Andrew Berkshire picks out his four best NHL bets for Tuesday.
Every year we talk about how the NHL is a young man’s game and, while it’s still early, a couple of players who are ‘old’ by NHL standards are ripping it up to a crazy degree. Leading the NHL in points at 5-vs-5 with 20 are 32-year-old Erik Karlsson and 35-year-old Sidney Crosby. It’s odd to think of either as old, but Karlsson has struggled in recent seasons with cumulative injuries, and Crosby has been overshadowed by younger stars like McDavid. It’s still early, but sometimes we’re far too quick to decide a player is past their best before date. Something to remember!
Cole Caufield to score anytime vs San Jose Sharks
It’s been a couple of games since Cole Caufield lit the lamp, including being held without a shot in a game for the first time this season, but not to worry. Over the last couple of games where Caufield only managed one shot on goal, he still managed to direct seven shot attempts at the net, four of them scoring chances.
There’s also another reason to bet on this. Since Marty St. Louis took over as head coach of the Canadiens, Caufield has been one of the most dangerous players in the NHL on home ice, notching 26 goals in 32 games played at the Bell Centre. Only Kirill Kaprizov has more at home, with 28 in 35.
Winnipeg Jets to beat Colorado Avalanche
Two red-hot teams face off against each other, but while the Avalanche are definitely the superior team overall, the Jets seem to be firing on all cylinders lately, and they have Connor Hellebuyck to back them up if they make any mistakes.
As strong as the Avalanche are, the goalie mismatch here is pretty crazy, and I don’t think we’ve seen Colorado’s final form yet. At some point this season, you have to think they’ll be looking to find a stronger second line center.
Florida Panthers to beat Calgary Flames
Getting an up-close look at the Flames this week, they’re a team in disarray. The Darryl Sutter structure is there in terms of controlling possession, but most of the shots are coming from the outside, and even then, a lot of the shots are coming from the bottom of the lineup. Conversely, it seems the Flames give up incredible chances on the few shots they do allow.
On the other side, the Panthers are a bit of an inconsistent mess too, with Paul Maurice unable to recapture the magic that Andrew Brunette tapped into last year, but against a team that seems to have as little confidence as the Flames lately, I like Florida’s chances.
Seattle Kraken to beat Los Angeles Kings
These are two teams very clearly on the rise, but while the Kings have stellar underlying numbers, they’ve been pretty inconsistent in terms of results. The Kraken have similarly stellar underlying numbers, and they’re finding ways to win almost every night.
Whether it’s a tight game that needs overtime, or a blowout, the Kraken keep finding themselves in the win column when the final horn blows. Maybe that ends here, but I think Seattle has the better chance of the two teams.