NHL Off the Post: Week of November 1st

by Sean Murphy

In a new weekly column I'll be taking a look around the NHL at some current angles and trends you can use in your daily hockey handicapping.

Here's a quick look at some interesting tidbits from around the league as we flip the calendar page over to November.

Shooting (blanks) Stars

The Dallas Stars have been an 'under' bettors' dream so far this season. Eight games, eight 'under' results. We've seen the Stars score more than two goals just twice in those eight games and they head into Tuesday's matchup in Winnipeg having found the back of the net only four times in their last three games combined. We have to anticipate some regression to the mean from a totals perspective moving forward, especially when you consider Dallas boasts what I would consider a below-average goaltending tandem that features veterans Braden Holtby and Anton Khudobin (at least until Ben Bishop gets healthy). It's not as if the Stars talent cupboard is bare, particularly up front, and they enter the new week as healthy as any team in the league outside of Bishop.

Fly-ing high in Philly

The Philadelphia Flyers return home off consecutive 'under' results in Western Canada after their first five games this season had all totaled six goals or more (4-0-1 o/u record in those games). They'll host the reeling Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday, noting that Flyers home games have totaled 9, 7, 9 and 6 goals this season. Perhaps their recent low-scoring results are factoring into Tuesday's total, however, as it sits at a reasonable 5.5. In games involving Philadelphia totaled at 5.5 goals this season, the 'over' has gone a perfect 2-0. Arizona checks in sporting a 17-7 o/u record the last 24 times it has come off five or more consecutive losses, as is the case now as it sits 0-9 on the season.

Mile high expectations

It wasn't the start they had hoped for, but the Colorado Avalanche have rounded back into form as they head into Wednesday's home game against Columbus off back-to-back victories over the Blues and Wild. Of course, injuries and quarantines played a role in the Avs slow start as Nathan MacKinnon started the season on the shelf while Gabriel Landeskog (suspension) and Mikko Rantanen (injury) have missed time as well. Interestingly, Colorado has yet to close as a favorite -200 or higher this season. That could be short-lived as we're likely to see the Avs laying a steep price at home against the Blue Jackets on Wednesday night. Note that the Avs check into that game sporting a 29-5 record the last 34 times they've come off a home win by two goals or more.

A devil of a time

The spooky season may be in the rear-view mirror but the New Jersey Devils are still dealing with some demons of their own. Since opening the season with back-to-back victories they haven't been able to string together a winning streak since, going 2-3 over their last five contests. I'm more interested in playing New Jersey 'overs' rather than backing or fading it at this point, as it remains a struggle between the pipes until MacKenzie Blackwood can get back in the crease. The Devils have already used three goaltenders this season. Only veteran Jonathan Bernier has enjoyed much success but we're talking about a small sample size of three games as he's dealt with an injury as well. On a positive note, even with former first overall draft pick Jack Hughes sidelined since game two, New Jersey has managed to score three or more goals in five of seven contests this season. Not surprisingly, the 'over' is 4-2-1 in the Devils seven games and next up is a date with the Anaheim Ducks, who have seen the 'over' cash in seven consecutive games, on Tuesday night. 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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