In a recent article here at SBR, we detailed the brilliance of the Blues to start the season, and since they have only supported our observation. Elsewhere in the Central Division ...
The Blues' 13-3-1 start is a franchise record for 17 games and those making NHL picks from the opening game have picked up +8.3 units. What about some of the other teams in the division?Predators Could Be on the Prowl If Offense Picks Up
As expected, Nashville, the reigning Western Conference champion, got off to meandering start. Coming off playing the Stanley Cup Finals against Pittsburgh, teams that lose that series always talk about it seems the season just ended, and before you know it training camp starts and you are still feeling the sting of coming up short.
But as of Nov. 10, Nashville is riding a three-game winning streak as its offense could be coming out of lethargy (24th in scoring in NHL). If the offense continues to expand, the Preds could be a solid choice against the NHL odds because at this time they are in the Top 10 in fewest goals allowed, power-play percentage and penalty killing.
Winnipeg Jets Exceeding Expectations
If Winnipeg had a little better luck in overtime, we might be talking about them instead of St. Louis. The Jets are 8-3-3 (8-6 SU) and are 0-3 in OT. Winnipeg is on the fringes of being in the Top 10 in scoring and fewest goals allowed, and its power play has been sensational in being ranked 4th. After being inconsistent a year ago, goalie Connor Hellebuyck is a big reason for the Jets' success, ranked third in save percentage and goals allowed.
Why Dallas, Chicago and Minnesota Are Scuffling
Not sure if the scoring pace of this year will keep up, but thus far if you cannot find the back of the net with regularity, you are doing to have a hard time adding up points. All three of Central Division rivals are middle of the road or below average in scoring, which explains why collectively they have lost -10.7 units (as of 11/10).
The best teams this season have scoring depth. Of course, the top line has to produce, but the leaders in the NHL are getting strong contributions from their second and third lines, which is not happening from this trio of teams.
In looking who could move up quickly, that would be Chicago, which has been receiving tremendous goaltending from Corey Crawford and needs more secondary scoring. For the most part, Dallas needs to score to win, being loose on the defensive end. Minnesota is being held back by a series of injuries, and until those players come back hard to back the Wild with cash.Bet On NHL Futures At SBR's Top-Rated Sportsbooks