NHL Hot And Cold Lists
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 2/23/2011
Plenty of teams are heating up and cooling down on the ice as we head toward the NHL Trade Deadline. That date – Feb. 28 this year – will really separate who’s who and what’s what in pro hockey but how teams are playing leading up to the deadline could have a big impact as far as which teams make moves and which teams stand pat.
Here is this week’s NHL Hot and Cold list:
New Jersey Devils
The Devils mascot is not the only part of the organization on fire. New Jersey is the hottest team in the NHL and possibly the hottest any team has been at any point this year. If they keep this up New Jersey could literally go from worst to first. The Devils have won seven in a row and 13 of 15. New Jersey (25-30-4) remains in 13th place in the Eastern Conference which gives you an idea of how deep of a hole the team dug in the first half of the year. But in the past 15 games since mid-January the Devils have returned a staggering profit of $1265 for $100 bettors. Don’t get carried away with New Jersey and flirt with the puckline when they are favored. Seven of those 13 wins for New Jersey have come by one goal and three of their last eight games have gone to overtime.
The feel good story of the first half of the NHL season has carried over to the second half of the year. After an embarrassing 6-0 loss at home to Vancouver, Phoenix has ripped off seven consecutive wins, including four wins over teams who would be in the playoffs if they started today. The Coyotes have won $100 bettors $751 in the past seven games.
It is tough to blame Peter Forsberg for cutting his return from retirement short after only two games. The Avalanche have to be happy that the Carmelo Anthony saga has pushed them to the back page in the Denver sports sections. The Avalanche have gone from bad to worse in February. Whether it has been Peter Budaj in net or Craig Anderson, Colorado is losing and losing bad. It has not won since January 24. They have lost ten games in a row and have been shutout in three of them in addition to being blown out 9-1 at home by Calgary. The worst part for bettors is that Colorado was actually favored for four of these games during the losing streak. The Avalanche have cost $100 bettors $1129 during this ten-game losing streak.
Pittsburgh Penguins -1.5
Without the services of Sidney Crosby (concussion) or Evgeni Malkin (torn MCL and ACL), the Penguins have been on a cold streak lately. But sitting with the second best record in the Eastern Conference and with a talented roster that still features goalie Marc Andre-Fleury, center Jordan Staal and all-star defensemen Kris Letang, the Penguins are still favored more times than not. There is little value taking the Penguins when they are favored and absolutely no value taking them on the puckline (-1.5). Pittsburgh has lost four of five and six of eight. Since January 20, 14 games ago, the Penguins have only won one game by two goals or more.
There is a six-way tie in the Eastern Conference for seventh place with the Dallas Stars in the middle of it. It is no secret that the Stars appear least likely to come out of this six-way tie on top. The wheels have fallen off lately for Dallas as it has lost 10 of 12 games and then the team went ahead and shipped James Neal and Matt Niskanen to Pittsburgh. That trade of Neal and Niskanen for Alex Goligoski certainly weakened a Stars team who has cost $100 bettors $875 in the past 12 games.
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