Wednesday's NHL trends are collected and ready to go for Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Let's take a look at what you should know before betting the NHL playoff games.
One trend to note is that the BetQL NHL model has gone 148-114 (56%) on all NHL picks in the past 14 days for a total return of $682 on $100 bets, so you'll definitely want to know who the model is picking in these awesome second-round matchups. BetQL subscribers can see more betting trends and all of our best bets, including player props, with star ratings for every game!
Both the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes are fresh off thrilling Game 7 victories against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins, respectively. These two rivals finished 1 & 2 in the Metropolitan Division, with the Hurricanes taking it and Rangers right on their heels. This should be an awesome series between teams that hate each other, and I wouldn't be entirely shocked if it went 7 Games as well.
For Carolina, they managed to beat a very good Boston team without their starting goaltender Frederik Andersen, who was out with an injury for the entire series. Backups Antti Raanta and Pyotr Kochetkov both played a part in taking down the Bruins, but it was Raanta that stole the show. The netminder finished the series with a GAA of 2.37 and an SV% of .927. For the entire series against Boston, the home team won the match. It's crazy how much better Carolina was at home versus on the road, so it is really hard to say what will happen when they travel to New York. The Hurricanes did win the regular-season series 3-1.
The question will be if New York can compete with Carolina in five-on-five play. They were absolutely owned by the Penguins in regular play, and relied heavily on their goaltending and special teams' play. Heading into Game 7, New York ranked last among the 16 playoff teams in xGF% at five-on-five. They were the only team to finish with an xGF% lower than 40%.
This should be a really interesting series, especially for our friends north of the boarder in Canada. This matchup is know as the "Battle For Alberta" in the great north, and these two teams hate each other. Fitting that we get two rivalries on the same night on a Wednesday, also known as Wednesday Night Rivalry. You know they planned it this way after they saw the matchups, have to have that promo going.
Either way, this will be the first time the two teams have battled it out in the playoffs since 1991, four years before I was even born. Neither team had a particularly easy time getting here, with the Oilers just barely scraping by the Los Angeles Kings in seven games and the Flames getting past the Dallas Stars in six. Although, Calgary was a huge favorite in that series and Dallas took them six.
For Edmonton, Connor McDavid will undoubtedly be the best player on the ice, as he would be against any team in the league. He led all scorers in the opening round with 14 points in seven games, and also led in assists during that span with 10. He is going to be a handful, even for Calgary's great defense, but that doesn't make Edmonton invincible. In fact, far too often the Oilers have failed to even make it this far in the playoffs. Mostly because their defense and goaltending has been subpar for the better part of the time McDavid has been a part of the team. No matter how much offense you have, if you don't have defense or goaltending in the playoffs, you are more than likely doomed.
Calgary is an all-around great team, but their offense was great during the regular season. It slowed down against the Stars, but that was mostly because Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger played out of his mind in the series. That won't be happening against Edmonton unless they somehow found a defense or great goalie overnight. I expect a fair bit of offense in this series as a whole, with McDavid and Leon Draisaitl doing their thing for the Oilers, but the defense being so poor that Calgary scores at will.