We are coming off a high-scoring night in the NHL that saw an average of over eight goals per game, with five of the six going over the total. Home teams had the same success rate, as five of the six home teams walked away victorious. As usual, we have a busy Thursday NHL docket to sift through with 10 games scheduled for tonight and nine starting at 8:30 pm ET or earlier.
These are the wagers we’re looking at from FanDuel Sportsbook!
The Colorado Avalanche are in a tough spot on Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens. The Avs are playing on the second night of a back-to-back and are dealing with an injury to their primary goalie. That could help the Habs be more competitive and break out of their recent slump.
Darcy Kuemper was the projected starter against the Toronto Maple Leafs last night before being injured in the warm-up. That forced Jonas Johansson into action on short notice to take a beating from the Leafs’ offense with no reprieve, as the Avs only had an emergency backup goalie available. With Pavel Francouz recently re-assigned to the AHL for a long-term conditioning assignment, that means that Johansson is the probable starter for the second night in a row.
That spells trouble for the Avs, who have been much less competitive on the road this season. Colorado has the fifth-best expected goals-for percentage at home this season, falling to 17th as the visitors. Both their offensive and defensive metrics take a hit on the road. Opponents have attempted 10 or more high-danger chances at five-on-five in three of their past five and average 12.0 per game across all strengths.
The Canadiens offense needs a boost after getting outplayed for nine straight games. We’re starting to see increased productivity from Montreal, as they’ve attempted 10 or more high-danger chances in three of five. Getting a chance to pepper a backup goalie playing both nights of a back-to-back is a good spot for a strong offensive showing.
This has the makings of an overtime game. The Avs haven’t been good on the road, and circumstances favor the inferior home team. We’re betting Montreal snags two points in overtime or a shootout.
The Picks: 60-Minute Tie +340, Canadiens +146