It was a tough result in our Rangers moneyline pick as +145 home underdogs against the Bruins last night, but the thought process was impeccable.
I just knew this was going to be a one-goal game. The Bruins had played in seven one-goal games of their 11 previous contests with six of those going into extra time, and last night’s game was no exception.
The teams went int0 overtime tied 2-2 where a Rangers 2-on-1 was broken up by defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who in turn sprung Brad Marchand on a breakaway that ended the game in a 3-2 Bruins OT win.
That’s not eight one-goal games and seven OT games for the Bruins in their 12 contests this season.
I am taking the +145 underdog every time if I believe it’s going to be a close game, and we just did not get a break once again in this 2021 NHL season.
So, we’ll stick to the research and see if we can get things turned around in this Red Wings vs. Predators NHL pick from Music City!
- Season Record: 11-17
- Units: -6.63
Red Wings vs. Predators Betting Odds
- Red Wings (+151)
- Predators (-167)
- Red Wings +1.5 (-160)
- Predators -1.5 (+140)
- Over 5.5 (+103)
- Under 5.5 (-114)
Red Wings vs. Predators NHL Pick Breakdown
After the Red Wings stumbled their way to a league-worst 2.00 goals per game last season, general manager Steve Yzerman went out and added some NHL veterans to his forward group (among other areas) in the hope they could stabilize the ship.
Bobby Ryan started hot, but has since cooled off while Vladislav Namestnikov has simply struggled with his new club.
While Dylan Larkin remains his productive self with nine points in 14 games, the Red Wings once again find themselves in the league’s offensive basement while averaging just 1.93 goals per game this season and they’re coming off a 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers their last time out.
Do they deserve a better offensive fate? Not exactly. At 5v5 this season, the Red Wings rank 29th in scoring chances for/60 and high-danger chances for while sitting 30th in expected goals for/60, as per Natural Stat Trick. Their actual 1.59 goals/60 at 5v5 isn’t far under their 1.70 expected mark, so it’s not as if they’re getting the raw end of the deal.
A power play that ranks 30th at 9.3% isn’t helping matters, neither is the ongoing upper-body injury to first-line winger Tyler Bertuzzi.
If you’re looking for a bright spot, perhaps set your sights on 21-year-old Filip Zadina. The Czech goal-scorer is on the team’s top line with Larkin at the moment and scored his first goal of the season across seven games in the aforementioned loss to the Panthers.
It’s an improved personnel group from last season up front, but the results have been awfully similar.
While the offense continues its struggles, the Detroit defense is significantly improved after some major offseason turnover.
The Wings also ranked dead last while yielding 3.73 goals per game last season, but that number has shrunk to 3.29 so far this season, good for 23rd in the league. No, it’s not a ground-breaking number at this point, but it’s a marked improvement while the teams actually boasts some excellent defensive peripherals.
At 5v5 this season, the Red Wings rank 9th in scoring chances against/60, 3rd in high-danger chances against/60 and 7th in expected goals against/60. Additionally, their 2.30 goals against/60 at 5v5 this season is well above their 1.87 expected mark, so we should certainly expect positive regression for this group moving forward at even strength.
Where the team continues to struggle, however, is on the penalty kill. After ranking last with a 74.3% mark last season, the Wings sit 28th this time around with a 70% PK rate. It has certainly dragged down the overall defensive numbers for the club.
This is essentially a group sporting five new members of their top-six at the moment. Marc Staal, Patrick Nemeth, Troy Stecher, Christian Djoos and Jon Merrill all played elsewhere last season and were brought in either via trade, free-agent signing or waiver claim.
Filip Hronek remains the lone holdover at the moment as his offensive game continues to blossom at just 23 years of age.
It hasn’t exactly led to more wins given the offensive struggles, but the Red Wings’ defensive improvement is real.
Yzerman also addressed the team’s goaltending situation in the offseason, bringing in veteran Thomas Greiss on the open market while Jimmy Howard retired after a horrendous 2019-20 campaign.
Jonathan Bernier remains, but he currently resides on Injured Reserve while journeyman Calvin Pickard is currently working backup duties.
We don’t have a confirmed starter for tonight, but one would think Greiss gets back in the net after a solid outing on Tuesday against the Panthers in which he turned aside 20 of 22 shots (.909 Sv%) despite taking the loss.
He owns a 2.90 GAA and .904 Sv% for the season in 10 starts (11 appearances), but has also gone just 1-8-2 in that time. However, he’s been excellent over his last three starts, posting a .944 Sv% in that time while still going just 1-2-0.
