Pucking the trends: This week's best NHL bets

Feb 10, 2013 |
Pucking the trends: This week's best NHL bets
The Vancouver Canucks have won five straight games.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
The Vancouver Canucks have won five straight games.
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 Feb.3-Feb. 10. All stats are prior to Monday's action.

Hot team

Vancouver Canucks (3-0 SU, Season: 7-2-0-2, 5-6 ATS)

The Canucks downed the Flames 5-1 Saturday night to extend their winning streak to five games. Cory Schneider has responded after a slow start with a 1.00 GAA over his last two starts and Roberto Luongo has silenced critics with his strong play of late. Vancouver has a full-fledged goalie controversy on its hands, but both tenders seem to be pushing each other to be better, at least for the time being. Additionally, the Canucks could get a boost on offense in coming weeks. Stud center Ryan Kesler (shoulder/wrist) is back practicing with the team and is nearing a return.

Cold team

New York Islanders (0-4 SU, Season: 4-6-1-1, 6-5 ATS)

The Islanders skated to a respectable 4-3 SU start to open the shortened campaign, but they’ve taken a turn for the worst in the past week. New York has dropped four straight, managing only five goals during the losing skid. The Isles host the Hurricanes on Monday before two tough clashes with divisional foes New York and New Jersey.

Best over play

St. Louis Blues (3-0 O/U, Season: 8-2-1 O/U)

After starting the year 6-1 SU, the Blues have dropped four straight. The wheels have fallen off defensively for St. Louis, which has yielded 21 goals during the skid (5.25 per game). The Blues will try to get back on track when they host the Kings Monday before hitting the road for a three-game set. Jaroslav Halak (groin) has been activated from IR and is expected to return to action against Los Angeles.

Best under play

Edmonton Oilers (0-3-1 O/U, Season: 2-9-1 O/U)

The Oilers haven’t played over the total in eight straight games. Edmonton is 0-7-1 O/U since playing over Jan. 26 in Calgary and averages just 2.2 goals per game. Surprisingly, the young Oilers have done a great job at keeping pucks out of their own net, allowing opponents to score 2.4 goals per game (ninth in the league). Edmonton now enjoys a five-game homestand beginning Tuesday when Dallas rolls into Rexall Place.

Surveying the schedule:

-The Philadelphia Flyers hit the road for six games starting Monday in Toronto. The Flyers are just 1-5 SU away from home and have been a horrible puckline bet (3-9 ATS).

-The Chicago Blackhawks have skated to a league-best 10-0-0-2 start and are entering a favorable stretch in their schedule. Chicago enjoys a seven-game homestand at the United Center beginning Tuesday when Anaheim visits the Windy City. The Blackhawks have only played two home games this season – both one-goal victories.

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