avatar Written by Graeme on Sunday, January 1st, 2023

We end the year on a winning note, going 2-1. Happy New Year!

Caps handicap came in with ease. Stars one wasn’t AS easy but still came in quite comfortably.

Lost with Flames/Canucks over which is one you could probably tell I wasn’t in love with. Both teams showed in the 2nd that they had the capabilities to go over the total, alas they could not.

Let’s get onto Sunday small slate.

Devils vs Hurricanes:

Devils got the big win over the Penguins Their metrics are still solid as mentioned and I thought that could happen. Now they’re going against an advanced metric juggernaut in the Hurricanes.

I’m very happy to skip this game. I think we’re going to see Devils start to put in some good results but gotta pick our spots. I could see a win for both sides here so happy to skip it. Plus man an earlyish game on New Years Day? You know these guys weren’t tucked up in their bed at 9pm last night.

Panthers vs Rangers:

Just two very weird teams. If you go just by goals for and against, Rangers win to 3 or something related to that is a decent bet. But you dive deeper and there is a bit of a concern there. Panthers should be scoring more, and Rangers should be conceding more and those two could collide here.

My gut says Rangers take the win here but at about 2.10 odds, there isn’t enough value.

Senators vs Sabres:

Ottawa come in stumbling somewhat. Buffalo come in crushing it yet are underdogs. It makes sense looking at the metrics. The Sabres offense is really overperforming. Goaltending overperforming as well. Sens offense underperforming.

It’s one of those things where it’s going to all come crashing down for Buffalo eventually. Is this the game?

Senators had a 2-0 lead against the Wings then threw it away.

Yeah I just don’t feel good enough about this one. I think if Sabres were like 2.25 or something I may reconsider but 2.10 is too thin for me, and Buffalos B2B record ain’t something I love.

Blackhawks vs Sharks:

Eh. By the metrics, the Sharks might be a play. But do you really want to be backing a team like them right now? Especially with Kahkonen apparently in net?

Just not feeling it.

Kraken vs Islanders:

Kraken come in on a losing slump with some disappointing offense. Islanders come in on a winning run and their recent road performances haven’t been too bad. Very hot and cold really.

I’m not seeing any play that really jumps out at me. If you want a value play – Islanders to win the race to 3 at 2.35 is good. I’d price that one at about 2.00 myself. They really should get those 3 goals – the problem isn’t that, but more the Kraken and them having a chance to get them. Plus on the road. Not enough overwhelming metrics for me to back it myself.

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BetNHL.ca » Tonights Tips » January 1st, 2023 NHL Betting Tips
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Sabres ml – this squad is loaded with young talent and they’re playing with great confidence. After beating the Bs in OT (I called the tie) they take on a meh Sens, who are also on a B2B. Ottawa’s Anton Forsberg will take the crease today. He’s posted an underwhelming 3.23 GAA with a .906 save percentage thus far. Both teams also played on the road yesterday, so rest shouldn’t factor into this contest. The better team wins.

Sharks – fade tanking Blackhawks

Canes – on a heater whiles Devils have hit the skids.



Car/NJ over 6 at +100

For NJ, Vancek showed a little less consistency in the month of December. Low shot totals are still a staple of this NJ team so Carolina will have to make the most of the shots they do take. Like they were able to do on December 20th when he gave up 3 goals on 13 shots over two periods to them. Aho back the last 3 games and some games under his belt should give them another offensive piece. He’s getting the shots since the return and the goal has eluded him.
With Carolina they’ve gotten incredible goaltending out of Kochetkov. But it also speaks to the defense when you see the shot totals he faces on a nightly basis. One team that was able to get shots against him was the Devils. Kochetkov passed the test making 37 saves on the 38 shots against. But it did show the Devils are a team that can crack the Carolina defense. And if given a similar opportunity today, they should fare better just based on law of averages. If it’s Raanta which it’s been the last 4 games for Carolina, well then I’m getting a goalie with worse stats so I like the over even more. He is coming off back to back shutouts. But one was vs Chicago the other was an absolute defensive masterpiece to neutralize Florida.
Both Carolina and NJ are at the top of the Metro. And Carolina not only took the Devils food, they also just recently beat them. It’s amazing what a loss to the Ducks can do for a team lol. Both teams are used to dominating the advanced metrics. And I don’t think either team will back down from what they are used to doing. I think this can have an adverse effect. Instead of being a defensive stalemate, we can see two teams becoming more alpha and determined to push to a higher level. The even money and the lower total of 6 makes it a little easier to stomach if this does turn into a defensive battle.

Over 6 +100


To WIN moneyline: Buffalo and San Jose
Leans: To WIN Puckline: Buffalo and San Jose

San Jose usually looks like a team that tries to be competitive; not great results against the top 30% of teams, but elsewhere, usually. Chicago is not happening this season, they can’t score and are full of holes. I’m guessing it’s a 4-2 or 4-1 result. Both teams on back-to-backs with travel. Such things being equal, San Jose should take this game.

Similar with Buffalo, both teams on a back-to-back, and such things being equal, Buffalo is the far better team. I don’t understand Buffalo not being favored by the odds, so the +1.5 would be a parlay pick, and the puckline win a possibility (but I’m not going for).


