Date/Time: December 4th, 8:00 p.m. ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
Moneyline: Detroit -135
Newly minted Eastern Conference rivals will meet on the NBC Sports Network on Wednesday night on the NHL betting docket, as the Detroit Red Wings host the Philadelphia Flyers at Joe Louis Arena.
Philly knows that it has a real chance to make a statement in this game on national television, not too different from the statement which we correctly predicted the Dallas Stars would make last night against the Chicago Blackhawks. The men from the City of Brotherly Love got off to a rough start this season, but the argument could be made that they are the second best team in the Metropolitan Division right now in spite of their 12-13-2 record. Things are coming together for G Steve Mason, who just had an outstanding month of November. The offense is still killing itself right now, and getting shut out by the Minnesota Wild two nights ago in a game in which they managed just 21 shots was tough to watch. Still, with goaltending as good as it is has been, Philly is in every game which it plays.
The Red Wings have some real problems right now. They don’t have their leading two goal scorers in LW Henrik Zetterberg and C Pavel Datsyuk, both of which are out injured, and the next highest goal scorer has just seven goals on the season. The front line has essentially become a mixture of what’s left of that top line and the second line, and everything has sort of had to fall into place around that. The good news is that the team has won four games in a row. The bad news is that we aren’t convinced at this point that this team is really all that great. We have to think that G Jimmy Howard is going to get back in net in this game, and though he was able to post a shutout in his last start against the New York Islanders, he still only has six wins in 19 games this year. Howard went over three weeks without a win, and he hasn’t won a game here at Joe Louis Arena since the end of October. That’s why G Jonas Gustavsson has been a bit more lately, and it is helping that he has won his last four starts dating back to the week before Thanksgiving as well.
Still, the Flyers are nothing like the team that they were when they were destroyed by the Red Wings in October. This is a much different team, and it is one which we think has the ability to win this game more often than not. Don’t let those overall records fool you; with Datsyuk and Zetterberg out of the fold, these Red Wings are amongst the worst teams in hockey, and they don’t deserve to be favored in this game.
Philadelphia Flyers @ Detroit Red Wings Pick: Philadelphia Flyers +125
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.