Top NHL Betting Picks & Predictions of the Week - January 2nd Edition

Top NHL Betting Picks & Predictions of the Week – January 2nd Edition

Written by on January 2, 2018

No team from Canada has won the Stanley cup since the Montreal Canadiens beat Wayne Gretzky’s Los Angeles Kings in the 1993 Finals. Is this the year a team from north of the border breaks through? The Maple Leafs are a major threat in the East and the Winnipeg Jets are one of the biggest surprises in the West as they lead the Central Division. Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is having his best season and was named the NHL’s No. 1 star for last week. Here are two big hockey games to watch this week. Check back for NHL betting odds at our online sportsbook.

Top NHL Betting Picks & Predictions of the Week – January 2nd

Los Angeles Kings at Edmonton Oilers NHL Betting Prediction

When: Tuesday, 9:30 PM ET (NBC Sports Network) The Oilers were Western Conference favorites entering the season but just can’t seem to get things going as they are two games below .500 and on a three-game losing streak. They aren’t even close to a wild-card spot as things stand. Edmonton was bombed at home by Winnipeg on New Year’s Eve, 5-0. No. 1 goalie Cam Talbot has now allowed five goals or more three times this season. He is a mediocre 14-12-2 on the season with a 3.01 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. Another issue: The Oilers are by far the worst home team at killing penalties this season. The Oilers are fifth best on the road with an 85.1 percent success rate but are only 57.4 percent at home as they have given up 23 goals on only 54 attempts while the Flyers are next at 72.7 percent, giving up 15 goals in one extra attempt. To put that into context, if the Oilers went the next 46 attempts without giving up a goal, they would move up to only 26th if everything else was equal.

How is Todd McLellan Doing?

Coach Todd McLellan could lose his job soon if things don’t turn around. He’s resorting to desperate measures. Yohann Auvitu, who has played 19 games at defense for the Oilers, has been practicing as a forward lately and could see game action there Tuesday. On Monday, Auvitu skated on Mark Letestu’s left wing. Other line shuffling saw Patrick Maroon with Connor McDavid and Jesse Puljujarvi. The Kings snapped a two-game losing streak with a 4-3 win in Vancouver on Saturday. Star defenseman Drew Doughty scored the winner in the third period. That gave him 99 career goals, which is tied for second best career-wise as an LA King with Steve Duchesne, behind only Rob Blake who had 161. Doughty has 28 points in 39 games. The Kings improved to 3-3-2 since an eight-game winning streak. Somehow, this is the first meeting of the season between these division rivals.

Chicago Blackhawks at NY Rangers NHL Betting Prediction

When: Wednesday, 8 PM ET (NBC Sports Network) Always fun when two Original Six teams meet. The Hawks remain without goaltender Corey Crawford due to an undisclosed injury. He has been the team’s best player, going 16-9-2 with a .929 save percentage (second among No. 1 goalies in the league) and a 2.27 GAA. Backup Anton Forsberg hasn’t been good and the team had to call up 32-year-old Jeff Glass from the AHL. He had never even played an NHL game until this past weekend. So that’s two goalies with precious little NHL experience to backstop the Hawks through their most dire regular-season situation since the 2010-11 season.  The Hawks of course won three Cups this decade but they might miss the playoffs this year. Chicago also is without second-line center Artem Anisimov, who has joined Crawford in IR. Anisimov left last Thursday’s 5-2 road loss to the Canucks during the first period and did not return. He is second on the team with 13 goals and has five assists. He also has six game-winning goals, tied for second in the league.

How Has New York Done So Far?

Are the Rangers a safe bet this week in NHL? The Rangers played Buffalo in the Winter Classic at Citi Field on New Year’s Day and beat the Sabres 3-2 in overtime. New York is without winger Chris Kreider. He is scheduled to meet with his medical team early this week as physicians on the case devise a plan to respond to the blood clot in his right arm. The best-case scenario is the 26-year-old winger might be able to return by late February. But the possibility exists Kreider could be sidelined for a substantially longer time depending upon the cause of the clot and the course of action necessary to heal it. New York lost in Chicago on Nov. 15, 6-3. Anisimov scored three times in the third period, and Nick Schmaltz had three assists. Alex DeBrincat, John Hayden and Jonathan Toews also scored for Chicago. Crawford had 25 saves. Henrik Lundqvist made 30 saves before he was replaced by Ondrej Pavelec at 6:32 of the third.

Expert Predictions & NHL Betting Picks of the Week

Edmonton beats the visiting Kings and the Rangers rout Chicago.