My sizzling-hot NHL season continued on Thursday as I went 3-1 with my four free NHL pick released and came an empty-netter shy of going a clean 4-0.
The lone loss of the night came in the matchup between the Jets and Bruins from Boston where I had the Bruins on the puckline.
The teams exchanged goals for much of the game, but the Bruins took a 5-4 lead midway through the third period. Unfortunately, they were unable to tack on an insurance marker for find the empty net, so we dropped that puckline pick by a small margin.
However, it was all roses from there.
At about the same time, I had the Oilers to go into Montreal and deliver the upset over the struggling Canadiens at +113 odds.
Despite being down 2-0 in that one, the Oilers rallied back with a trio of third period goals, including an empty-netter to seal the deal in what was a 4-2 Oilers final. It was the Canadiens eighth consecutive loss for the second time this season.
While all that was happening, I also had the Lightning to win their matchup against the visiting Coyotes in regulation time at -125 odds, and that one wasn’t close.
It was all Tampa Bay in this one as they would need just one goal for our pick to hit, but they scored four anyway in a 4-0 shutout of the visiting ‘Yotes.
Finally, I had the Canucks and Panthers to play a high-scoring game from sunrise, going with the over 6.5.
This one was a bit closer, but we looked good early with a 3-1 Panthers lead after one, but the scoring settled from there. That said, with the Panthers leading 5-1 in the third, the Canucks scored with about seven minutes left to make it 5-2 and push the total over 6.5 That score would stand as the final.
Add it all up and we notched another 2.13 units in profit last night as we are scorching hot at the moment.
Let’s take this winning streak to this three-game Friday night schedule!
Season Record: 74-59-1
Now let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Coyotes vs. Hurricanes from PNC Arena in Raleigh!
Coyotes vs. Hurricanes Betting Odds
- Coyotes (+158)
- Hurricanes (-175)
- Coyotes +1.5 (-170)
- Hurricanes -1.5 (+150)
- Over 5.5 (-108)
- Under 5.5 (-102)
Coyotes vs. Hurricanes NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these teams before getting into my final pick!
The Coyotes rode a four-game win streak and a red-hot offense into last night’s game in Tampa Bay, but as mentioned were dealt a shutout loss to the white-hot Lightning, who have won nine straight themselves.
Now, the Coyotes face a tough back-to-back against a quality Hurricanes home team in the hope that their offense can find it’s groove again right away.
That group has improved over the last few weeks, that’s in part to the Taylor Hall acquisition.
They still rank 21st with just 2.58 goals per game on the road this season, however, and being cooled off after a hot streak doesn’t bode well for this one.
That said, the Coyotes have done their winning on the road based on their elite defensive game.
They’ll enter this one ranked second with 2.50 goals against per game on the road this season and were first in the NHL heading into last night’s contest.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s piece, however, they have struggled mightily in the possession and scoring chance share away from home on the season.
At 5v5 on the road, the Coyotes rank 23rd with a 46.66% Corsi For%, 28th with a 44.35% Scoring Chances For% and 23rd with a 44.09% High-Danger Chances For%.
They have been bailed out by their goaltending this season with a second-ranked .941 Sv% at 5v5 on the road this season, but as I mentioned yesterday, their goaltending situation is in flux.
Adin Hill received his expected regression in his numbers last night, and it looks like Antti Raanta will make his return to the crease for this one tonight.
Raanta has been out for last six days with a lower-body injury, but was real good before getting hurt, posting a .964 Sv% across his last three outings.
He’s been worse on the road this season, however, as he sports a weak 2.96 GAA, but also a strong .916 SV%.
Still, he’s just 4-4-2 on the road this season.
Consistency has been an issue for the Hurricanes of late as they’ve alternated brief winning streaks with break losing streaks over their last 10 games.
They’ll enter this one coming off a 5-4 overtime in in which they blew a third-period lead to the Philadelphia Flyers, but also outshot the Flyers 33-21 in that one.
The Hurricanes, as has been the case for a couple of seasons now, are one of the NHL’s best possession teams.
Not only do they rank first with just 26.4 shots against per game at home this season and owns a league-best +9.3 average shot differential at home, but the advanced metrics back that up in a big way.
The problem, which is the opposite of the Coyotes’, is that they rank just 25th with a .907 Sv% at 5v5 at home and 24th with an .811 Sv% on high-danger scoring chances.
They just haven’t gotten the goaltending, and it will be up to Petr Mrazek to buck that trend tonight.
Mrazek owns a solid 2.56 GAA at home – largely a team stat – but also a .902 Sv% – largely an individual stat.
He hasn’t been good of late, either, posting a 3.61 GAA and .873 Sv% over his last two starts and allowing four goals in four of his last six starts.
The Hurricanes have managed to win some games in that time with their offense, however, which is among the league’s best at home.
The Hurricanes enter this one tied with the Capitals for sixth with 3.57 goals per game at PNC Arena where their power play checks in at sixth with a strong 26.2% clip.
Whether their offense can step up and win this one for them against a tough Coyotes defense remains to be seen, but the bottom line is they will need Mrazek to be better moving forward.
This is a real tough back-to-back for the ‘Yotes. Taking on a Tampa team in Tampa Bay – being shut out – and then having to go face a real difficult home team in Carolina just 24 hours later is a tall task.
I’m also unsure of the goaltending that Raanta will bring to the table.
He’s been good this season and good over the last few seasons, but also injured a lot and his injury came at a bad time when he was playing extremely well this time.
While Mrazek has been shaky in goal, there’s just a ton to like about this Hurricanes team on home ice while the only thing that I like about the Coyotes on the road is their defense.
Carolina’s defense is just as good, it’s just the goaltending that makes the difference. If Mrazek plays well tongiht, the odds are very high that Carolina comes out with a win. If he doesn’t it seems the Coyotes would have a quality shot as big road underdogs.
Still, I am going to lean on the home side in this one. I’m not laying a ton of moneyline juice, but I’ll take them to win this one in the first 60 minutes tonight at -125 odds.