Wednesday'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 96-59 (62%) on all NHL picks in the past seven days for a total return of $2,141 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 seems as if the bright lights of the NHL Playoffs have gotten to New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin, who has looked absolutely lost in net over the previous two games. After essentially winning the Vezina Trophy in the regular season for best goalie, and even getting some attention in the Hart Trophy race for NHL MVP, Shesterkin has been pulled from his last two games after giving up 4+ goals in each. He essentially put the games out of reach for his team, and it has been a total collapse for himself and the Rangers. New York now finds itself down 3-1 in the series and on the brink of elimination.
Incredibly, each of the first four games in this series has seen seven or more total goals scored. Both teams have had serious problems in net, and the offenses have both been playing red hot.
It seems to me like New York has started to lose confidence, and all the momentum is with Pittsburgh now. The Rangers best hope was a great postseason by their goaltender, but without his best, they are up a creek with no paddle. The Penguins rank sixth in the league in five-on-five expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA).
If Shesterkin can't pull himself together, it will be impossible for New York to come back from the brink.
Just when you thought the Washington Capitals were going to go up 3-1 in this series against the President's Trophy winners in the first round, the cardiac cats appeared yet again. Florida made a living this year coming up with impressive rally's and come-from-behind victories, and that showed up yet again in Game 4. With less than 4 minutes remaining in the game and trailing 2-1, the Panthers scored a goal to tie things up and force overtime. They went on to grab the victory in the hands of defeat and tie the series up 2-2 heading back to Florida.
The NHL playoffs are always unpredictable, and I don't think many people gave Washington much of a chance in this series. They have proven that untrue, and that is just peak Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Panthers were the league’s top scoring team by a significant margin, but have only averaged 2.7 goals this series. It isn't an understatement to say they were statistically the best team in the NHL. The Panthers had a 56.4 xGF% in the regular season, and an exceptional power play scoring at a 24.4% clip.
Washington has done well on their power play, scoring 33% of the time in this series, which is a far contrast to their very poor 18.75% in the regular season. They were 14th in expected goals with a 51.04 xGF%, so about average.
I think Florida eventually wins this series, as they have still been the better team overall, but Washington is giving them all they can handle.
Calgary did exactly what I thought they were going to do in Game 4, scoring a plethora of goals on their way to a win over the Dallas Stars. The Flames scored as many goals in Game 4 as they had the previous three games combined, and it was about time that some positive regression went their way. Calgary has been the better team in this series, with a 53.69 xGF% and a 3.13 xGF/60 rating throughout the previous three games, and they were due for a sort of offensive "explosion" relative to what they had done in this series.
Dallas has been quite lucky in this series honestly, just like they have been all season long. They had a -8 goal differential this season and just barely snuck into the postseason. A large reason why is because they have been very good in one-goal contests, and that type of play will eventually catch up to you. It was only a matter of time before they got exposed a bit, and Calgary has gained a bit of momentum back.
Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger has been the star of the series, and he did the best he could, but Dallas couldn't get much going. Oettinger had a .969 save percentage with a +3.7 goals saved above expected rating heading into Game 4, so you can see how he was crucial to what the Stars were trying to do.
I would expect Calgary to really start getting results for their better play, especially against the bottom lines of the Stars. Dallas doesn't have much depth, and that is where the Flames need to take advantage.