Tuesday's NHL trends are collected and ready to go. Let's take a look at what you should know before betting today's NHL playoff games.
One trend to note is that the BetQL NHL model has gone 15-6 (71.4%) on all 4-star and 5-star NHL picks in the past seven days for a total return of $728 on $100 bets, so you'll definitely want to know who the model is picking in these awesome first-round matchups. BetQL subscribers can see more betting trends and all of our best bets, including player props, with star ratings for every game!
It truly looked as if this series was over after the first two games of it in which Carolina dominated Boston as they had all year. The Bruins have stepped up since Game 3 however, and they have tied the series at two games a piece heading back to Carolina. Boston is 11-3 straight up in its last 14 home games against Carolina, so I guess you could say they play very well against them at home. They will need to steal a game on the road in order to win this series, which remains to be seen.
The Bruins must have played Evanescences hit song "Bring Me To Life" in their locker room before Game 3, because it looked as if they all took adrenaline shots before the game with a completely different style of play than we saw in the first two games. The energy was there, the goals were finally there, and the defense and goaltending have played well in both Games 3 & 4. As a result, we have a series again when we thought we didn't. The Bruins have their confidence back, and with goaltender Jeremy Swayman up to the task in net, it is anyone's game.
Carolina needs to find a solution at goalie fast. After being put into action after injuries to both starting goalie Frederik Andersen and backup Antti Raanta, Pyoter Kochetkov has a -0.5 goals saved above expected. Raanta could be back for Game 4, but even so, the Hurricanes have been outplayed in this series so far. Boston holds the edge in key defensive metrics like Corsi for percentage, expected goals and high-danger chances.
Tampa Bay proved true to its form when they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 4 with a 7-3 victory on home ice. Since 2020, starting goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is 15-0-0 with a 1.31 GAA, a .948 save percentage, and five shutouts following a playoff loss. Toronto failed to capture momentum by taking a 3-1 series lead, and now it is tied heading back to Canada. I think we all expected this to be a very close series between two very talented teams, and we are getting that so far.
The Lightning had an offensive revolution in Game 4, something that they sorely needed in these playoffs. Through the first three games, Tampa Bay was only averaging 2.33 goals per game in the series. Their Power Play unit has started to get better after an abysmal Game 1, and they have generated more high-danger chances than Toronto. This is a back-to-back Stanley Cup winning team, and they are going to be competitive in any series they are in.
The Maple Leafs have been the third-best offensive team in the playoffs thus far, averaging 4.33 goals per game. This type of offensive production is critical for this team, because they never know what type of performance they are going to get in net from their net minders. One thing to note, is that their special teams unit has really been underperforming. Toronto had the top Power Play in the regular season, converting at a 27.3% rate. Through the first four games of the playoffs, they are only converting at 13.3% and are ranked 11th out of 16 playoff teams.
Here's a hint for you: every game on the slate today is tied 2-2, so we are in store for some awesome hockey across the board. This series is no different, and another that we expected would possibly go to seven games. Game 4 was a massive victory for the Blues, as they could not afford to go down 3-1 to the Wild, who had just whipped them 5-1 in Game 3. The Wild have scored 11 goals in Games 2 & 3, and looked like they had exposed the defense of the Blues, but fell back to earth in Game 4.
St. Louis got off to a quick start in this series with a 4-0 victory in Minnesota but then lost both the next two games. Despite that, they actually played very well over those losses, and in Game 4. They have seen their high danger chances increase, and their scoring opportunities, and that broke through in Game 4. I would expect that trend to continue moving forward, but the Blues have to play better defensively. They have allowed far too many high-danger chances to the Wild after allowing only 9.6 per game in the regular season in five-on-five play.
Minnesota looked like they had all the momentum heading into Game 4, but failed to capitalize. They had almost all the statistical advantages in the series, and they still have quite a bit of them. In two of the first three games, Minnesota out-played the Blues in scoring and high-danger chances, which resulted in expected goals ratings above 60.0% in Games 1 and 3. Now that they are back at home, their defense should start to play a bit better, as they had all season on their own ice. Minnesota limited opponents to 6.3 high-danger chances and 17.0 scoring opportunities at home, compared to 8.5 and 20.5 on the road.
Another series in which one team won the opener, and then lost both Games 2 & 3, and then rebounded to take Game 4. There are a lot of similarities on this slate of series', and it all comes to a close most nights with Edmonton and Los Angeles. It looked like the much more talented Oilers had seized momentum with blowout wins in Games 2 & 3, killing the Kings with a 6-0 shutout and 8-2 victory respectively in those contests. However, we got to see the old Jonathan Quick again on Sunday.
Los Angeles has been tied to how well their goaltender plays for much of the season this year, and that has been no different in these playoffs. If the goalie performs well, the Kings can win the game. If they don't, you could end up with a massive blowout. In Games 2 & 3, we got the latter, but Game 4 was a different story. Quick turned back the hands of time to 2014, the last time he and his team captured the Stanley Cup. He was phenomenal in net, stopping 31 of 31 shots. The defense has been great all season, as LA ranked 12th overall in (xGA/60) and gave up the eighth fewest goals.
Edmonton will look to get that momentum back in Game 5. They have the clear advantage on the offensive side of the ice, and they need to take advantage of that. Quick can't perform at the level he did on Sunday on a nightly basis like he used to, and I don't see it happening again. They are winning in high-danger chances and scoring opportunities, not to mention out-shooting LA by a considerable margin. Los Angeles is also 2-5 ATS in their last seven games.