If it’s Pickard, it will mark his second appearance of the season after he turned aside 19 of 21 shots (.905 Sv%) in a relief appearance over the Tampa Bay Lighting eight days ago.
For his career, Pickard owns a 3.00 GAA and .905 Sv% in 108 NHL appearances while he posted a 2.86 GAA and .903 Sv% in 33 games with the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins last season.
I’d be surprised if Greiss doesn’t get a chance to continue his run of success in this one tonight.
It’s been ugly at both ends of the ice for the Predators, just as it was on Tuesday night while they took a 6-1 thrashing from the Lightning.
Offensively, the team is averaging 2.31 goals per game this season, good for 27th league wide, while their 14.3% power play clip pegs them at 22nd in the league.
Making matters worse is the fact they are scoring about as much as they should be at 5v5 this season as they rank 21st in both scoring chances for/60 and high-danger chances for/60 while they sit 26th in expected goals for/60. Their 1.84 goals/60 at 5v5 this season is in line with their 1.93 expected mark, so we shouldn’t exactly be expecting on offensive surge here, either.
Too many forwards just haven’t gotten going. Filip Forsberg has done his part with six goals and 11 points in 13 games, but Viktor Arvidsson has just seven points in 13 games, Roman Josi has six, as does Matt Duchene. Ryan Johansen has just four assists in 10 games and is now out of the lineup with an upper-body injury.
The team’s center ice depth is among the worst in the league, and it’s just difficult to generate offense in this league without scoring down the middle. The center ice quartet of Luke Kunin, Matt Duchene, Erik Haula and Colton Sissons — in that order for tonight’s game — is just not getting the job done and it shows in all of their offense numbers so far this season.
The Predators’ defense was supposed to be their strong point this season with a reining Norris Trophy winner in Josi leading a talented top-four, but the results are quite poor.
The Predators rank 26th while yielding 3.54 goals per game on the season and their league-worst 62.8% penalty kill mark is absolutely destroying them. While that number should at least improve a little bit, keep in mind the Predators ranked 29th with a 74.3% mark last season, so the PK has certainly been a major concern for some time.
Their peripherals aren’t all that bad and mostly rank in the middle of the pack, but the results have been awful of late.
The team has allowed at least four goals in five of their last six games and at least five goals in three of those six contests, including that shellacking they took from the Bolts on Tuesday.
For such a strong group on paper — at least in the top-four — the Predators certainly aren’t living up to expectations on the back end despite an opportunity to get it figured out against the league’s worst offense tonight.
Like with the Red Wings, we don’t have a confirmed starter for the Preds in this one, but I’m confident it will be 38-year-old Pekka Rinne getting the nod for this one.
Juuse Saros was torched for six goals on 30 shots (.800 Sv%) on Tuesday against the Lightning, and he’s been off his game for much of the season so far, posting a 3.68 GAA and .881 Sv%, but has somehow put forth a respectable 3-4-0n record.
Head coach John Hynes left Saros in for the full 60 minutes on Tuesday, likely in an attempt to keep Rinne fresh rather than throw him into a blowout affair.
Should he start, Rinne would carry a 2.65 GAA and .909 Sv% into tonight’s action, although he’s just 2-4-0 on the season. Rinne’s last outing featured just two goals agaisnt on 33 shots (.939 Sv%) but a lack of goal support handed him the tough-luck loss.
That said, he’s been excellent across two starts and three appearances in the month of February, posting a 1.72 GAA and .951 Sv% in that time, facing some quality offenses in the Panthers twice and the Lightning his last time out.
Surely Hynes goes back to his veteran for this one.
Red Wings vs. Predators NHL Pick
There just hasn’t been much to like at all about this Predators team this season.
For one, they can’t be entering this one boasting much in terms of confidence after getting blown out by the Lightning on Tuesday. It felt like a rock-bottom night, but as I noted above, they’ve been quite poor in most aspects of the game this season and the numbers don’t point to a turnaround anytime soon.
While the Red Wings have struggled to generate offense and have more or less deserved their fate, their defense has been very good. It’s not something I anticipated, but we’re dealing with the team averaging the third-least amount of high-danger scoring opportunities per 60 minutes of action this season. Say what you want about the personnel, but they’re playing well.
We do have a couple of hot netminders going in this one if it is indeed Greiss vs. Rinne, but the value here is on the Red Wings.
They played very well their last time out in a 2-1 loss to the Panthers and while the offensive struggles continue, they are the superior center ice team here and I think they have something cooking with Larkin and Zadina on that top line.
Like I said in the opening, there are a ton of one-goal games this season and considering how the Predators have played of late, the value here is fully on the Red Wings as significant moneyline underdogs tonight.