We have a full slate of NHL games on this Tuesday in Mid-December. Let's take a look at those teams and zero in on the best bets with our picks of the day.
Anaheim Ducks (21-6-5) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (18-9-3)
Two Of the Hottest Teams in the NHL
You get a top-notch matchup tonight as the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have won 5 consecutive game, are still betting underdogs in NHL odds due in part to the fact that the Leafs are facing the best team in hockey, who are riding a 7 game winning streak in the Anaheim Ducks. The crazy thing about it is statistically, Anaheim is a middle of pack type of team, but where points are concerned, they're number 1 in the league,
The center position is a strong one for the Anaheim Ducks and they'll be looking to ride the back of leading scorer, Ryan Getzlaf.
For the season, Getzlaf leads the Ducks with 33 points. He's coming off of back to back 1 goal and 1 assist games against Winnipeg and Edmonton and most of his production has come on the road. Look for Getzlaf to be a factor in this game as the Ducks face Maple Leafs goalie, Jonathan Bernier.
Bernier is 4-1 in the month of December with a 2.55 GAA and .930 SV%, In his last 3 games alone, Bernier has been on fire, stopping 103 out of 107 shots. The pace might slow down for Bernier in this game, but he'll still need to be at his best against the league's best Ducks.
Center, Ryan Kessler will also be a factor in this matchup as he's scored a point in 4 out of his last 5 games and 6 points total in that time period. The Ducks have been getting the timely goals and it will take a lot from Toronto to beat them.
We could see a lot of goals in this game as Toronto ranks #1 in the NHL at 3.4 goals per game, but also allows nearly 3 goals per game. Phil Kessel has been a beast all season, putting constants pressure on the opposing defense and has had a point in each of his last 4 games. Toronto is coming off of big win to keep their winning streak alive. They defeated the Los Angeles Kings in a shootout as centerman Mike Santorelli was the star of the game. Santorelli has played well in his last 2 games and could be another player to watch here.
Free NHL Pick: Anaheim -120 at 5 Dimes
Carolina Hurricanes (8-18-3) vs. Montreal Canadians (19-10-2)
Picking on the Weak
Picking on the weak costs a price. Even though the Hurricanes have lost 5 straight games and are 2-8 in their last 10 games, the price is heavy as the Canadians are a huge -210 betting favorite. That said, I'm not very worried as Montreal is 11-3-1 on home ice and are coming off of a huge 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
Canadians goalie, Carey Price, comes into this game with some momentum as he stopped 44 of 46 shots against a relentless Kings team. I don't expect him to see that much action here as the Hurricanes have a very weak offense, averaging just 2.1 goals per game. The only thing that positive that can be said about the Hurricanes is their play on the power play and their ability to kill a penalty being a man short.
Max Pacioretty hasn't played his best hockey as of late, but he might break out here. He leads the Canadians in shots on goal at an eye-popping 111 and has one of the better plus/minus ratios in hockey. I have a feeling that this is the game in which Pacioretty wakes up.
One player for Montreal that you wouldn't expect massive offensive production from is left winger Jiri Sekac. Sekac picked up the 3rd star honors in the win over L.A and has 5 points in December after coming off of a 2 goal game. The Canadians would obviously like to see Sekac play like this all season long. He could be a sleeper for all of you fantasy league players.
Free NHL Pick: Montreal -202 at BetOnline