NHL Puck-Line Power Poll as of 3/26/14

Anyone can easily look up who the best teams are in terms of wins and losses in the NHL, but the really successful NHL betting fans are the ones who analyze every aspect of the game. Today, we’re going to look at the puck-lines for the hottest and the coldest teams in the NHL through games completed on 3/26/14.

Who’s Hot

1: Boston Bruins (39-33, +$2,909) – If you’re looking for a team that is going to be tough to beat when the playoffs begin look no further than the Boston Bruins. This team has been wrecking people lately as they are a constant ‘favorite’ and have no problem beating their opponents by multiple goals. Boston is 7-3 against the puck-line in its L/10 games as it was the ‘favorites’ to win all of those games. Over that stretch the offense is producing 3.5 goals per game and the power play as been deadly all season averaging a goal on 20.3 percent of the time it draws the extra man advantage. On the other side G Tuukka Rask is having an amazing season as he is 7-0-1 SU in his L/8 starts for Boston. Rask is distancing himself as one of the best net minders in the league with a 2.05 GAA and a .930 save percentage. There’s no such thing as sure money when betting, but these Bruins are about as close as it gets lately. If they stay healthy this will be the team to beat in the Eastern Conference side of things in the playoffs. They will be tested this week as they hit the road for four of their next five games.

2: Columbus Blue Jackets (47-25, +2,360) – The team making one of the most improbable runs at the playoffs right now is these Columbus Blue Jackets who have pulled a few upsets lately. However, they did fall out of the puck-line top spot this week with a couple of multiple goal losses to the New York Islanders and Rangers. Columbus is a solid squad that is the team that cashes the most when it is put in the ‘underdog’ role it often forces overtime periods that assures a win for the bettors. The Blue Jackets got a pivotal 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday as their leading point man C Ryan Johansen got loose for two goals in the game. Johansen has 54 points this season on 29 goals and 25 assists. The win was huge for Columbus as it had dropped its last two games heading into Tuesday. The schedule doesn’t get any easier for this team as it will face the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, and the Chicago Blackhawks within the next five games. Those are all contests where the Blue Jackets figure to play the ‘underdog’ role and possibly play it well with the chance to win or at least get a puck-line win with a close loss.

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3: Tampa Bay Lightning (41-31, +$1,562) – The Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t moved an inch with all the movement going on around them in the puck-line power poll. The Lightning managed to win five games in a row before losing their last two games one in overtime and the other in a shootout. They have been ‘favorites’ a lot lately and pulled out some tough one goal wins that are great in the win column, but does nothing to help their puck-line standings. As rough as G Ben Bishop has had it lately he is 5-0-1 in his L/6 starts. His GAA has gone sky high of late as he went from a 2.00 mark before the Olympic break to now standing at 2.18 on the season. Bishop has been the benefactor of some serious goal support from Tampa Bay’s offensive unit as it has put up 3.5 goals per game over those six starts. If the offense keeps going like this we have all the confidence in the world that Bishop can get his game back on track and lead this team to the playoffs. Things get a little easier for the Lightning this week as they get a crack at the league’s worst Buffalo Sabres on the road and host the New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, and Calgary Flames.

4: New York Rangers (37-36, +$1,285) – The New York Rangers have climbed above .500 on the puck-line and for the first time all year are making an appearance on our power poll. They have played some excellent hockey lately as they are winners in five of their L/6 games including a four game winning streak. The ironic thing is that LW Martin St. Louis has yet to score a goal since joining the team and the team is still playing extremely well offensively. New York’s offense is scoring 4.25 goals per game during the win streak as it heads into Wednesday’s match-up with the Philadelphia Flyers who are just one point behind them in the Metropolitan Division standings. Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist has been outstanding of late winning each of his L/4 starts giving up 2.0 goals per game and he registered his fifth shutout win of the season in a 2-0 win over the New Jersey Devils last Saturday. If the Rangers can get St. Louis rolling they will immediately become a contender in the Eastern Conference playoffs. After Wednesday’s game with the Flyers they will head on the road for a tour of Canada with games against the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Vancouver Canucks.

5: Chicago Blackhawks (31-42, +$1,090) – The Chicago Blackhawks are the defending Stanley Cup champs and lately they are starting to show why we think so highly of their abilities. They have won three of their L/4 games including a 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night. This is the first time in a while that the Blackhawks have found their way into our puck-line power poll. Chicago’s 31-42 mark against the puck-line isn’t very impressive, but when you consider that it serves as a ‘favorite’ a high percentage of the time it really isn’t that bad of a record. Tuesday’s win gave it just enough to knock the Pittsburgh Penguins off the list for the first time in a very long time. Believe it or not LW Patrick Sharp is the leading point scorer on the team as he has scored 71 points on 30 goals and 41 assists thus far. The offensive weapons this team has makes them the league’s top offensive unit scoring 3.3 goals per game. This is a team we expect to go very far in the playoffs against mostly inexperienced teams in the Western Conference bracket. When Chicago and the Boston Bruins come together on Thursday night it could be a preview of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Who’s Not

