Thanksgiving is traditionally seen as the quarter-mark of the NHL calendar, so what better time to take stock of how each team has been performing so far in the 2022-2023 season. And although the New Jersey Devils’ amazing winning streak came to an end just as they were about to make history, history was to be made by their Eastern Conference rivals, the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins remain top of the standings, just about, after their 12-0-0 home start to the season. And whilst Boston is rightly seen as a contender for the Stanley Cup this season, NHL betting sites have been slower to give the Devils the respect they are due. The Devils still remain somewhat under the radar, incredibly, despite matching their Massachusetts rivals stride for stride.
Still no signs of life in Chi-town, with just a solitary regulation win for the Blackhawks in their last 10 games, averaging 1.8 goals for and 3.7 against, in that time. The Hawks are tied for the fewest wins in the league this season, and with no reliable goaltending or scoring, it is going to be a long and hard season for this team.
The Coyotes have actually been reasonably impressive thus far, considering they've played just four home games. Averaging nearly a point per game in their first 15 games on the road is pretty respectable. The underlying numbers tell a very different story, unfortunately, with the Coyotes ranking dead last in most metrics at even strength.
Rock bottom of the NHL, with just one regulation win this season, the Ducks are really struggling. That regulation win did happen to fall this week, as they edged the Rangers in a narrow 3-2 win. Anyone betting the Puck Line on USA sports betting sites should steer clear of this team, as they've yet to win by two or more goals this term.
The Flyers have the worst form in the NHL, losing 10 straight games and picking up just three points in that time. John Tortorella's boys shipped heavy defeats to the Islanders, Penguins and Flames this week, losing by three clear goals in each contest. The only mitigating factors here are the injuries, as $25 million worth of players currently sit on the injured reserve.
The Blue Jackets manage a slight rise in this week's rankings simply because they had a quiet seven days. Defeats in both of their games this week, against the Islanders and the Canadiens, confirmed their status as one of the worst teams in the league. Their game on Saturday fell foul of a plumbing issue in Nashville.
Erik Karlsson's scoring slowed down this week, but Timo Meier stepped up in his place. Only Jason Robertson (16) has more goals than Meier (12) in the last month. At the other end of the ice, things aren't going so well. Thirteen goals have been conceded in their last two games, and the Sharks rank in the bottom five for goals against, per game.
The Canucks’ awful start to the season has been consigned to memory for now, and they have actually managed to hit some decent recent form, going 4-1-0 in their last five, including wins over the Golden Knights and the Avalanche this week. Only time will tell if this is a glitch in the matrix or the beginning of a revival.
It has been over a month since the Senators managed to win consecutive games. Their possession and chance creation metrics aren't fundamentally bad; the Sens are actually a relatively average team in this league. But until they can find a way to turn those metrics into victories, they will continue to struggle in the standings.
Thirteen goals scored in two midweek games gave the Sabres a spectacular end to their eight-game losing streak. Scoring has not been an issue for Buffalo, who are fourth in the league in goals scored per game. NHL betting apps should be adjusting their total goals lines accordingly. Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin, Alex Tuch and Jeff Skinner all remain at a point per game pace or higher.
The Canadiens rebounded from a heavy defeat to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night, by recording victories over the struggling Blue Jackets and Blackhawks. Sam Montembeault could be a contender for the starting goaltending job in Montreal if Jake Allen's struggles continue. Allen has allowed at least four goals in each of his last four starts and has an .877 save percentage in November.
Like the Canucks, the St. Louis Blues seem to have turned the corner after their early-season struggles. Although they lost two of their four games in the past week, the Blues are 8-2-0 in their last 10 games. Jordan Kyrou and Robert Thomas both have 15 points in their last 15 games, and no goaltender has more saves in November than Jordan Binnington.
The Predators had their back-to-back homestand postponed this weekend because of a burst water main at Bridgestone Arena. Preds fans will hope that the break will do the team some good, as they have been below-average so far this season. Juuse Saros has had a poor start, with a .905 save percentage coming in notably lower than his .919 career average.
