We’ve passed the halfway mark on the NHL regular season and there has been plenty to digest. The St. Louis Blues look imperious as reigning Stanley Cup champions while others have reached breaking point with 5 coaches already sacked before we reached the New Year mark.
There’s plenty to look forward to in the second half of the season with things very tight at the top of the Pacific and Atlantic Divisions.
Let’s take a look at some of the big games on the schedule this week.
Washington Capitals @ Philadelphia Flyers
8th January 2020 7:35PM
2018 Stanley Cup winners Washington head to Philadelphia to face their Metropolitan Division rivals on Wednesday night. The Capitals lead the Metropolitan Division and are one of the Stanley Cup favourites, available to back at +850 with CanPlay.
The Caps defeated the San José Sharks in their last outing on a 5-4 scoreline with goals from T.J Oshie, Nic Dowd, Lars Eller and a brace from Jakub Vrana. That win was their third in a row and they won six of their last ten in the league.
John Carlson has been the key man for Washington. He leads all defenseman in the league with 52 points on the season. Alex Ovechkin is the Capitals top scorer with 24 goals.
The Flyers sit 5th in the Metropolitan Division with a 22-15-6 record. They suffered a 6-2 defeat to the Arizona Coyotes in their last outing and they have now lost four on the bounce.
The form book suggests a big win for the Capitals and we’re backing them at -1.5 in the Puck Line betting. That’s available to bet on at +183 with CanPlay.
Edmonton Oilers @ Montreal Canadiens
Thursday 9th January 2020 7PM
Connor McDavid and Edmonton travel cross-country to face the Montreal Canadiens at Centre Bell on Thursday night.
The Oilers have been the surprise package in the NHL this season and their form is one of the main reasons for the compact nature of the Pacific Division. Only four points separates 1st and 5th in that division with Edmonton sitting comfortably in 4th with a game in hand on their rivals.
If the Oilers have been the surprise package of the NHL season then McDavid has been the breakout star. The 22-year-old leads the league in points with 24 goals and 45 assists. He grabbed the headlines on Monday night in their 6-4 win over Toronto too. McDavid scored ‘one of the nicest goals you’ll ever see’ on his way to a four point performance.
In contrast to their Canadian counterparts, the Habs haven’t pulled up any trees. They are third from bottom in the Atlantic Division and seven defeats in a row leaves them with a less than stellar 18-19-7 record.
Again, there looks to be only winner in this one. Back the Oilers to get the win on the road with CanPlay.
Arizona Coyotes @ Carolina Hurricanes
Friday 10th January 2020 7PM
Both of these sides are well-positioned to make a run at the playoffs this season and it’s an interesting clash between Eastern and Western Conference rivals.
These franchises have almost identical records. The Hurricanes are 4th in the Metropolitan Division with a 25-16-2 record while the Coyotes are top of the Pacific Division having played two games more, both resulting in OT losses.
That points to a close encounter and we expect this one to go right down to the wire, possibly to a shootout.
We’re backing the Hurricanes to just shade it on home ice. Back them to win with CanPlay.