The Columbus Blue Jackets and Vancouver Canucks clash in one of the crazier matchups on Friday’s slate. These two teams remain far from a playoff spot, but both love giving up goals. Columbus won its last game, while Vancouver lost to rival Seattle on the road. We’ll dive into some NHL Friday Picks, including this game and a few others.
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|NHL Friday Night Numbers|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||-240||-250|
|Detroit Red Wings||+135||+130|
|New York Islanders||-160||-155|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+155||+160|
As expected, the Vancouver Canucks are favorites at home. The Canucks (-180) are moderate favorites to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets (+155). Now that spread sits at Canucks -1.5 (+135). The books gauge 6.5 goals scored for Friday night’s game, trending towards the over at (-125).
The Vancouver Canucks were dropped unceremoniously in Seattle by a score of 6-1. This came on the heels of a 5-2 home win the night before over the Chicago Blackhawks. As everyone knows by now, the first game in the Rick Tocchet era went pretty well. That second contest cracked up as Vancouver had no answers, as Seattle scored early and often. Vancouver comes in with a 19-26-3 with just nine wins at home. NHL Friday Picks are intriguing.
Now, Columbus plays poorly both offensively and defensively, having scored just 125 goals as a team this year while conceding 188. They have a -63 goal differential and reside in last place in the Eastern Conference. Their 33 points are a full ten points worse than the Montreal Canadiens, and the Blue Jackets have a 0% chance of making the playoffs or -50000 odds of missing the postseason.
Offensively, sending in the goals should be the mantra for both teams. Vancouver yielded 191 goals in 48 games which is four goals a contest. The Canucks miss their starting goaltender, Thatcher Demko, and come in with the worst penalty kill unit in the league at 65.9%. It takes time for Rick Tocchet, Adam Foote, and Sergei Gonchar to implement a new system.
Firepower from both offenses figures to garner plenty of chances. Neither team plays much of a cohesive defensive system. Columbus has star power in Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine. Vancouver counters with Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson, and Andrei Kuzmenko. This expects to be a back-and-forth affair, with the teams trading goals. Watch the over at 6.5, and hope it stays there. Teasing it up to 7.5 is risky, but it will be at plus money.
The Battle Of Ontario takes center stage on Friday night as the Toronto Maple Leafs entertain the Ottawa Senators. Toronto has been one of the better home teams in the NHL behind the goaltending of Ilya Samsonov. Quietly, the Russian goaltender is even making a case to be included in the upper echelon of the Vezina Trophy race. There are some solid Las Vegas NHL Odds on that race.
With the All-Star Break next week, a win against the Senators will be crucial, and Toronto has the offense to outscore Ottawa easily. William Nylander, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, and Auston Matthews are among the most “fearsome foursomes” in the entire NHL.
The Maple Leafs enjoy a goal differential of +37, while the Senators are on the negative side at -18. Usually, both teams tend to throw the records out the window against each other. Toronto won the last four matchups, but three were tightly contested games. Our dilemma lies in the fact that the under has connected three of the last four times. What is better to do?
In front of their home fans, the Maple Leafs scored 92 goals in 26 home games (3.54 goals per game). Ottawa gives up 76 goals in 22 road contests (3.45 goals per game). Against four of the better teams in the league, the Senators saw their lamp lit 21 times. Ottawa won just once in that scenario and was outscored 21-7.
With all that in mind, let us double down on the risk here. Toronto laying 1.5 goals on the puck line and their team over of 3.5 goals is a solid way to bet for NHL Friday Night Picks.
It feels tough to watch the New York Islanders skating on thin ice for NHL Friday Picks. This Islanders team looked pretty good early on and was near the top of the Metropolitan Division. Then, disaster struck. New York stopped scoring, and the defense sprang some cracks. Now, the team finds itself on the outside looking into the playoffs.
Detroit came in with expectations too. Steve Yzerman acquired some talent and expected the Red Wings to be closer to a playoff spot. That has not been the case either. The Red Wings are near .500 but cannot get above that mark.
Detroit plays in New York after an exciting affair in Montreal on Thursday night. New York has sucked the life out of every team lately, including their own. It is tempting to wager on the team under Detroit, but let’s go a few steps further. Look to the under at 5.5 goals (Even) and the Islander’s regulation win (Even).
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Chris Wassel is a skilled scribe who possesses a fervor for both sports and entertainment. Boasting a journalism background and over two decades of experience, he has crafted pieces that encompass a diverse array of sports including hockey, basketball, football, and others. His writing is characterized by its lucidity and sharpness, and provides a unique viewpoint on entertainment and political matters. While Chris primarily focuses on sports writing, he also writes about a wide range of subjects.