Things are starting to even out in the NHL of late, with unbeaten runs and record-breaking streaks ending. The top team in the standings were beaten by one of the basement-dwellers this week, and a couple of mid-ranked teams have put together impressive winning streaks. Things are looking nicely balanced, and this week showed that, on any given night, any team can be beaten, regardless of their opponent.
NHL betting sites have responded to the Avalanche's recent slump by making the Boston Bruins the new Stanley Cup favorites. But even the Bruins aren't perfect, as Arizona proved on Friday night, albeit with luck on their side. With under two weeks left until the Christmas hiatus, those teams with their sights set on the playoffs will be hoping to go into the break with a positive run of form.
On Saturday night, David Perron became the 371st player to reach the 1,000 regular-season games marker, and the 38th active player to do so. Perron is the fourth player to reach the milestone already this season, following Alex Goligoski, Josh Bailey and Evgeni Malkin. There are five more players who could potentially reach that revered number before the end of this season. But let’s get to this week’s rankings.
Three defeats in three for the Blackhawks this week, with just a single goal scored. This team is bombing and on course for just 57 points this season. Not surprisingly, the primary issues are in attack. The Blackhawks have only found the net 62 times in 26 games this season, the worst scoring rate in the NHL, so it’s best to give them a swerve whenever visiting NHL betting apps in the near future.
Arizona managed to record one of the more unlikely and undeserved victories of the week, defeating the league-leading Bruins 4-3 on Friday night, despite being outshot 46-16 and losing the xG by 5.23 to 2.06. It was just the fifth home game of the season for the Coyotes, who now have seven matchups at the Mullett Arena to look forward to before the end of the year.
The Ducks managed a victory this week, over a surging Carolina Hurricanes. It was the sixth time this season that the Ducks have won in OT or in a shootout, with just one regulation victory to their name after 28 attempts. With just 70 goals scored and 120 allowed, this team are fully in tank mode.
After the best part of a decade with the Flames, Johnny Gaudreau was victorious in his first game against his old team, winning 3-1 in Columbus on Friday night. It was a win that the Blue Jackets desperately needed, having lost in their previous three games, including an embarrassing 9-4 collapse against Tage Thompson and the Buffalo Sabres.
The Sharks ended a four-game slump against the Ducks on Friday night, putting six goals on the board. Logan Couture and Timo Meier are tied for the team lead in goals, with 14 each, while Erik Karlsson remains way out in front on the points chart, with 37. First-choice goaltender, James Reimer, should return from injury on Tuesday night.
Not many people would have fancied the Flyers to defeat the Avs this week, with USA sports betting sites placing them as rank outsiders on Tuesday night. Nonetheless, the Flyers were able to record a come-from-behind victory over the reigning Stanley Cup champions. HoweverNonetheless, it was one of just two victories for Philadelphia in the last month, going 2-10-4 in that time.
It was another losing week for the Canadiens, falling to Vancouver in a 7-6 overtime thriller and to Los Angeles, 4-2, on Saturday night. The Habs had a 4-2 victory of their own in between those two defeats, beating the in-form Kraken, but this season just seems to be getting away from the team, with no real signs for immediate optimism.
The Sabres continue to be involved in high-scoring games, with Tage Thompson shooting the lights out again this week. The Arizona native broke a franchise record against Columbus on Wednesday, scoring four goals in the first 16:40 of the game. His four goals tied the NHL record for most goals in a period, as Thompson broke the 20-goal mark for the second straight season.
The Canucks drew a blank against the Wild on Saturday night, bringing a three-game winning streak to an end. Vancouver had been developing a tendency of winning tight, high-scoring games of late, with 3-2, 4-3, 6-5 and 7-6 victories in the last fortnight alone. Canada sports betting sites aren't budging, however, as this team are still distant outsiders for a cup run.
The Blues won the second half of their New York back-to-back this week, beating the Islanders 7-4, having lost 6-4 to the Rangers the previous night. That win against the Islanders is the only victory that the Blues have managed in their last six games, however, and their playoff hopes have faded to a distant dream now.
Coming into the week with four wins from their last five games, the Sens were optimistic that they had finally turned a corner. Defeats against the Kings and Stars were a setback, but an impressive win over fellow strugglers Nashville put a nice shine on the week, at least. Thomas Chabot has nine points in eight games since returning from injury.
Nashville were given their second five-day break in just over two weeks, but unlike the first rest period, they couldn't capitalize on this time off. Defeats against Tampa Bay and Ottawa mean the Preds remain at just over .500, and adrift of the Western Conference wild-card spots. Roman Josi managed to get 14 shots on net in those two games played.
A successful week for the Capitals, who won each of their three games in the past seven days. Whilst there is still some room to improve if the Caps are to mount a playoff push, this is definitely a step in the right direction. Backup goaltender Charlie Lindgren has proved a very capable replacement for the injured Darcy Kuemper, winning all three of his starts this week.
A three-day break for the Red Wings will be well received after successive defeats to finish this week. Things were looking good after 4-2 victories over both the Blue Jackets and Lightning, but a heavy defeat on the road against the Panthers and an OT loss against Dallas mean that it's five points from a possible eight for the Wings this week.
