Expect a suspension coming for the Florida Panthers’ Mike Matheson. He was to have a hearing Monday for interference/unsportsmanlike conduct on Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson. Matheson slammed Pettersson to the ice after he delivered a hit to the rookie forward behind the net. He was not penalized on the play but could be facing a suspension after Pettersson suffered a head injury. Here’s a look at two interesting matchups around the league this week. Check back for NHL odds.
Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – October 15th Edition
“It’s a game of details and we’ve got to work on that.”Hear from OEL and Raanta after tonight’s game vs. Buffalo: pic.twitter.com/Y1Wr1KxK9r — Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) 14 de octubre de 2018
Arizona Coyotes at Minnesota Wild
- When: Tuesday, 8 PM ET (NBC Sports Network)
Many thought the Coyotes would be much improved this year after finishing last season strong and with some good-looking young players but the team is just 1-3-0 and ranks last in the league in goals per game at 0.5. The Yotes have scored three goals in four games and all those were in one game – their lone win, a 3-2 shootout victory over Anaheim last Wednesday. Arizona comes off a 3-0 home loss to Buffalo on Saturday.
One of the team’s good young players, Clayton Keller, started the season as a second-line center, but he’ll shift back to a first-line winger. Keller has gotten off to a slow start with no goals and an assist. Getting on a line with Derek Stepan and Richard Panik should help spark him. Keller had 23 goals and 65 points in 82 contests as a rookie last season.
“We’re experimenting with different things,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said of the line changes. “When you get a couple injuries at center, it really takes a hit on your depth. Saying that the last three games with Clayton, he’s getting his chances. We’re out-chancing teams, so I don’t want to get too crazy. But that line had been good for us last year. I think it will maybe help kickstart ‘Kells’ (Keller) a little bit and maybe help ‘Step’ (Stepan), too.”
Tocchet said he’s not yet concerned over his team’s lack of scoring. That’s because even though the team has been blanked three times, the Coyotes have been outshooting their opponents by a big margin. In fact, they have put 107 shots on goal in the three losses.
The Wild (1-1-2) ended a three-game homestand with a 5-4 OT loss to Carolina on Saturday. Devan Dubnyk allowed five goals on 57 shots. The 53 regulation shots against are the most the Wild have allowed on home ice in franchise history (previously 51). Dubnyk is now 1-1-2 with a 2.40 goals-against-average and a .940 save percentage.
Minnesota was in Nashville on Monday so if Dubnyk plays there he probably won’t here. His backup is Alex Stalock, who has yet to play this season. Last year, he was 10-10-4 with a 2.85 GAA and .910 SV.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Toronto Maple Leafs
- When: Thursday, 7 PM ET (ESPN+)
This should be a very entertaining high-scoring game. Pittsburgh is a bit shorthanded right now, though. Goaltender Matt Murray has suffered yet another concussion and his timetable to return is up in the air. It’s at least the third concussion he has had in his four-year career. Murray, who has two Stanley Cups on his résumé, was limited to 49 games in each of the past two seasons. In two games this season, Murray has given up 11 goals on 65 shots for a 5.47 goals-against average and .831 save percentage.
Defenseman Justin Shultz is being evaluated after leaving Saturday night’s 4-3 shootout loss in Montreal with what appeared to be a serious lower-leg injury. Schultz left in the first period when his leg folded awkwardly as he fell to the ice after taking a hit by Tomas Plekanec. Schultz has four assists this year. He was seen on crutches so probably out a while.
The Leafs are an offensive juggernaut in the early going in averaging 4.8 goals per game. Auston Matthews scored his 10th goal of the season Saturday in a 4-2 win over Washington. He joined Mario Lemieux (11 in 1988-89) as the only players in the past 30 years with at least 10 goals in their teams’ first six games.
Matthews is the fifth player in the modern era (since 1943-44) with at least 10 goals in his team’s first six games of a season, joining Bobby Hull (11, 1965-66), Dino Ciccarelli (10, 1986-87) and Mike Bossy (10, 1984-85) in addition to Lemieux, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. Matthews is just the third player in Maple Leafs history with at least 10 goals in the team’s first six games of a season and the first since Babe Dye in 1922-23.
Expert NHL Betting Predictions
Go Arizona on the puckline and the Leafs over the Pens.