The 2015 NHL Season gets into full swing this week. The three games listed below appear to be three of the best bets for the week.
Nashville travels to New York to play the Islanders. To begin this week, Nashville has done nothing wrong. Will they continue to play well? Or, will they fall to a team that has high hopes in the Islanders? Minnesota battles Los Angeles on Thursday in a game between two very tough Western Conference teams. On Sunday, the other team that has New York in their name, the Rangers, hosts New Jersey.
Nashville Predators at NY Islanders
When: Thursday, Oct. 15
The Predators were workman like in 2 wins last week. They beat Carolina 2 to 1 on October 8. They returned to beat Edmonton 2 to 0 on October 10. So far, the Predators haven’t been very good in face-offs, they’re ranked thirtieth in NHL in that category. Could face-offs determine whether or not they beat the Islanders on the road this Thursday?
It could. The Islanders are ranked fifth in face-offs so far this season. New York is winning 55.5% of their face-offs compared to the Predators’ face-off percentage at 42%. Even though the Islanders lost their 2 games last week, both games were against defending champion Chicago. One of the games the Islanders put into overtime. Expect the Islanders to take care of business on Thursday.
Pick: New York Islanders
Minnesota at Los Angeles
When: Friday, Oct. 16
Minnesota won both of their games last week. One of the wins was very impressive as the Wild beat St. Louis 3 to 2 at home. St. Louis still has a top defense.
It might be too early to write off the Kings. But, based on Los Angeles’ performance last week, things could continue to stay ugly. The Kings gave up 9 goals in 2 games. They lost 1 to 5 to San Jose and 1 to 4 to Arizona. What’s up with the defense in L.A.?
The problem for the Kings in this matchup is that their defense isn’t playing well while Minnesota’s offense has been very good. This is a matchup play, bad defense versus good offense, which means that the Wild have the advantage. The Wild could pull off the upset. Back Minnesota to get it done in L.A. on Friday.
New Jersey at New York Rangers
When: Sunday, Oct. 18
The Devils aren’t exactly playing defense, either. New Jersey got blasted 1 to 3 by Winnipeg and 3 to 5 by Washington in their 2 games last week. The Devils are ranked twenty-sixth in goals against so far this season.
New Jersey is allowing an average of 4 goals per game. Even if the Rangers only go for 3 goals in this, they should still beat New Jersey. The Rangers appear to be on a mission during this early part of the season. They destroyed Columbus in 2 games, 4 to 2 and 5 to 2, last week. They opened the season by beating Chicago 3 to 2 as a +115 dog on Oct. 7.
The Rangers should handle New Jersey at home in this matchup.
Pick: New York Rangers