Back-to-back defeats on Friday and Saturday nights meant that this week did not turn out the way that Flames had hoped. Calgary were riding a three-game winning streak when they visited Johnny Gaudreau and his new teammates on Friday, but the Blue Jackets weren't for turning, winning 3-1. Dan Vladar looks to have taken the starter’s role in net, for now.
The Wild went 2-2-0 in a busy week, with Kirill Kaprizov's 14-game point streak ending in Vancouver on Saturday night. Kaprizov had recorded 21 points in that span, with nine goals and 12 assists. That streak ended in a 3-0 shutout victory over the Canucks, where goaltender Filip Gustavsson recorded his first career shutout, in his 37th game.
The Oilers have looked a different team since the Thanksgiving break, winning six of their subsequent eight games. Stuart Skinner is now a clear number one in goals, having started six of those eight games, winning on five occasions and putting up a 47-save performance in the defeat to Washington. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl continue to make this sport look easy and will always be among the contenders for the Conn Smythe Trophy with betting apps.
A more positive week for the Kings, with victories over the Senators and Canadiens to show for their Canadian road trip. A goalless effort against the Leafs was a low point, losing 5-0, but at least things are beginning to trend in a slightly more positive direction. The Kings are 4-3-3 in their last 10 outings.
One of the few teams to have defeated the New Jersey Devils this season, the Islanders have followed up victory with defeat for a couple of weeks straight now. The Isles’ Stanley Cup odds continue to hover around the middle of the pack, indicating that there has not been much change in the US betting apps’ perceptions of this team so far this season.
Since their seven-game winning streak ended, the Kraken have failed to win in their last three games. 2022 fourth overall pick Shane Wright was recalled to the team for the game against Montreal on Tuesday, and subsequently recorded his first NHL goal in that game. Wright will now join the Canadian squad for the World Junior Championships, as he attempts to win gold in consecutive years.
The Rangers turned things around nicely this week, going 3-0-0 against Vegas, St. Louis and Colorado. Artemi Panarin is on an assist streak, putting up nine apples in his last five games. Igor Shesterkin looks to have recaptured the form that won him the Vezina last year, putting up 41 saves in a narrow 2-1 win over the Avs on Friday night.
Ovations for injury comebacks are usually reserved for players who have missed months, sometimes years. Kris Letang missed 12 days after having a stroke, but his return was greeted like he had been gone for much longer. The Penguins continue to surge, winning five straight and 10 of their last 12. NHL betting apps have been cutting their cup odds on this team lately.
As good as they have been in recent seasons, the Florida Panthers just haven't got the measure of their in-state rivals. In their nine encounters this year, the Panthers are 1-7-1 against Tampa, scoring 15 and allowing 35. The Panthers managed just one win this week, beating the Red Wings, but lost either side of that game to the Jets and those pesky Lightning.
No team has more road points in 2022-23 than the Carolina Hurricanes. With only three regulation defeats from 18 road games, the Hurricanes have proved that they are capable of winning just about anywhere. With only nine home games played, and with seven of their nine remaining matchups in 2022 at home, this team could be poised for a surge.
It feels weird to say this, but the Avs are struggling. They've racked up four consecutive defeats, with just five goals scored. Colorado have now used 23 different forwards this season, more than any other team. The major mitigating factor here is their extensive injury list so far this season, with Nathan MacKinnon the latest star player to miss extended time.
Dallas managed to turn their week around, having lost consecutive games against the Wild and Leafs. Back-to-back OT wins over Ottawa and Detroit got them back on track, as they stay neck and neck with the Jets for the top spot in the Central Division. Roope Hintz has six points in his last four games after signing a contract extension at the end of November.
The Jets recorded three consecutive 5-2 victories this week, over Anaheim, Florida and St. Louis, before also disposing of the Blackhawks in a 3-1 victory. This team are really hitting their stride lately, going 8-2-0 in their last 10 games. Josh Morrissey continues to go under the radar, with 30 points, including 25 assists, in 30 games thus far.
Tampa have gone 10-4-0 in the past month, banishing their mediocre early-season form to a distant memory. Five Lightning players have been hovering in or around the point-per-game mark over that time, including defenseman Mikhail Sergachev and winger Alex Killorn. The form of Victor Hedman remains a concern, however. Hedman has only recorded three points in that time, a 14-game span.
Two wins from three this week for Vegas, as they managed to be the team to finally end Boston's unbeaten home start to the season. Not such good news on the absence front, however, with Alex Pietrangelo continuing to miss time for personal reasons, and key men Shea Theodore and Jack Eichel both missing games this week. Watch this space.
If the NHL season had started on Thanksgiving Day, the Leafs would be top of the standings. Toronto are 7-0-1 since November 24, scoring 32 goals and allowing only 15. Mitch Marner's incredible point streak continues; the winger has now recorded a point in 22 consecutive games. Marner has 11 goals and 19 assists in that time, a franchise-record streak.
Just two games for the Devils in the past seven days, with a win and a defeat to report. A comfortable shutout against Chicago was followed by a high-scoring 6-4 defeat against the Islanders. The Devils have built up enough credit in the early part of this season, so this defeat won't make too much of a dent in their overall standing.
The Bruins finally lost at home this week, ending an NHL record-setting run of 14 consecutive home wins to start the season. Vegas were the team to spoil the perfect run of form, but a less likely defeat came later in the week when the Bruins were beaten by Arizona. Between those two defeats, there was a 4-0 shutout victory over the injury-troubled Avs.