Buffalo Vs Ottawa
Wanted to start out by saying there is no bets I have made on this game. So if anyone out there is looking for one within, they can feel free to ignore this. It’s a quite lengthy rant. Just some opinions and take aways I have based on watching yesterdays game and Buffalo in general.

My first thoughts on this matchup was to take Ottawa. I made Ottawa -120 and the -125 is absolutely still in line and I should still play it. But I’m fine with passing. Buffalo has the better offense, the better goaltending matchup, and the momentum. It was just enough to second guess if my thinking is wrong, that my fragile ego couldn’t handle if I took Ottawa and they get crushed 4-1.
I was hoping there’d be an over reaction on Buffalo. I think there is but not to the level where I was hoping to get plus money on the Sens. I still think with the Sabres talent they could come in here and blitz them so I needed the plus money on the home team. So my next thought was immediately to the over.
However that’s been heavily juiced up to -130. So I’m off both bets. I still think the over 6.5 comes in though. And I like that more than taking either side. I always seem to watch the games where Anderson does really well. And I couldn’t fire against him at -130 when totals aren’t really a handicapping strength of mine.

For Ottawa, Forsbergs numbers seem average enough at first glance. But the game logs show me a different story. 8 of his last 10 starts he’s given up 3 or more goals. One of the 2 games was this Buffalo team, and as we know with their 4.00 GF/PG, that’ll be a tough repeat. The second was vs the Sharks who rank 23rd in the category (right with Ottawa).
Anderson is better but Buffalo still allows so many shots against. It wouldn’t be crazy to have him finish with a solid save percentage and still give up 3 or 4. He does have two stellar performances vs the Sens. But the first game was a life time ago in the opener. The
second was mid November and he didn’t start. Both Buf and Ott allow tons of shots, take and draw penalties, and have top 6 ranked Power Plays.

Both Ottawa and Buffalo had a common opponent recently in Boston. Both beat the juggernaut in almost similar fashion. Both were throughly dominated in the metrics though. In fact looking at 5 on 5 metrics in both teams wins, and the percentages for most categories are nearly identical. With both teams usually finishing in the mid to low 30 percent ranges.

With Buffalo the story was Luukkonen. I was actually unimpressed with everything they did or didn’t do offensively vs Boston. Maybe my expectations were too high because of what they are capable of. Both Pastrnak and Marchand had goals and both deserved at least one more. The saves Luukkonen made left me very impressed. What he did was nearly identical to Ottawa who got 49 saves out of Talbot vs Boston in order to pull off their shootout win. Also smart of Buffalo to have the 41 year old Anderson in net to start this game. He might be the only one on the team who was in bed with lights out by 8:30pm.

I think Buffalo is still closer to Ottawa then it is to being ranked with any of the top teams. They still have another level they need to get to. Luukkonen needs to show he can have performances that can steal a game like he did vs Boston. Or at the very least show he’s more capable then the guy who gave up 4 or more goals in 4 of his first 6 starts. Buffalo also has a decent schedule in the month of January.
The only Top Tier Team in my current power rankings would be the road game vs Dallas on the 23rd. A lot can happen from now till then to change opinions too. What Buffalo does have is a bunch of bottom level teams. We’ve seen what Buffalo can do to these teams and that’s run up the score. Those are the games I’m hoping for great pricing on in regulation, -1.5 and maybe even some higher line spreads. Those games include Philly, Nashville, Chicago, Anaheim and St. Louis.
But the real intrigue in evaluating whether this team is reliable or not is what they do in these mid level match ups. And how consistent they are night to night. Those include Washington, Minnesota, Seattle, Winnipeg and the Islanders. It also includes how they perform here tonight vs Ottawa. Not just the final result.
I think Ottawa deserves to be the favorite here. But a dominating performance by Buffalo will force me to change and bump them up to the potential mid level teams. I just wasn’t ready to do it yet. I want to see another game or two. Buffalo should have a winning month of January, the schedule is set up for them to, and it’ll be interesting to see how they get priced going forward.
Seeing a few people I have respect for putting money on Buffalo. Not having a play, I hope this cashes for you. Will be rooting as I watch the game. Buffalo is a fun team to watch and plays a style that’s easy to just sit back and watch as they develop.


Also for what it’s worth I have Boston Celtics -115 on the money line.


Live wager on the 2nd period of the Buffalo vs Ottawa game…

Over 2.5 goals at +150 half unit.

Buffalo little sloppy first. Should dial up getting to locker down 1-0. Ottawa making sure to pay attention to detail to start. The longer shift changes should provide for opportunities for both teams. I expect it to potentially ramp up. If Buffalo continues to be sloppy chances for Ottawa. If they continue to draw penalties by Ottawa, Buffalo will be tough to completely shut down.


Also I encourage anyone who is able, watch the Buffalo broadcasts. If just for the intermission team of Martin Biron and I believe the other guy is Brian Duff. Tons of broadcasting knowledge and breakdown. Along with stats and always a tid bit or two to take away. Sometimes it can be used towards gambling, sometimes it just gets you to see things differently or highlight things you may over look. Though it’s just an intermission team, it’s way better executed and informative then most every other version out there. Others are sorely lacking and leave a lot to be desired.