Happy hockey day! The NHL is back for another season! The quest for the Stanley Cup begins today. As you get set to watch NHL hockey for another year, here's a bet for every single team in the league you'll want to tail.
Boston Bruins - U101.5 Points (-125)
With Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retiring, the Bruins have lost arguably the best two-way centers in the game. That's a massive gap down the middle for Boston. There's no way they're a 100+ point team on the year. They'll fall down to ~95 points, at best.
Buffalo Sabres - Make Playoffs (-120)
All the Sabres need is a goalie. If Devon Levi can average a 0.910 to 0.915 SV% on the season, he'll be the missing link for them. Boston and Tampa will drop off this year, opening the door for Buffalo to break their playoff drought.
Detroit Red Wings - Alex DeBrincat U35.5 Goals (-115)
Last year DeBrincat shot at an uncharacteristically low 10.3 shooting percentage. His career average prior to that season in Ottawa was 15.5%. So his goal rate will increase from the 27 he scored last year. But he's joining a side that had the fourth-lowest shots per game. He's going to find fewer opportunities. He'll score more, but I don't think it exceeds 35 goals.
Florida Panthers - Bobrovsky U28.5 Wins (-115)
Sure, Bob was great in the playoffs but we have to remember he's 35 now and he was terrible during the regular season winning only 24 times. He's only won more than 28 games once with the Panthers.
Montreal Canadiens - O70.5 Points (-125)
This line is asking if you think the Habs will put up at least three more points than last year. With a full year with Cole Caufield, there's no doubt they will. With him, the Habs were on a 74-point pace, without him that fell to 62.
Ottawa Senators - Brady Tkachuk 40+ Goals (+375)
There was no player with more individual expected goals (in all situations) than Brady Tkachuk's 50.19. He only scored 35 goals meaning he was massively unlucky. With that kind of goal-creation rate, I have no doubt he can add 5+ goals to his total from 22-23.
Tampa Bay Lightning - U93.5 Points (+105)
The Bolts will be without Andrei Vasilveskiy for the season's first three months. Vasi was sixth in the NHL for goals saved above expected last year. He bailed out the Lightning a ton. Without him, the Lightning will drop points from last year's total. They'll fall below 93.5 points.
Toronto Maple Leafs - Win Atlantic Division (+175)
Toronto finished second in the Atlantic in the last two seasons. With Tampa and Boston falling off the division is theirs to lose.
Carolina Hurricanes - Win Metropolitan Division (+180)
Carolina has won the Metro in back-to-back seasons. There's no reason they can't win it again. They lost no one of consequence in the offseason and added Dmitry Orlov to their D-core.
Columbus Blue Jackets - Adam Fantilli O46.5 Points (-125)
Fantilli scored four points in four preseason games for CBJ. And while you've got to take preseason production with a grain of salt. This bet is effectively asking if Fantilli can be half as good as he was in the preseason. Yes. Yes, he can.
New Jersey Devils - Luke Hughes wins Calder (+900)
Bedard might be the favorite to win the Calder, but he's the only quality Chicago's got. Luke Hughes plays on a Stanley Cup Contender and a contender that was top 5 in scoring last season with 289 goals. The young defenseman is going to score a bucketload of points.
New York Islanders - Make Playoffs (+100)
Belief in my Islanders to make the post-season isn't high. But we've seen the Isles prove doubters wrong before. With the duo of Mathew Barzal and Bo Horvat, the Islanders have a duo that can score ~150 points between the two of them. Offense is all the Isles are missing.
New York Rangers - O103.5 Points (-125)
Last year Igor Shesterkin regressed to a 0.916SV% and 2.48GAA and the Rangers still put up 107 points. Shesterkin has gone back and forth between good and bad years since his debut in 19-20. This should be a bounce-back year.
WAKE UP, IGOR SHESTERKIN MADE ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL SAVE! 👀 pic.twitter.com/oPEZZm8OKz— NHL (@NHL) March 19, 2023
Philadelphia Flyers - Carter Hart U22.5 Wins (-125)
Philly is going to be hot garbage this year. By design. Briere is going to tank the season and accelerate the rebuild. Carter Hart's stats are going to suffer for it. No way he's going to get more wins than he did last year.
Pittsburgh Penguins - Miss Playoffs (+165)
I've been saying since the offseason that the Penguins will miss the playoffs again. Even after the acquisition of Erik Karlsson. Karlsson is great offensively but awful defensively. And Pittsburgh was already in the bottom half of the NHL for goals against last year. I'm putting my money where my mouth is.
Washington Capitals - Ovechkin O40.5 Goals (-115)
Ovie might be getting older, but he hasn't lost his ability to score goals. In the last two seasons, he's scored 92 goals in 150 games, that's a rate of 50 goals over a full season. We don't need him to score 50, we just need him to score 41. He's done that in eight of his last 10 seasons. And one of those years was the COVID shortened 20-21 season.
Arizona Coyotes - U79.5 Points (-120)
The 'Yotes didn't take a step forward from last year. They've got some interesting young talent like Logan Cooley. But that won't be enough to pick up 10 more points than they did last year.
