Pucking the trends: This week's best NHL bets

Feb 3, 2013 |
Pucking the trends: This week's best NHL bets
The early play of Corey Crawford has made the Chicago Blackhawks a good under play.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
The early play of Corey Crawford has made the Chicago Blackhawks a good under play.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
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 Jan. 27-Feb. 2. All stats are prior to Sunday's action.

Hot team

San Jose Sharks (3-0-0-1 SU)

The Sharks are undefeated in regulation in their first eight games, suffering their only loss in a shootout to Nashville Saturday. San Jose has skated to a 5-3 mark on the puckline during that stretch. Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton are among the league leaders with 14 points each and Antii Niemi has a league-best six wins and a miniscule 1.80 GAA. The Sharks visit the Ducks Monday before hosting the Blackhawks and Coyotes later in the week.

Cold team

New Jersey Devils (0-4 SU)

Everyone expected the Devils to take a step back after the departure of Zach Parise and they haven’t disappointed bettors on the moneyline. Four of New Jersey’s last five games have gone to either overtime or a shootout and the Devils have come out on the losing end in four of those contests. New Jersey visits the New York Islanders Sunday before hosting the Rangers, Lightning and Penguins later in the week.

Best over play

Montreal Canadiens (4-0 over/under)

The Habs have been one of the surprise teams of the young NHL season so far. The return of stud defenseman P.K. Subban didn’t disrupt any of the team’s chemistry in their most recent 6-1 triumph over Buffalo. Montreal has scored four goals or more in five of its first seven games, leading to an impressive 4-0 O/U mark last week. The Canadiens host the Senators Sunday afternoon and then get a nice break before hosting the Bruins Wednesday night.

Best under play

Chicago Blackhawks (0-4 over/under)

Goaltending has been an issue for the Blackhawks over the past few seasons, but it certainly hasn’t been a hindrance thus far. The goaltending duo of Corey Crawford and Ray Emery have been impressive early on, holding opponents to 1.7 goals per game during Chicago’s seven-game under streak. The Blackhawks have three games remaining on their current road trip with stops in San Jose, Phoenix and Nashville this week.

Surveying the schedule:

-The Carolina Hurricanes continue their season-long six-game road trip Monday in Toronto. The Hurricanes fell 5-3 Saturday to Philadelphia in the first contest of the road swing and have allowed a generous 3.3 goals per game so far (24th in the league).

-The Tampa Bay Lightning have skated to an impressive 6-2 start to the campaign but have only played two road games. The Lightning play four tough road games this week, including a tough back-to-back in Boston and New York (Rangers).

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