Fresh off a nail-biter victory with the Penguins over Senators in last night’s NHL action, we’re back at it again Monday night, hoping to start your week off with another free winner. Our featured selections are a solid 6-1 thus far, and tonight’s encounter will feature a showdown between the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets.
Dallas Stars (-120) @ Columbus Blue Jackets (+100)
The Stars have had just a so-so beginning to their 2013 season, though much of their inconsistencies can be attributed to some key injuries and star forward Jamie Benn being out of the line-up. Jaromir Jagr has battled some back injuries so far this season, but he’ll be back Monday evening. But most importantly is the fact that Jamie Benn has decided to end his holdout for the Stars and will be suiting up in Columbus. Benn is one of the premier young forwards in the game, and should provide a real boost for the Dallas attack.
Columbus on the other hand remains one of the worst teams in hockey. Though they’re a young group, by seasons’ end they’ll definitely be in contention for the top overall selection. The Jackets have gotten decent goaltending so far from Sergei Bobrovsky, but facing a rejuvenated Stars attack surely won’t be an easy feat.
The Stars may not secure a playoff spot in 2013, but they’ll put up a decent fight to the very end. Kari Lehtonen is one of the league’s top netminders, and should face little difficulty facing an anaemic Jackets attack.
Look for a deep and potent Dallas attack to overwhelm a young and raw defense corps of the Blue Jackets. This is a battle of two teams headed in opposite directions, and look for the Stars to be revved up for the return of Jamie Benn. Take the Stars to emerge victorious in convincing fashion Monday night.
We’ve been pretty solid in our bonus picks as well to start out the season, flying out to an 11-5 mark. Though it’s a light Monday in terms of the NHL betting board, there remains some decent value on the card.
Bonus Pick #1: Edmonton (-125) The Oilers weren’t very good in Calgary Saturday night but look for them to bounce back at home against a depleted Avalanche squad. Colorado has looked like a team in disarray thus far, and have already lost solid forward Steve Downie for the season. Optimism remains high in Oil Country despite their up-and-down start, but at home against an inferior opponent seems like an ideal spot for Edmonton.
Bonus Pick #2: Nashville (-120) The Predators should take advantage of a depleted Coyotes team on Monday evening. The Coyotes have been battling injuries, already losing key centre Matthew Lombardi for an indefinite period of time. Nashville remains a solid team, and unlike Phoenix, should be comfortably in playoff contention by the end of the season. Phoenix has lost star goaltender Mike Smith to injury, and he’ll be replaced by an ineffective and untested Chad Johnson. Johnson has plied his trade in the AHL in recent weeks, and the Preds should be able to exploit this. Look for Nashville to turn in a solid road outing and get their season on track after an uncharacteristically slow start.