Week Ahead in NHL: Hockey Betting Preview for Nov. 5 to Nov. 10

Doug Upstone

Sunday, November 4, 2018 1:14 PM UTC

Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018 1:14 PM UTC

Little by little, the cream is starting to rise to the top in the various divisions. While this does not guarantee those making NHL picks can easily identify winners, it helps to know quality.

Let's cross the blue line and start looking ahead to this week.

The Good

Tampa Bay and Nashville have asserted themselves recently with the Lightning 7-3 SU and the Predators 8-2 SU. While it has always been more or less true that you need offensive and defensive balance to be a Stanley Cup contender, it even more important in this age of open-ice and speed hockey.

[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"https://www.youtube.com/embed/JyCVXN8m_xY", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]

Scoring and generating continual pressure forces your opponent to react rather than attack and both Tampa Bay and Nashville are in the Top 6 of scoring. Conversely, when facing a team trying to emulate your play, if you can snuff out rushes and frustrate them when they think they have a chance to score, you are winning the mental battle at both ends of the ice, which is what the Lightning and Preds are accomplishing.

The Bad

What a treat for the people of Helsinki, they got to see the Florida Panthers play twice in two days. (Did Roger Goodell help pick Florida to go there?) Winnipeg was so bored playing the Panthers they managed just a split.

But this might be the high water mark for the last place Panthers before 2019 arrives. Florida has been on a roller coaster ride the last several seasons and it might be continuing. Three years ago they won the Atlantic Division and the following season they dropped 22 points in the standings to finish 6th. Last year the Panthers bounced back 15 points and missed the postseason by a point.

This is a team with average talent that relies on cohesiveness and playing together and right now they are in the bottom third of every key statistical metric. When looking at the NHL odds, betting against Florida make sense.

Special Teams - Part 1

The way the way hockey is played, special teams have never been more important. Because goaltenders collectively have never been bigger and with the amount of specific training and athleticism, when teams have an extra man on the ice, they better find ways to take advantage of their situation. Here currently is the Top 6 in power play percentages.

Power-Play Percentage Leaders, As of Saturday

  • 1) Washington 36.1
  • 2) Winnipeg 33.3
  • 3) Toronto 30.6
  • 4) St. Louis 29.8
  • 5) Boston 29.7
  • 6) Pittsburgh 29.0

Washington's power play was a large reason why they won the Stanley Cup last season and it's been even stronger to start this year. It's not a coincidence that only St. Louis has a losing record, this stat matters. (Next week penalty killing)

Tasty Rink Betting Tidbits
  • TAMPA BAY is 27-9 after a non-conference game.
  • OTTAWA is 8-2 OVER the first half of the season.
  • DALLAS is 12-4 OVER off a road win.
What Lies Ahead - The Schedule

Monday - Edmonton almost made our "Good" list. They have a nasty back to back set starting at Washington and the next night in Tampa Bay (11/6 NBCSN)

Tuesday - While expectations were not lofty, nobody could have imagined Anaheim and Los Angeles would be struggling like they are. They meet at the Staples Center and the losers woes continue.

Wednesday - A great doubleheader starting with Pittsburgh at Washington, followed by Nashville at Colorado on NBCSN. How do you like?

Thursday - One of the stranger back to back matchups with Arizona at Philadelphia. They just played Monday in Glendale, AZ.

Saturday - Saturday's are Hockey Night in Canada and they will feature these games:

  • Ottawa @ Tampa Bay, 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Toronto @ Boston, 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Vegas @ Montreal, 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Calgary @ Los Angeles, 10 p.m. ET

The highlight of this group is the Maple Leafs in Beantown. These teams have a simmering history, let's see if it bubbles up.

comment here