Free NHL Pick - Detroit Red Wings vs N.Y. Islanders

New York Islander players celebrating

Sunday, December 4, 2016 6:54 PM GMT

Is goal differential an easy or lazy way to determine power ratings? Join expert capper as he reveals a betting trend and provide an NHL pick for today's showdown between Detroit and New York.

2016-2017 NHL Pick Record: 29-22 .569 +15.50 units
@DanaLaneSports @DanaLaneNHL

I'm going on vacation until the 8th of December so let's get one winner for the road.

First, let's address a question I get a lot. How much do I put into goal differential when determining my power rankings. The simple answer is it's a component but there are too many variables involved in a team's +/- rating to consider it a major piece of the pie. Let's look at it closer.

Betting Tend

The Pittsburgh Penguins are rated number one in my latest poll but in goal differential, they are tied for 10th. A heavy influence of my ratings consists of whether I feel the team I'm betting on will have more offensive chances than their opponent and do they have the goaltending to match, meaning the defense helps the offense. I don't want to hold a great offensive team that has to overcome their goaltending too high in my rating. I'm my opinion no one in the league can roll four lines that have more offensive weapons than Pittsburgh. The only reason their +/- rating isn't higher is because of a horrible loss to Washington 7-1. A bad loss like that can hold your rating down for 3-4 games which aren't the proper way to rate a team. They could win the next five games by a goal and still have a -1 rating despite owning a 5-1 record. The Pens average over 34 shots on goal which to some is an overrated statistic but keep in mind that of the top 20 teams in shots on net 18 of them are at or above .500. Last year the Pittsburgh Penguins led in SOG and they won the Stanley Cup.

The Boston Bruins are rated number two in my power rankings but only 13th in goal differential but the Bruins had a stretch in late October where they lost three straight by a combined score of 14-4.

The Edmonton Oilers are third on my list with a goal difference of +11. This is a case where the ranking matches the +/- ranking as they are 5th in that category.

The point is there are many handicappers that just use goal differential to determine their power rankings which are lazy in my opinion. If you want a more accurate way to determine your rankings but don't want to think too hard use shots on goal.

Detroit Red Wings vs N.Y. Islanders

The Detroit Redwings are playing the second of a back to back, a situation they haven't been very strong in dropping 13 of the last 16. Against the Islanders, the Wings have dropped nine of their last 13 meetings. The price is a little high but the ticket will cash. Take the Islanders as your NHL pick for today's action.


Free NHL Pick: New York Islander -140

Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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