My NHL Best Bets of the Week start this Friday, Jan. 1, with one of the top rivalry games in all of professional hockey. Montreal takes on Boston in Boston. These two teams can’t stand either other. Don’t be surprised if a brawl occurs on the ice in this matchup. On Saturday, a great game takes place between the NY Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The final game of my NHL Best Bets of the Week has Ottawa traveling to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks.
A Closer Look At My New Year’s Week NHL Best Bets
Montreal at Boston
When: Friday, Jan. 1
Montreal and Boston have faced off against each other more times than any other two teams in the history of the NHL. Some believe this rivalry to be on the same level as Yankees versus Red Sox and Bears versus Packers.
Going into the week, Boston is 8-9-2-0 at home. But, the Bruins face Montreal after the Canadiens play 2 other games on the road. Montreal faces Tampa Bay on Dec. 28. Then, on Dec. 29, they take on Florida on the road. That should give the edge to Boston in this game. Boston only has to face Ottawa at home before battling their rival on Jan. 1.
NY Islanders at Pittsburgh
When: Saturday, Jan. 2
Pittsburgh has to travel to Detroit two days before taking on the Islanders at home. The Penguins have a less than spectacular 9-7-0-2 home record to start the week. The Islanders 7-6-1-2 road record to start the week isn’t great, but they get to battle Toronto and Buffalo before traveling to Pittsburgh. The Penguins lack of an offense, Pitt is ranked 3rd in shots taken per match but 28th in goals scored per match, could do them in here against New York. The Islanders are ranked fifth in goals against and second in penalty kills. Expect the Islanders to get a nice road win.
Pick: NY Islanders
Ottawa at Chicago
When: Sunday, Jan. 3
The Senators have gone back to their losing ways. They are 2 and 3 in their last 5 games. Still, Ottawa sits on an 18-12-2-4 record. The Senators could bounce back with some wins this week. The last time that Ottawa faced off against Chicago, they beat the Blackhawks 4 to 3 in overtime on Dec. 3. The problem for Ottawa in this is that Chicago has a 14-5-1 record at home going into the week. The Blackhawks have two tough road games before taking on the Senators on Sunday. That could be the difference.