I failed to build momentum following a 3-1 Friday night with my NHL picks as I went 0-1-1 last night with my pair of picks.
The push came in the afternoon affair between the Stars and Wild in which there was a season-low five-goal total. All we need to guarantee a push at a minimum is a 2-2 score at any point during the game, and that’s precisely what happened as the game sat at 2-2 at the end of regulation. The Wild went on to win in the shootout, but we pushed our over pick.
The loss came later in the evening between the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks built a 2-1 lead but Leon Draisaitl scored a pair of unanswered goals – both on the power play – and his tally less than a minute into the third stood as the game-winner in a 3-2 Oilers upset victory.
Let’s get back on the winning track on tonight’s five-game NHL schedule!
Season Record: 32-29-1
This free NHL pick features the Islanders vs. Red Wings from Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit!
Islanders vs. Red Wings Betting Odds
- Islanders (-211)
- Red Wings (+189)
- Islanders -1.5 (+113)
- Red Wings +1.5 (-133)
- Over 5.5 (-111)
- Under 5.5 (+101)
Islanders vs. Red Wings NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these clubs before getting into our final pick!
The Islanders historic 17-game point streak was snapped by the Ducks last week and they actually dropped three straight games on their three-game trip through California – all as favorites.
However, the Islanders returned home and beat the Columbus Blue Jackets by a 2-0 score despite being outshot by a 39-27 count in that one.
The Islanders are one of the league’s more interesting teams as they spot some terrible possession numbers, but are still one of the best teams in the NHL and one of the very best defenses in the NHL.
I mean, their offense is certainly nothing to write home about as they rank 17th with 2.88 goals per game on the season, however that number falls to 2.30 on the road which ranks 26th in the league.
However, they have managed to post a 6-3-1 record on the road thanks to their stout road defense. Overall, their defense ranks fourth with 2.42 goals against per game while their road defense also checks in at fourth with 2.60 goals against per game.
However, they also get outshot by an average of 2.8 shots per game on the road and their 47.29% Corsi For% (CF%) away from home ranks 22nd in the league. Furthermore, their 44.94% scoring chances for percentage (SCF%) on the road at 5v5 play ranks 24th and their 42.42% high-danger chances for percentage (HDCF%) ranks 25th.
They’ve managed a third-ranked .873 Sv% on high-danger chances this season while their 17.31% high-danger shooting percentage ranks 13th on the road. That would be why they continue to excel in goal-prevention despite their weak possession figures.
Getting the nod in goal for the Isles tonight will be Semyon Varlamov after Thomas Greiss fell ill during their 2-0 win on Saturday.
Varlamov enters this one sporting a 2.50 GAA and .918 Sv% on the season but also a 1.98 GAA and .932 Sv% across five outings on the road. He was a little inconsistent in November. but still finished strong with 30 saves on 30 Blue Jackets shots in almost 46 minutes in relief of Greiss on Saturday.
The Wings are going through some tough times at the moment, to say the least.
They will carry a nine-game losing streak into this one tonight and their most recent stretch of games haven’t even been close. They have been outscored 24-4 over their last five games, being shutout twice in that time and scoring more than one goal just once.
However, their best effort in that stretch came in Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Capitals. For one, the final score looks worse than it was as a pair of Alex Ovechkin empty-netters skewed the final result. The Red Wings’ defense allowed just 32 shots to a high-octane Capitals offense, a win for the team considering they allowed 54 shots to the Maple Leafs in their previous home game.
Still, there’s nothing to like about this team. They rank last by a mile with 2.14 goals per game on the season and last with just 2.07 goals per game at home.
They rank last with 3.93 goals against per game this season and last with 3.64 goals against per game at home.
They rank 27th with a 13.6% power play on the season, but improve to a share of 17th with a 20% mark at home.
They rank 27th in terms of home CF%, 27th in terms of home SCF% and 24th in terms of HDCF%, all at 5v5 play.
They’ll give the starting nod in goal to Jonathan Bernier who has actually played quite well over his last two outings despite finishing November with an .889 SV%.
Bernier owns a 3.30 GAA and .894 Sv% on the season, but turned aside 37 of 40 Maple Leafs shots last Wednesday before turning aside 29 of 32 Capitals shots on Saturday. All told, he owns a .917 Sv% over his last two outings against two of the better offenses the NHL has to offer.
Despite the improved results, Bernier has lost each of his last four starts and owns a 5-7-2 record on the season.
Of course, it’s extremely difficult to trust the Red Wings these days, even as substantial home underdogs. Their offense can simply not be trusted to score enough to win at this point, and they’ve managed just three goals in four games since top goal-scorer Anthony Mantha has been absent from the lineup.
However, I am seeing some value in total here, and I’m looking under.
Sure, it’s a low total at 5.5, but as I just noted, the Red Wings are producing next to no offense right now. I find it difficult to imagine that turning around against this Islanders defense.
On the Islanders’ side of things, their offense goes from 3.29 goals per game at home (15th) all the way to 2.30 goals per game on the road (26th), one tick shy of one full goal per game less on the road than at home.
Yes, they’re facing the worst defense in the NHL and that increases their offensive upside, however the Red Wings held the high-octane Capitals to just three non-empty-net goals on Saturday and just two through two periods. Adding to their goal-suppression hope is Jonathan Bernier’s aforementioned solid work over his last two outings.
The Islanders have a ton of shutout upside in this one and considering the Red Wings have averaged 0.80 goals per game over their last five, I like their chances of keeping the Red Wings’ offense at bay.
Give me the under 5.5 this one at attractive odds.