And that’s two head coaches who have been fired in the NHL this season. Last week, the Devils canned John Hynes about a week after the Maple Leafs let go of Mike Babcock. Toronto has played much better since the change, but New Jersey hasn’t. Who might be the next to go? Detroit’s Jeff Blashill perhaps? Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week NHL Betting matchups around the league. Check back for Mybookie NHL odds.
Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – December 9th Edition
St. Louis Blues vs Buffalo Sabres
- When: Tuesday, 7:30 PM ET
- TV: NBC Sports Network
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
Of course, the Blues made a coaching change last season when they were near the bottom of the standings, and all it did was lead to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup title. That earned “interim” coach Craig Berube a three-year contract. After taking over behind the bench, Berube led the team to a 38-19-6 regular-season record. Berube helped the Blues become just the seventh team since 1967-68 to earn a postseason berth after being last in the NHL standings at any point after New Year’s Day.
It’s the first meeting of the season between these teams. They split last year. The one in Buffalo was a 4-3 shootout win for the Sabres, who entered on a long losing streak. Sam Reinhart scored the deciding goal in the shootout. It came moments after his backhand chance struck the post with less than a second remaining in overtime. Johan Larsson, Evan Rodrigues and Conor Sheary scored in regulation for the Sabres. Carter Hutton made 30 saves. Former Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly had a chance to extend the shootout for St. Loius after the Reinhart goal, but his backhand chance hit the crossbar. Pat Maroon, David Perron and Brayden Schenn scored for the Blues. Jake Allen had 31 saves.
Key NumbersThe Blues enter on a two-game skid following a 5-2 home loss to Toronto on Saturday. Frederik Andersen made 26 saves for Toronto, which had lost seven in a row against St. Louis. David Perron and Ivan Barbashev scored for the Blues. Jordan Binnington was removed after giving up four goals on 11 shots in the first 9:28. It was the first time he had been pulled since Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final after surrendering five goals on 19 shots.
Winger Oskar Sundqvist (lower body) will travel with the team, but he isn’t expected to play against Buffalo on Tuesday. He has been sidelined since Nov. 27 due to a lower-body injury. Fellow winger Alexander Steen also will travel but isn’t likely to return. He has been sidelined since Nov. 6 due to a high-ankle sprain.
Buffalo snapped a two-game skid with a 3-2 OT win in Edmonton on Sunday. Colin Miller scored 1:13 into overtime. Kyle Okposo and Johan Larsson also scored and Linus Ullmark stopped 26 shots for Buffalo. Jack Eichel stretched his career-high point streak to 13 games in the win. Eichel earned a secondary assist on Miller’s overtime winner. He has 10 goals and 13 assists during his scoring spree. Eichel has compiled 42 points in 31 games this season.
Boston Bruins vs Washington Capitals
- When: Wednesday, 7 PM ET
- TV: NBC Sports Network
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
The game of the week in the NHL as Boston comfortably leads the Atlantic Division and Washington is easily on top of the Metropolitan. These clubs are the top two in points in the NHL so every game is important between them for a potential playoff tiebreaker should they finish with the same record. If they do both win their division, they could only meet in the Eastern Conference Finals.
This is the second of three regular-season meetings. On Nov. 16 in Boston, the Capitals were 3-2 winners in a shootout. After T.J. Oshie scored with 59 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, Jakub Vrana faked Jaroslav Halak out in the fifth round of the shootout for Washington’s first lead of the night. Travis Boyd’s first-period goal was the only one Washington managed in the game’s first 59 minutes.
Boston led 2-1 when the Capitals pulled goalie Braden Holtby for an extra skater with about 85 seconds left in the third period. Charlie Coyle scored to open the shootout for Boston, but Braden Holtby stopped the next four tries. Nicklas Backstrom tied it on Washington’s third try, leading to Vrana’s winner.
Big GunsBoston was the last time in the NHL this season to lose a regulation home game, coming 4-1 to Colorado on Saturday night. The Bruins had been 12-0-5 at TD Garden.
Washington’s John Carlson is in the driver’s seat for the Norris Trophy right now, but perhaps there’s a bigger prize in store for the Caps’ points leader. It’s been 20 years since a defenseman has won the Hart Trophy but Carlson is in the mix. As of Monday, Carlson has 11 goals and 43 points. That’s 15 points more than the next closest defenseman, Dougie Hamilton, who figures to be second in line for the Norris at this point. Chris Pronger is the last defenseman to win the Hart Memorial Trophy, tallying 62 points on 14 goals and 48 assists and with a plus/minus of 52 in the 1999-2000 season.