Pucking the trends: This week's best NHL bets

Nov 10, 2013 |
Pucking the trends: This week's best NHL bets
Ben Bishop has been a revelation between the pipes for Tampa.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Ben Bishop has been a revelation between the pipes for Tampa.
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 Nov. 4 - Nov. 10.

Hot team

Tampa Bay Lightning (2-0 SU)

Acquiring Ben Bishop from the Ottawa Senators last season has turned into a franchise-changing transaction. The Lightning, always able to light the lamp, were atrocious at keeping opponents off the board during the lockout-shortened season. They ranked 26th in the league, allowing 3.06 goals per game. Cue the change. Bishop has been one of the best goalies in the league and has cut the team's GAA down to 2.44. The Lightning have won four-straight overall and won both matchups this past week. It's going to be a busy week upcoming, with four games on the agenda.

Cold team

Calgary Flames (0-3 SU)

To the surprise of, well, everyone, the Flames got off to a relatively good start but have cooled off considerably. Especially this past week where the team dropped each of their games. It was a veritable "who's who" of the Western Conference, however, as the Flames dropped games to Minnesota, St. Louis and Colorado on the road. They'll get back to the friendly confines of the Saddledome this week with games against San Jose, Dallas and the hated Edmonton Oilers.

Best Over play

Dallas Stars (2-0-1 O/U)

Dallas had a rough week when it came to keeping the puck out of the net. Kari Lehtonen and company gave up five to the Blackhawks Saturday and outlasted the Red Wings 4-3 Thursday. The Stars rank near the bottom in the league in goals against, allowing an even 3.0 per game. The offense is fueled by Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, who each have 16 points to lead the team. The Stars hit the road to go up north this week, but games against Edmonton and Calgary could keep the Over trend continuing.

Best Under play

Ottawa Senators (0-3 O/U)

Ironic since the Sens were last week's top Over play. Looks like the defense and stellar goaltending we got used to last season has returned. Young netminder Robin Lehner was very good this past week backstopping the Sens to a 3-0 record courtesy of a .958 save percentage. It could be a banner week for the Under in Sens' games as they host other solid Under teams such as the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins.

Surveying the schedule

- As the Western Conference continues to dominate the East this season, the Nashville Predators could provide some betting value as they continue their tour of the northeast. The Preds face the Islanders Tuesday and the Penguins Friday.

- Conversely, the East's best bet versus the West is the aforementioned Lightning. T-Bay, who is a sparkling 6-0-0 versus the West, has a pair of games versus the West this week - at home against Anaheim Thursday before traveling to face the Phoenix Coyotes Saturday.

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