The blog – for now – is back from the dead. I hope we can say the same for Corsica Hockey in the coming days, as it looks like the website was taken down last night. Rest In Peace? If it doesn’t come back online, it’ll be a big loss. However, if the site going dark means that another computer boy has moved onto bigger and better things, it’s for the best. Whatever the case may be, it’s never not a good time to say thank you to Emmanuel Perry for the great resource that he’s provided the hockey community with for several years now. Thanks, Manny.
It’s going to be an interesting week, due to some funny scheduling around American Thanksgiving and there will be a lot to stay on top and of heading into the weekend because of it. Today, there are 14 games on the board, and in my opinion, there’s quite a bit to like. I’m not going to touch on every game, just some that interest me. This is a blog, after all.
You can scroll to the bottom of the article to see what prices my model has generated and what plays might be available to you.
Here’s how the schedule shakes out today as far as rest and fatigue goes. Green cells are simply a count of days rest while red cells highlight situations where teams are playing tired.
Nico Hischier is set to return to the lineup and he’ll be sliding back onto the top line with Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri when the New Jersey Devils host the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night. Sami Vatanen skated on his own, but it seems unlikely that he’ll play in this one. Keith Kinkaid gets the start in goal. This game was initially — in my opinion — mispriced by bookmakers. At -117 (the opening price at Pinnacle) I’d have laid more than enough to win a dollar on the Devils at that number, but not at -143 (the current price). My expected line for the home team is -132 so I’m closer to playing the Canadiens at this point.
How about the total, though? It’s set at 5.5, and if these teams stay true to form, this game should be played at a higher pace than just about every game this week. The Devils have been involved in a few low scoring affairs recently, and aside from Monday night against the Capitals, Carey Price (expected) has strung together a couple of strong performances, but these two teams like to shoot the puck, a lot. In terms of generating shots at 5-on-5, the Canadiens rank 6th in CF60, the Devils 10th. As far as quality goes, the Devils rank third in HDCF60, the Canadiens 10th. Todd Cordell touched on the high danger hockey that we’ll likely see in this game. I know I’m cherry picking some stats here — and the line has moved from -111 to -121 — but subjectively, my favourite play on the entire card tonight is Over 5.5 goals (-121) at Pinnacle. Risk $1.21 to win $1.00.
The Dallas Stars are in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins and it looks like Sidney Crosby will be back tonight to try and help the Penguins halt the skid that they have been on. My expected line for the Penguins is -145 with Crosby back in the lineup and the line has moved significantly in the Penguins direction, opening up a betting opportunity.
Anton Khudobin gets the nod for the Stars, and he’s been decent again this year. Casey DeSmith will be in goal for the Penguins but honestly, who really cares at this point? Nothing against DeSmith, Matt Murray, or any goalie for that matter, but I reached a point where I wanted to stop worrying about which goaltenders would start as much as I did. Yes, there are some goaltending situations that I pay close attention to — sometimes just because I’m pretty sure any closing line value I may have potentially accumulated will be toast — but by and large, my expected lines are crafted specifically to manage the risk associated with erratic goaltending usage. In other words, I estimate prices that I would be comfortable playing regardless of which goaltenders start. Obviously, if a goaltender is confirmed, that’s a different story, but this approach has saved me a lot of headaches, so for now, I’ll continue to do things this way. Anyway, the play here is the Dallas Stars +158 over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Pinnacle. Risk $0.84 to win $1.32.
What seemed to be the start of a promising season for the Arizona Coyotes is not looking that way now, however, starting goaltender Antti Raanta is aiming to return this week, and really, whether or not the Coyotes can win some hockey games going forward will depend on him staying healthy and continuing to state his case as one of the league’s top goaltenders.
Sure, the Coyotes have been dealing with some injuries to key players, but it’s part of the grind, and it doesn’t really explain why they’ve been on somewhat of a downward spiral recently. Through the first few weeks of the season, the Coyotes were really taking it to teams, but that hasn’t been the case as of late though. Jakob Chychrun and Alex Goligoski will return to the Coyotes lineup tonight and provide the team with a much needed boost.
The Vegas Golden Knights are also in a bit of a tail spin themselves and haven’t been stringing together strong performances like they were earlier in the season. With Chychrun and Goligoski both now back in the lineup, the Coyotes are in range even with Darcy Kuemper in goal. The Knights are playing their third game in four nights and the Coyotes are sitting on three days rest. Obviously, that’s not the driving force behind this wager, but it’s worth noting. Arizona Coyotes +111 at Pinnacle. Risk $1.00 to win $1.11.
I’m going to stop here for today. Maybe I’ll update things later if there’s any reason to do so, but I wanted to get this post out earlier and that will be the plan going forward. Below you’ll find the prices that my model has generated for each game and the plays that accompany them. Risk amounts are determined using a fractional version of the Kelly Criterion staking system.