The NHL is back in action after taking its annual Christmas break and the race for the post season is really heating up. In the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues have really stretched their lead at the top of the standings. The Eastern Conference standings show a contrasting story. There is a bunch of teams grouped at the top of the standings with the Washington Capitals leading the way.
We take a look ahead to this week’s games including the 2020 Winter Classic.
New York Islanders @ Washington Capitals
31st December 2019 1:08PM
Barry Trotz brings his Islanders team to face his old team, the Capitals, in the New Year’s Eve clash. Trotz lead the Capitals to their one and only Stanley Cup triumph and this game comes with both teams in hot contention once again.
The Islanders are three games back from the Capitals in the Metropolitan Division and league position as well as bragging rights are on offer here.
Veterans John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin are still the star men for Todd Reirden’s side and they will be expected to shoulder the load on Tuesday afternoon. A win here will see the Caps reach the halfway point of their regular season in control of the Metropolitan Division.
Semyon Varlamov will most likely take his place in the Islanders nets. The Russian is having one of the best seasons of his career and he is one of the main reasons for the Islanders ascension in the NHL ranks.
We’re backing the Capitals to get the win on home ice. That’s available to back at -170 with CanPlay.
Nashville Predators @ Dallas Stars
1st January 2020 2:08PM
The Dallas Stars host the Nashville Predators in the 2020 NHL Winter Classic. The game will be played in the Cotton Bowl. It’s the first outdoor NHL game in one of the southern states. As predicted, weather has played havoc with the ice conditions and the grounds crew are due major credit for ensuring the game goes ahead. Over 80,000 tickets have already been sold for this year’s clash.
There is extra spice in this one considering that it is a repeat of the 1st Round matchup of the 2019 season playoffs. The Dallas Stars ended the Predators’ Stanley Cup dreams last season before losing in the 2nd Round to the St. Louis Blues.
These sides have met once already this season with the Stars coming away with a 4-1 victory. We’re expecting a similar result tomorrow and a big win for the Stars is on the cards. A win here would move them up to second place in the Central Division and put them back in the hunt for Stanley Cup seedings.
Back the Stars to win the Winter Classic with CanPlay.