Hockey Handicapping Articles
Expert NHL Handicapping: Making Sense Of These Crazy Playoffs
by Trevor Whenham - 5/1/2019
The NHL Playoffs have just been bizarre this year. All four division leaders were out in the first round, which means that all four wild card teams advanced. Three of those wild card teams are in decent shape to win another series. One of the division winners, Tampa Bay, had a regular season that was historically great, and they were very solid Stanley Cup favorites, but they were the first team sent packing in the playoffs. Six of the nine teams that had 100 points in the regular season lost in their opening series, and two more are trailing now.
What's Next for Tampa Bay Lightning After Epic Playoff Collapse?
by Trevor Whenham - 4/24/2019
The NHL Playoffs have been absolutely bizarre so far, and the first round isn't even over yet. For the first time ever, both regular-season conference winners failed to survive the first round - and they played only nine games between them. Calgary's demise was shocking enough - and very hard to take as a Calgarian, let me tell you.
Presidents' Trophy Winners Have Struggled to Achieve Stanley Cup Glory
by Trevor Whenham - 4/1/2019
The Tampa Bay Lightning have been a good team over long stretches of time and have won a Stanley Cup in 2004, but they have never won a Presidents' Trophy for having the most points in the NHL. Until now, that is - and they have certainly made up for lost time. They haven't just won the Trophy this year - they have made a mockery of the race.
Expert NHL Handicapping: Is Tampa Bay One of All-Time Great Teams?
by Trevor Whenham - 3/28/2019
The Tampa Bay Lightning are having a truly incredible season by any measure. With five games left to play, they have 122 points and 59 wins. With three more wins, they would tie the 1996 Detroit Red Wings for the most wins in a season. And if they run the table, they would tie the 1977 Montreal Canadiens for the most points in a season. And they are 21 points ahead of the Bruins and Flames, tied for second overall. This is a truly historic season, and we are lucky to be watching it.
Expert NHL Handicapping: Calgary Flames True Contender?
by Trevor Whenham - 3/14/2019
The Calgary Flames are an odd story this year. A tough team that is tough to get a sense of. Heading into this season they were seen as a contender in the Western Conference - but they were contending to make the playoffs, if they were lucky, and probably not much more.
NHL Betting Advice: Best and Worst Wagering Teams for Moneyline Bettors
by Trevor Whenham - 3/4/2019
We are more than three-quarters of the way through the NHL regular season, so we largely know what can be expected of teams from a betting perspective. We know what teams are by now. And that is obviously much more flattering for some teams than others. It's a good time to check in with our betting Studs and Duds - the teams that have been most kind to bettors, and those that have burned piles of money.
Expert NHL Handicapping: Impact of the Trade Deadline
by Trevor Whenham - 2/27/2019
It wasn't the most active or exciting NHL trade deadline that we have ever seen, but in the end we saw a few deals definitely worth talking about. And, particularly in the Western Conference, many of the top contenders changed their look. As is always the case after a trade deadline passes, our job as bettors is to determine which trades really matter and how significant they really are.
Expert NHL Handicapping: New York Islanders Top Betting Team
by Trevor Whenham - 2/15/2019
The New York Islanders were not blessed when it came to their divisional assignment. They are stuck in a group in the Metropolitan Division with current powers like Washington and Pittsburgh and regular powers like the Rangers. That's just geography, though, so you can't dwell on it. What really stands out right now is that somehow the Islanders are leading the division.
Expert NHL Handicapping: Western Conference Playoff Race
by Trevor Whenham - 2/13/2019
When we entered this NHL season, I wrote, in several different ways, that I thought that the race to the playoffs was going to be very intense in the Western Conference. The conference seemed very deep, with 10 to 12 teams that could legitimately contend for a division win or miss the playoffs as well. At this point it appears that I was only half right. The race is very tight - at least at the bottom of the conference. But it is a race between some truly lousy teams.
NHL Betting Advice: Which Cellar Dwellers Will Tank for Draft Position?
by Trevor Whenham - 1/16/2019
The NHL season has only just passed the halfway point. There is a lot of hockey left to play. But the league feels top-heavy this year, so it feels like there are a larger than normal number of teams that already don't have much left to play for.
Expert NHL Betting Advice: Tampa Bay Lightning on Pace to Threaten Points Record
by Trevor Whenham - 1/11/2019
Starting just after I turned a year old in 1976, the Montreal Canadiens launched into a season that saw them earn 132 points. 60-8-12. A truly incredible season - one that ended with a sweep of Boston in the Stanley Cup Final. Why, aside from nostalgia for a time I experienced but can't possibly remember, do I mention that? Well, those 132 points are the NHL record for success in a season.
