The Hockey Diaries: Bad HABits

The Hockey Diaries: Bad HABits
Ilya Sorokin #30 of the New York Islanders on January 10, 2021 in East Meadow, New York. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

2020-2021 NHL Season Record

BetsWinsLossAvg. PriceAccuracyProfit

Yes, that was a pun… and one which those of you following last year’s results would understand all too well. The first thing you would need to know is the Montreal Canadiens are called the ‘Habs’. This is an abbreviation for ‘Les Habitants’, the locals or inhabitants. These were French, the first Europeans to settle in parts of the Canadian province of Quebec. This French history is also the basis for the Montreal Canadiens being ‘Canadiens’ and not ‘Canadians’. As someone whom has been called an American for nearly a decade straight I won’t be too upset if you choose to spell it in the English way.

Anyway! Back to my witty pun.

Let’s quickly revisit a unique feature of Montreal during the 2019-2020 season. Someone asked about the PPD after my previous article – it was the play of the day and was set up as a hockey trade with a probability above 50% which represented the greatest value on either the moneyline, puckline, total or team total. Pretty simple. Ahead of the Penguins vs. Canadiens summer series I wrote the following:

“You will already be aware of the betting relationship the Canadiens and I had. It was something out of those toxic stories which Dr. Phil or, perhaps more honestly, Jerry Springer might feature. I had an entry this year called the ‘Puck Play of the Day’…insert fire emote. Why fire? Well, because you could say the Habs single-handedly torched what I was trying to do [with the PPD].”

Connor McDavid is the favorite for Hart Trophy
Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers. Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images/AFP

Kinda. Montreal’s moneyline was featured as the most value on the day seven times over the course of the season and lost every single one despite the NHL odds. In three of those they held two goal leads, and two of those they held 3-0 leads (fire). Overall backing the Habs it was not all doom and gloom. However, considering I went 12-17 on their moneyline for about a 6 unit loss, and seven of those losses came when I projected there to be the most value, is not easily forgettable. A two goal lead is far from a gimme, three though is still pretty rare to comeback from.

Soooo…y’all see some similarities? Does this mean Montreal will run in the same manner for my approach in 2021? Possibly. At a certain point games they ought to win, but don’t, they should probably become a part of the identity and something that needs to be considered for pricing. Challenge is knowing if so, then when.

So, yes, last night as Montreal jumped out to an early lead I was resolved to switch over to some hoops on the telly. Oh, what’s that? You’d like to take a completely needless offensive zone penalty? And then you’re going to follow it up with two unnecessary holdings and delay of game infractions 3, yes 3, seconds apart to give the Leafs a 5v3 and complete control of the last 20% of the period? Nah I don’t mind…I am sure plebs like Tavares, Matthews, Marner, and Nylander won’t EVER punish you for that.

Where does that leave us? Right here:

Alright jokes and dripping sarcasm aside, this loss would not have felt bad whatsoever without the prior antagonistic quality of the Canadiens results (directed only at me certainly) last year. More importantly though, I stand by the above tweet. And nothing wakes you up for the realities of the sport like a Leafs vs. Canadiens meeting we witnessed last night.

Today we have our first foray into the back-to-back rematch scenario – Edmonton vs. Vancouver. There are going to be loads of these over the season. Twenty of the Oilers games are back-to-backs, and eight of those are against the same opponents. However, as everyone should be aware, teams are going to be playing rematches with the same opposition with absurd frequency this year. Again, as an example, 44 of the Oilers 56 games are against the same opponent on at least one side of their schedule including a few back-to-back-to-backs. A season like no other…

Parker Wotherspoon #42 of the New York Islanders on January 10, 2021 in East Meadow, New York. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

January 14th NHL Bets

New York Islanders vs. New York Rangers
Islander Moneyline (-110) (BookMaker)
Boston Bruins vs. New Jersey Devils
Devils Moneyline (+160)
Devils Over 2.5 (+100)
Hurricanes vs. Red Wings
Hurricanes -1.5 (+125)
Vancouver Canucks vs. Edmonton Oilers
Oilers Moneyline (-125)
Oilers -1.5 (+200)
Calgary Flames vs. Winnipeg Flames
Over 5.5 (-120)
Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings
Over 5.5 (-105)

*The picks reflect the line at the moment the writer made the play on BookMaker. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our NHL odds.


Always risking 1u, never ‘to win’ 1u. If I expose two, that still remains risking 2u, not betting 2.5 to win 1 simply because the price is shorter than what I have. A standard stake here is 1u = 1% of your bankroll. This will keep you in the game instead of busting out every other day because you decided to be stupid and put your entire bankroll down on 8 wagers. If you have worse prices don’t bet more to compensate. Please do not attach my plays in parlays, you are costing yourself extra money trying to cut corners.