Chicago Blackhawks - O71.5 Points (-115)
Look, Arizona picked up 70 points last year, seemingly by accident. With Connor Bedard, the Hawks can pick up at least 72 points. Don't get me wrong, Chicago won't be good. But they'll be better than last year.
Colorado Avalanche - Win Central Division (+155)
The Avs enter the season with nearly a full bill of health. Sure, Captain Gabriel Landeskog is out the entire year, but he didn't play last year and that didn't stop the Avalanche from winning the Central.
Dallas Stars - Jason Robertson Lead Central In Scoring (+250)
Robertson has scored 40+ in the past two seasons, and he's only just turned 24. He's just entering his peak. Sure, Rantanen scored 55 last year, but that was the first time Rantanen had scored more than 36 goals. Robertson is the more consistent scorer.
When it comes to scoring goals, few are better than Jason Robertson.— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) October 6, 2023
After back-to-back 40-goal seasons, the 24-year-old comes in at 1⃣3⃣ on our #NHLTopPlayers list! 🤖@TonyLuftman | @Rupper17 | @mike_p_johnson | @DallasStars pic.twitter.com/y9GytgVQrH
Minnesota Wild - O95.5 Points (-125)
Talk about a disrespectful line. The Wild had 103 points last year and we aren't sure if they can get 96 points. What?! What did they truly lose from 22-23? Matt Dumba and John Klingberg? Neither moved the needle forward and are pure reclamation projects with their new teams. The Wild will be fine without them.
Nashville Predators - Juuse Saros O28.5 Wins (+100)
Even if Saros takes a step back he'll hit the OVER. The Preds' number-one keeper has 33 or more wins in the past two seasons.
Juuse Saros made 64(!) saves tonight, but none may be as pretty as this... 😲 pic.twitter.com/gB7ZfpEd2F— NHL (@NHL) January 6, 2023
St. Louis Blues - Jordan Kyrou O74.5 Points (-115)
Kyrou hasn't played a full season over the past two years but has still gone OVER 74.5 points once and very close a second time. I'm assuming he'll be healthy for the entire year, meaning he'll certainly exceed his points total.
Winnipeg Jets - Make Playoffs (-145)
Trading Pierre-Luc Dubois removed a big issue in the Winnipeg locker room. The team's core has recommitted (on long-term deals) and guys like Gabe Vilardi and Alex Iafallo seem to fill out the Jets depth well. Everything is better in Winnipeg. I don't think we see a drop off from last year where they made the post-season in the final Wild Card spot in the West.
HERE TO STAY 😤— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) October 9, 2023
Mark Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck have signed identical seven-year contract extensions with an average annual value of $8,500,000. pic.twitter.com/vINkMjXh9b
Anaheim Ducks - Trevor Zegras O67.5 Points (-115)
Zegras wanted a big payday after his ELC expired. But he didn't have the production to warrant that massive extension. This is the year where he takes a step up from that 65-point player.
Calgary Flames - Make The Playoffs (-180)
Darryl Sittler is gone. Everyone in the Flames dressing room should breathe easier. The Flames were only two points out of a playoff spot last year. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the guys who underperformed last year popped off this year.
Edmonton Oilers - Win Pacific Division (+165)
The Oilers have been runners-up in each of the past three seasons (excluding 20-21 when there wasn't a Pacific Division). They'll be in the running again this year. We've seen better goaltending from Jack Campbell in the preseason. As in he's just above league average. That's all the Oilers need to be dominant.
Folks Jack Campbell might actually be back. pic.twitter.com/GNR3shjNwg— Dyl (@dhockey13) October 3, 2023
Los Angeles Kings - O99.5 Points (-105)
With Pierre-Luc Dubois, the Kings finally have balance down the middle of their top nine. Adding a 30-goal and 60+ point center is a massive win for LA. They had 104 points last season. No way they fall below triple digits.
San Jose Sharks - U66.5 Points (-120)
This team is going to be tragic in 23-24. If I could bet on who will draft first overall I'd take the Sharks. But I can't, so I'll settle for taking the UNDER on their points total.
Seattle Kraken - Make The Playoffs (-130)
Martin Jones was the only player the Kraken lost from last year. And with all due respect to Jones, that's a win for Seattle. The Kraken made the playoffs in 22-23, despite Jones's 0.886SV% and 2.99GAA in 42 starts.
Vancouver Canucks - Miss The Playoffs (-150)
For the n-teenth time, we're all asking what the Canucks are doing? They've got some exciting young talent in Pettersson and Hughes, but they haven't surrounded them with any quality. And now we're hearing that the Canucks and Pettersson might not want to commit to one another? Draaaaaamaaaaa!
Vegas Golden Knights - Western Conference Winners (+600)
This team is deep with talent. And they showed through the season that injuries won't faze them. The Knights were the fifth-most injured team in the league last year and still had the fifth-best record and won the Cup. If they're just marginally healthier this year they could repeat as Western Champs and even Cup Champs.