Perusing the hockey lines the last couple of weeks, it seems oddsmakers have decided 5½ must be the perfect total for all games. Not that 5’s and 6’s don’t and won’t still exist, but apparently 5½ suits almost any matchup as you can adjust it through the juice – and bookmakers don’t have to worry about refunding any money for 5-goal games as there can never be a push with a 5½ total. This may be an opportunity to steal an easy under or two in the future – or quite possibly an over if you feel the total should be 6.
Time to lace the skates up. Let’s try and keep the momentum going forward with an ultimate goal of 63% winners by season’s end.
Wednesday, Dec. 10
Flames at Red Wings: Stanley Cup Champs 3-1 vs. Calgary LY (13-7 goals), and beat them last month at the Saddledome, 5-2. RED WINGS.
Thursday, Dec. 11
Lightning at Canadiens: Les Habs netminder Price is right at home (5-12, 1.77 GAA) and Tampa Bay average at best. CANADIENS.
Islanders at Penguins: The Igloo no place for below-average opposition and the Eastern Conference champions are 2-0 vs. Islanders TY. PENGUINS.
Panthers at Oilers: Florida begins nasty western Canadian road swing. Good luck up there. OILERS.
Ducks at Sharks: Until San Jose loses at home in regulation (14-0-1), it’s probably best to just keep backing them. SHARKS.
Friday, Dec. 12
Rangers at Devils: Series has been low-scoring and close last couple years. Maybe that 5½ thing and the extra ½ goal will help yield a winner. UNDER 5½.
Senators at Capitals: Always high-scoring and not close. Four skates LY averaged a gaudy 9.25 GPG. Note Sens getting great goal play from Alex Auld (1.96 GAA). OVER 5½-6.
Red Wings at Stars: What happened to Dallas? Sean Avery certainly not to blame for this team’s fall so far. RED WINGS.
Panthers at Flames: BTB roadies north of the border tough for the team 2,494 miles (as the crow flies) away from their Miami home. Although siding with homeboys, noteworthy that Panthers goalie Anderson (1.89 GAA) outplaying Flames goalie Kiprusoff (3.01 GAA). FLAMES.
Saturday, Dec. 13
Hurricanes at Rangers: Not impressed with play of Hurricanes (67-80 GF-GA) – apparently management wasn’t either as Coach Laviolette gtot his walking papers – and NY netminder Lundqvist (2.33 GA) pretty tough to beat at MSG. RANGERS.
Thrashers at Bruins: B’s becoming one of NHL’s top moneymakers and really B-lieving in themselves as goalie Tim Thomas (10-3-3, NHL-leading 1.83 GAA) has been fantabulous. BRUINS.
Wings at Coyotes: Backup netminder Ty Conklin may get call for Detroit (17-4-4) in this match-up but he’s been fairly impressive (6-3, 2.70) since coming over from Pens. RED WINGS.
Blues at Sharks: SJ (22-3-1) has had Blues number of late, icing them in 11 of last 13 skates, including seven straight. And those two losses were just by one goal. SHARKS. (BE$T BET$)
Sunday, Dec. 14
Panthers at Canucks: Third Canadian road game in four nights just too much for Ice Cats and Vancouver very solid at home (7-3-1) to date. CANUCKS.
Monday, Dec. 15
Avalanche at Wings (Versus): Detroit swept the Avalanche out of playoffs LY and have won the last seven meetings, outscoring Colorado 28-11 in the process. RED WINGS.
Kings at Sharks: Pacific Division leaders 2-0 vs. Los Angeles (4-1 goals) TY after going 4-4 vs. Crowned Ones LY. SHARKS.