30: Edmonton Oilers (35-38, -$2,391) – The Edmonton Oilers lost their L/3 puck-lines to find themselves back in the cellar of our standings this week. Edmonton had showed signs of a turnaround before the losing streak as it defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 and the Nashville Predators 5-1 last week also getting puck-line wins in both of those contests. The Oilers are also dead last in the Pacific Division standings as the division leading San Jose Sharks knocked them off 5-2 on Tuesday night. As one of the league’s worst defenses this team gives up 3.3 goals per game and G Ben Scrivens continues to do all he can as a talented net minder, but it just isn’t enough to keep the puck out of the goal. To say this team struggles offensively would be an extreme understatement as the Oilers put up just 2.4 goals per game as the NHL’s 24th ranked offensive unit. Things don’t get much easier for Edmonton as it faces the high scoring Anaheim Ducks twice in the next five games, it also must play the New York Rangers and the Sharks again. We fully expect the Oilers to cement themselves in the cellar over the next five games and we’ll see them here again when we update again in two weeks.

29: Ottawa Senators (33-39, -$2,339) – The Ottawa Senators did just enough to stay out of the cellar this week as they managed to cover consecutive puck-lines against the Tampa Bay Lightning while flopping to everyone else on their schedule. Monday’s 4-3 shootout win over the Lightning stopped a six game losing streak and helped Ottawa to the 29th spot. The Senators are another suspect defensive team giving up 3.3 goals per game and doing just nothing to stop opponents from scoring. Their offense really isn’t that bad as they score 2.8 goals per game, but unfortunately the defense doesn’t do a thing to help the cause. Ottawa pretty much plays nothing but high scoring games so if a bettor likes laying totals this is the team that can get you to the ‘over’ in a hurry! Senators D Erik Karlsson is having an excellent year and has been solid of late scoring at least one point in each of his L/8 games. Karlsson has 69 points thus far on 20 goals and 49 assists. If they can keep getting this kind of effort from the offense the Senators do have a chance to move up in the standings if the defense can do a better job at stopping the puck.

28: Nashville Predators (36-37, -$2,144) – Well, look who managed to stay out of our cellar in consecutive weeks for the first time all year it is the Nashville Predators who actually haven’t been playing too bad of late. In fact, they went on the road Sunday and shut out the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 giving G Pekka Rinne his first clean sheet of the season. It was just the third shutout for the Preds, but we can’t imagine a more quality team they could shut down than the league’s highest scoring offensive unit. Even with that effort, they dropped a spot in this week’s poll going an even .500 against the puck-line in the last two weeks. This is another team that features a defensive player as the top point scorer as D Shea Weber has 46 points on 18 goals and 28 goals this season. Weber scored two goals in a 6-5 win over the Calgary Flames last Friday. A 36-37 mark against the puck-line is actually pretty respectable for this team that has spent a large part of the season as the worst team on this list. If the Preds can keep it going with a puck-line cover over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday it will be a good start to staying out of the cellar for six straight weeks.

27: Detroit Red Wings (29-43, -$2,009) – The Detroit Red Wings found their way back onto the puck-line bottom dwellers list by going 2-5 against the puck-line since the last time we checked in. Back on March 14th they dropped a puck-line as huge ‘favorites’ to the Ottawa Senators as the 2-1 shootout win was not enough to get the cover. As we head down the stretch run of the season the Red Wings will need a miracle to catch the Tampa Bay Lightning for the last playoff spot in the Atlantic Division as they trail by seven points in the standings. The defense just hasn’t been getting the job done for Detroit as it has given up 3.2 goals per game over the L/10 contests. That is unfortunate for an offense that has put up a respectable 2.7 goals per game over that stretch. If the miracle is going to happen the Red Wings are going to need a huge effort on the defensive end and to keep scoring goals as they have lately. With four of its next five played in hockey town Detroit will have a chance to make it happen as it faces the Lightning, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, and the Montreal Canadiens.

26: Vancouver Canucks (30-43, -$1,841) – The Vancouver Canucks jumped out of the cellar with authority the last couple of weeks as they have played some solid hockey. The Canucks went 6-0 against the puck-line since we last checked in and they beat the life out of the Buffalo Sabres and Nashville Predators in their last two games. Vancouver did get a dose of bad news this week as C Henrik Sedin suffered a leg injury and is expected to miss the next two weeks. Sedin plays a big part of the offense as he has the most points on the team with 46 on 10 goals and 36 assists. He had two assists in the win over Nashville last week. While this team is out of contention for the playoffs it should be mentioned that they have a chance to be an excellent squad next season if they can continue playing great hockey to finish this year. Head coach John Tortorella has plenty of talent on this roster and his guys are showing their potential right now. The Canucks will be playing spoiler down the stretch in games that could decide the Pacific Division championship as they take the ice against the Anaheim Ducks twice as the season winds down and the Ducks try to catch the San Jose Sharks.

Cole Ryan

Cole Ryan

Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.