Expert NHL Handicapping: Winnipeg Jets no Fluke Team
by Trevor Whenham - 1/11/2019
It is a heady time to be a hockey fan in Canada right now - optimistic like we have almost forgotten how to be. We feel like we own this sport - and let's be honest, we are right - but a Canadian team hasn't won a Stanley Cup title since Montreal in 1993 and hasn't even played since Vancouver in 2011. That streak could very well continue, but right now the Calgary Flames are second in the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs are tied for fourth, and the Winnipeg Jets are just two points behind Toronto.
Expert NHL Handicapping: Is Calgary Flames Success Sustainable?
by Trevor Whenham - 12/13/2018
My first ever live hockey game was Oct. 8, 1980. I know that because that was the first ever game the Calgary Flames played in their new home after relocating from Atlanta. I was five years old and got to go to quite a few games that year because my dad and grandpa could take me and I didn't need a ticket. I just stood in front of their seats or sat on the nearest knee and tried to figure out what the heck was going on.
Expert NHL Handicapping: Home and Road Differences
by Trevor Whenham - 12/4/2018
There is one thing that all playoff teams in the NHL - or at least the true contenders - have in common. They may be better playing at home than on the road, but they are capable of winning, and of playing their best, regardless of where they are playing. It's a crucial trait as they head into the playoffs. Playoff hockey is brutal - the hardest of any league - so teams need to win on the road to limit the games they have to play and the abuse they have to take.
Expert NHL Handicapping: Early-Season Disappointments
by Trevor Whenham - 11/20/2018
Before we get into the real task at hand - looking at the teams that have been most disappointing in the first quarter of the season - we have to address something more important. At this time in every season I write articles talking about evaluating the season at the quarter pole. THIS IS FREAKING WRONG, PEOPLE. The quarter pole is not a quarter of the way into a horse race. It is a quarter mile from the finish line. At the quarter pole you are nearing the end. You are not near the beginning. Come on!
NHL Power Rankings: Expert Analysis and Futures Odds
by Doc's Sports - 11/8/2018
We are at a point in the NHL season where most teams have played between 15-17 games. This means that we are approaching the 20 percent mark of the regular season. So far, we've seen some crazy games, some absolute duds, some highly-skilled individual performances, breakout stars like Elias Pettersson of Vancouver, and two coaching casualties. We have had some great stories like the Ottawa players talking crap about one of their coaches, and Brian Boyle scoring a hat trick on Hockey Fights Cancer night in Pittsburgh. To say the NHL season to date has been anything short of entertaining would be a complete lie.
2018 NHL Draft Props: Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 6/21/2018
The NHL Draft starts on Friday, and this year it feels like a particularly important event. The certain top pick is a very special player. The talent behind him runs deep. A lot of teams have big needs, and there is a lot of desperation. The ingredients are there for a great couple of days. The draft has been more important than ever in recent years because players are readier to contribute at a high level early on, the league is getting younger and faster, and the salary cap has made young, talented and cheap stars very valuable.
Handicapping the NHL Western Conference Playoff Race
by Trevor Whenham - 3/19/2018
The race for the final few playoff spots in the NHL's Western Conference is intense. Every team in the mix right now has 10 or fewer games remaining, and there are seven teams fighting for five open spots. Vegas has, impossibly, sealed the division win in the Pacific, and in the Central Nashville has the best record in the league -- and while Winnipeg is well behind them they are still very secure and very dangerous. But the rest is wide open.
NHL Trade Deadline: Major Moves and Updated Futures Odds
by Chris Vasile - 3/5/2018
The NHL trade deadline was once the marquee event of the hockey season. Before the salary cap was instituted, teams were able to make blockbuster deals without a care in the world about going over the salary cap and running out of money/space to re-sign the core of the team. The salary cap was implemented in 2004, and that has turned the trade deadline into the trade "dudline", thus making July 1 - the start of free agency - the main time when it comes to blockbuster deals.
NHL Handicapping: Boston Bruins Once Again a Championship Contender
by Trevor Whenham - 2/14/2018
The Boston Bruins are having a remarkable season. They have just one fewer point than the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning, and they have played two fewer games. On the surface it's not that surprising - the Bruins have had a lot of good years lately. But this was not supposed to be one of those good years.
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