Pucking the trends: AHL betting news and notes

Jan 7, 2013 |
The NHL lockout is over, but there’s still plenty of money to be made betting on the AHL. Check out the latest betting news and notes from the young guns in the AHL.

Hot Team: Syracuse Crunch

The Crunch hold a four-point lead in the East Division after going 5-0-1-0 in their last six games. Four of those five wins came on the road, where Syracuse is a league-best 15-3-0-2 on the season.

Brett Connolly has six points in his last six games and is second on the Crunch in scoring with 30 points. The sixth-overall pick in 2010, Connolly played 68 games for Tampa Bay last season and is expected to join the Lightning once NHL training camps begin, along with a few other key players for Syracuse.

Goaltender Dustin Tokarski, who has won his last five starts and is 15-5-3 on the season, will likely stay with the Crunch, who have enough talent to stay near the top of their division regardless of who gets called up.

Cold Team: Peoria Rivermen

Peoria has lost six of its last seven and its last three wins have all come in a shootout. As a result, the Rivermen find themselves once again at the bottom of the Midwest Division. With nine goals in the last seven games, Peoria has scored a total of 81 on the season and has allowed 112 for the second-worst goal-differential in the league.

Derek Nesbitt is the only player on the Rivermen with more than nine goals. He has 12, and also leads the team with 104 shots. Rookie Jaden Schwartz is third on the team with 19 points but is a minus-14. Leading scorer T.J. Hensick has four assists in his last seven games. Evgeny Grachev, who had 38 points with the Connecticut Whale two seasons ago, has nine points in 35 games this season.

With stats like that, it’s unlikely Peoria will lose many players once the NHL season starts, but that’s not the kind of addition through subtraction a team can feel good about. Unless the Rivermen can find chemistry in their existing roster, the last half of their season won’t look any better than the first.

Surveying the schedule:

- The Toronto Marlies hit the road for a little Canadian trip, starting Tuesday against North Division rivals Hamilton before flying to St. John’s for games on Friday and Saturday. The Marlies are a mediocre 8-7-1-1 on the road this season, but the IceCaps are 6-10-1-1 in St. John’s.

- The Worcester Sharks play four games this week, beginning with an important Atlantic Division matchup in Portland against the division-leading Pirates. The Sharks then host Springfield on Friday, travel to Albany on Saturday and return home to face Portland for the second time in the week.

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