The National Hockey League
’s regular season only has a couple of weeks remaining before the annual run to the Stanley Cup. Teams are more concerned right now with finishing strong, improving their playoff positioning and getting healthy.
This also marks a great time to check out league totals in an effort to pad your payroll before the postseason begins. There are a couple of interesting trends to focus on before the regular season wraps up in early April.
Washington (43-21-10) is a squad to keep an eye on the next couple of weeks, and not because the team sits atop the Southeast Division standings and is second in the Eastern Conference. The Capitals have seen the ‘under’ go an incredible 53-20-1 that includes a 24-12-1 ledger at their home, and a stellar 29-8 on enemy ice.
Washington is the only team in the Southeast Division to have a positive scoring differential at +23, scoring 203 goals while yielding 180. The Capitals rank second in the league in penalty-kill percentage (85.9) and fourth in goals against (2.4). Washington is just 20th in the league in goals per game, lighting the lamp an average of 2.7 times per contest.
Another team to keep an eye on the next couple of weeks concerning totals is New Jersey. The Devils are on the outside looking in for the playoffs, but they have seen the ‘under’ go a bankable 42-20.
New Jersey (34-35-4) is languishing in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, mainly because the team is a -31 in scoring differential. The Devils have scored just 155 times this season, while surrendering 186 goals. New Jersey has seen the ‘under’ go 21-11-4 at home, and a solid 21-9-7 on the road.
There are just eight teams in the league that have seen the ‘over’ occur more than the ‘under’ this season, led by Colorado (28-37-8). The Avalanche have already been eliminated from playoff contention, and they will be playing out the string.
However, it would behoove you to follow Colorado armed with an ‘over’ record of 46-26. The Avs have seen the ‘over’ go a modest 19-16-1 when playing away from home, but the ‘over’ is an incredible 27-10 on Pepsi Center ice. The main reason for all the ‘over’ outings is Colorado’s porous defense, ranking 30th in the league by allowing an average of 3.5 goals per game.
Pittsburgh (43-23-8) is a solid playoff contender despite suffering some injuries and suspensions to key players. The Penguins have already posted 94 points this season, and would host a first-round series as the Eastern Conference’s fourth seed if the regular season ended today.
But more importantly, Pittsburgh has seen the ‘under’ go 45-26-3. The ‘under’ has been a solid selection in both home and away games, going 23-12-2 at Consol Energy Center and 22-14-1 on the road. The Penguins have a +33 scoring differential, scoring 215 goals while yielding just 182.
So even though the NHL’s regular season is winding down, this marks the best time of the year to cash in on total trends in pro hockey rinks across the country.