Happy sports betting, New York! Another Wednesday night, another NHL doubleheader on TNT. This week, we have two very interesting matchups, with the first place New York Rangers taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7:30, and then at 10:00, the titan Colorado Avalanche will take on the young, revamped, exciting squad that is the Anaheim Ducks.
Today, I'll be giving you my personal opinion on which bets you should make in these two matchups, along with some additional bets you can make for the third NHL game this evening, which won't be nationally televised.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to be an expert, in fact, I'm the exact opposite. These are just my personal takes and my personal bets going into tonight's contests. Odds mentioned in this article are subject to change prior to puck drop.
(John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Game 1: Toronto Maple Leafs @ New York Rangers (7:30 PM)
Our first game of the evening will be an Original Six rivalry matchup, featuring two of the top dogs in the Eastern Conference. The Leafs and Rangers are two very comparable teams; both have their bright young stars in Adam Fox and Auston Matthews, both have their experienced, established star veterans in Artemi Panarin and John Tavares, and both feature two of the top goaltenders in the league in Igor Shesterkin and Jack Campbell.
Hockey is completely unpredictable. There really isn't any such thing as a "lock," as we saw on last Wednesday's TNT broadcast when the Cup contending Toronto Maple Leafs got taken down by the last place Arizona Coyotes. However, Toronto has since bounced back, ousting a Western Conference contender in the St. Louis Blues on Saturday on the road, effectively ending St. Louis' 13-game home point streak.
Auston Matthews is currently sporting a 5-game point streak, and has scored 15 points in his last 10 games. Toronto goaltender, Jack Campbell, currently sits second in the league in save percentage, right behind -- you guessed it -- Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers.
The Rangers are 5-2 so far in the month of January and are in first place in the Metropolitan division with 54 points. New York has proven to be the "little team that could" this year, as many people tagged the Blueshirts as still rebuilding coming into the 2021-22 season, and most likely wouldn't compete. But it seems as if the boys are finally putting it all together, and are in prime position to be serious Stanley Cup contenders within the next year or so.
The Leafs and Rangers have played each other twice so far this season, each team taking a game a piece. This is sure to be one of the more exciting matchups that we'll see nationally televised this regular season and you won't want to miss it.
That being said, let's get to the picks. Both of these teams have extremely talented goaltenders and high powered offenses. So it'll either be an absolute barn burner, or a defensive marvel of a game. I'm going to go with the former.
NYR +1.5 puck line
Game 2: Colorado Avalanche @ Anaheim Ducks
To no one's surprise, the Colorado Avalanche have been red hot as of late. The Avs sport an 8-0-1 record in the month of January, scoring a whopping 41 goals in that nine game span. It's not like the Avalanche have only been beating up on basement dwelling teams during this hot streak, as they've defeated Anaheim, Winnipeg, Toronto, Nashville and Minnesota all in the last two weeks.
Mikko Rantanen continues to rack up points at an alarming rate, as he ranks top 10 in the league in both points and goals. Despite missing some time early in the season, Nathan MacKinnon is right back where we expected him to be: making noise as he always does. MacKinnon has 40 points on 9 goals and 31 assists in just 26 games played.
Cale Makar has been as advertised, once again taking his spot as one of the league's top defenseman in his third season in the NHL at only age 23.
Perhaps the biggest surprise on this Avalanche team so far this season is Nazem Kadri. Kadri has always been a solid player, but he might be having the best year of his career in 2021-22. Kadri leads his team in both assists and points with 35 and 49 respectively. Those 35 assists puts him second in the league in that category, right behind Florida Panthers' Jonathan Huberdeau who has 38.
Many fans are up in arms after the NHL All-Star rosters were revealed, showing that Kadri did not make the cut, making him quite possibly the biggest All-Star snub this year.
The Anaheim Ducks feature one of the most exciting young squads in the National Hockey League this season. Ducks center, Trevor Zegras, is a serious candidate to win the Calder Trophy. Zegras' 29 points puts him second in the league among rookies this season, just behind Detroit Red Wings' Lucas Raymond who has 32. Keep in mind though, Zegras has five less games played than Raymond does this year.
Zegras isn't the only shining young star in Anaheim right now, as 24-year old Troy Terry is having a monster 2021-22 campaign. Terry has been in the league for four seasons, but this year marks his first full one in the NHL. Troy Terry's career high games played came last year in the 2020-21 season, where he only played 48 games. Well, so far this year, Terry has 38 games played, and has already eclipsed his numbers from last year while playing 10 less games. Terry currently leads his team in assists with 22 and points with 36.
The last time that Anaheim made the playoffs was in the 2017-18 season, where they were swept in the first round by the San Jose Sharks. Anaheim has spent the last few years re-tooling, hoping to make it back to the playoffs, and they finally seem to be emerging from the league's basement. Anaheim sits in third place in the Pacific Division with 45 points.
With all that being said, no matter how much Anaheim is impressing and surprising this year, they are still no match the for Stanley Cup favorite Colorado Avalanche. As I mentioned above, Colorado already beat Anaheim 4-2 on January 2nd.
COL moneyline -245
COL puck line -1.5
Additional game picks this evening:
Arizona Coyotes @ New Jersey Devils
NJ moneyline -205