoring 3.8 goals per game to rank fifth, and they're fourth in the NHL with only 2.4 goals per game allowed, and they're fourth on the penalty kill, too, at 86.4 percent.
Wednesday, Nov. 6
Detroit at N.Y. Rangers: We get an Original Six matchup on Hump Day, one of just two games in the league. The Rangers are looking to pick themselves up and dust themselves off after a 6-2 thrashing from the normally light-scoring Senators. The Red Wings, who have been getting tuned up pretty frequently, were dumped by the Predators at Little Caesars Arena on Monday by a 6-1 count, as the Preds exacted a little revenge for an Opening Night loss to the Wings. That might have been the pinnacle of the season for the Red Wings, as they're 1-10-1 across the past 12 games. In 2018-19, the Rangers lost each possible way to the Red Wings, all by a 3-2 score. In three meetings, the Red Wings won in regulation, a shootout and overtime.
Thursday, Nov. 7
Vegas at Toronto: The Golden Knights and Maple Leafs square off at Scotiabank Arena, and the Leafs look to maintain their dominance in this series. The teams have met four times in the past, with Toronto winning three of the first four matchups. The 'over' has also cashed in three of the four battles, although the only under connected in last season's meeting in Ontario, a 3-1 win by the Leafs. Toronto has scored three or more goals in each meetings with Vegas, averaging 4.0 GPG, while allowing 3.3 GPG.
Nashville at Colorado: The Predators and Avalanche tangle at Pepsi Center in Denver. It will be the first meeting this season between these Western Conference powers. This series has been dominated by the Predators in recent seasons. Last year, these teams split the season series 2-2, with the road team winning all four meetings and the 'under' cashing in each outing. However, Nashville has won 12 of the past 14 regular-season meetings overall against Colorado, while winning eight straight meetings in Denver dating back to Jan. 8, 2016. Before the 4-0 'under' run last season, the 'over' was 10-1 in previous 11 meetings, too.
Minnesota at San Jose: The Wild and Sharks have been at the bottom of the Western Conference standings this season, which is a change for both of these organizations. They'll meet at SAP Center in San Jose, and someone will get two points. The last two seasons have resulted in season sweeps. San Jose swept the season series in 2018-19, outscoring Minnesota 11-3. The season before, the Wild swept the season series. While the total is 5-5-1 in the past 11 meetings in this series, the 'over' has connected in the past five meetings in San Jose dating back to Dec. 12, 2015.