Pucking the trends: This week's best NHL bets
Every week, we update you on who's hot, who's not and situational betting spots in the National Hockey League.
For the week of Oct. 28 - Nov. 3.Hot team
Colorado Avalanche (2-0 SU)
No team is hotter in the league. The Avs continued their blistering start to the season with victories in six-straight games, including wins in both their games this past week. Patrick Roy's team is doing it with the top goals against in the league (1.5 per game) and the league's best penalty kill at 90.9 percent. The Avs are at home for three games this week starting with a visit from the Nashville Predators Wednesday followed by Calgary (Friday) and Washington (Sunday).Cold teamCarolina Hurricanes (0-3 SU)
What a dismal week for the Canes. Carolina entered the week on a two-game skid and proceeded to drop all three games in the week, topped by a 5-1 loss on Broadway against a suddenly-resurgent New York Rangers team Saturday. The Canes rank near the bottom across the board in significant stat categories and it showed this past week, where they were outscored a whopping 11-2 in their three losses. They do start a five-game homestand versus the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday night.Best Over playOttawa Senators (3-0 O/U)
Last season's top Under play (11-30 O/U) has already played Over in eight of their first 13 games. The defense has let them down in a major way, allowing a league-high 38.5 shots per game while the normally-reliable goaltending duo of Craig Anderson and Rebin Lehner is allowing 3.2 goals per game, ranking them 27th. Throw in the fact that the Sens are putting up 3.0 goals per game on their own and this team is an Over waiting to happen - at least until the defense and goaltending sort themselves out.Best Under playVancouver Canucks (0-3 O/U)
Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo had an excellent week, capped by a superb 21-save, 4-0 shutout against the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night. Beyond Luongo's stellar play keeping scorelines low, Vancouver boasts an excellent penalty killing unit ranked third in the league (87.3), but a feeble power play that converts on just 9.6 percent of its chances with the man advantage. The Canucks embark on a four-game road trip starting at Phoenix on Tuesday night.
Surveying the schedule
- Over bettors, I'm sure, are constantly looking at the defensively deficient Edmonton Oilers, but their upcoming schedule could have fans of the Over licking their chops. Edmonton starts a four-game road trip in Florida Tuesday night before heading to Tampa, where sniper Steven Stamkos could single-handedly take care of the Over himself. The Oilers are allowing a league-worst 3.9 goals per game.
- The New York Rangers are a much better team than what we've seen in the early stages and may have turned a corner. The Blueshirts are winners of three straight and could provide betting value with three of their four games at home this week. They host Anaheim Monday night, followed by a visit from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Thursday sees them at Columbus before closing the week with a visit from the Florida Panthers.