The Capitals had a winning week, defeating the Flyers in OT before shutting out the Flames in a 3-0 victory. They couldn't make it 3-for-3 on Saturday night against the in-form Devils, but there are some positive signs there, at least. With 11 goals in 23 games, Alexander Ovichkin is pacing for just under 40 goals in his age-37 season.
The Wild recorded a big victory over Winnipeg on Wednesday night, putting six goals past Connor Hellebuyck. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of that win was that the goals came from all four lines. Unfortunately, Minnesota couldn't back up that win with another on Friday, as they fell to the Leafs, meaning the Wild have just two wins from their last six games.
Four straight wins, albeit against teams below them in these rankings, mean that the Red Wings are up there among the playoff contenders, even at this early stage of the season. The Wings are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games, with captain Dylan Larkin leading the team in points. Larkin has nine goals and 14 assists, for 23 points in his first 20 games.
The Oilers managed to save their week at the very death, scoring four times in the third period against the Rangers to clinch their only victory in the past seven days. Even at this early stage of the season, the consistency has not been there for this team, and the playoff aspirations will begin to fade unless they can put back-to-back wins on the board.
The week started so well, as the Flames put five goals on the board against the Flyers. But the Eastern road trip has turned sour, as consecutive defeats in Pittsburgh, Washington and Carolina mean that they end the trip with a 2-3-1 record. The next five games are all at the Saddledome, and the Flames need to start picking up W's again.
The Islanders had a perfect 4-0-0 week, knocking off the Leafs, Oilers, Blue Jackets and Flyers, outscoring their opponents 14-6 over the four games. Ilya Sorokin continues to impress with a .933 save percentage, 2.19 GAA and 10 wins so far this season. The Russian goaltender ranks fourth in the league in GSAA (Goals Saved Above Average).
The Kraken are one of the form teams in the NHL; only the Devils have more points in their last 10 games. They sit in the top 10 for both goals scored and fewest goals allowed, which is a pretty solid recipe for success. Just one regulation defeat on the road shows that this team fears nobody.
Evgeni Malkin played his 1,000th game as a Penguin this week, becoming just the 65th player to reach the mark with a single team. In true Malkin fashion, he celebrated the occasion with a goal and a victory. That win, over the Blackhawks was their third in succession, and it was followed up by two more later in the week, before a loss to the Leafs on Saturday.
The Jets have been alternating between victory and defeat for the last 10 days. Two impressive overtime wins against the Hurricanes and Stars were either side of a heavy defeat to Minnesota. The Jets now have more overtime victories than any other team in the NHL, with six. Defenseman Josh Morrissey leads the team in points, with 20 in 19 games.
The Kings remain in the playoff spots in the competitive Pacific Division, but largely by virtue of having played more games than their rivals. The Kings remain rank outsiders with betting sites, reflective of the fact that they are competing with the Flames, Oilers, Kraken and Golden Knights for their playoff berth. Even the Canucks are starting to catch up.
It was a week to forget for the Rangers, who blew leads against the Ducks and Oilers, losing both games in regulation. The Oilers game was particularly harrowing, as Igor Shesterkin gave up four goals on eight shots in a dramatic third-period collapse. Next up for the Rangers, it's the in-form New Jersey Devils. No pressure.
Jason Robertson continues his incredible start to the season, with another six goals in the past week alone. That puts him into the lead in the NHL scoring race, one goal ahead of Bo Horvat. The Stars had a tough week, with two games against defending champions, Colorado. To go 1-1-2 this week was not actually a bad result overall.
The slide continues for the Panthers, who have just two wins in their last seven games now. A 5-3 defeat against a struggling Columbus side last Sunday was a particularly low ebb for a team with aspirations of winning a cup this season. On the positive side, the team continue to dominate the possession metrics and have had poor luck.
On paper, this is the one of most dominant teams in the league. The Hurricanes have 60% of their scoring chances at Even Strength, right up there with the Panthers and Devils. If you believe in the ability of the PDO metric to determine whether a team has had good or bad shooting luck, then this is the unluckiest team in the league.
This is not a drill; the Lightning are back, and they mean business. A solitary defeat against the league-leading Boston Bruins is the only blemish on their record over the past two weeks. This might be the time to check out their Stanley Cup odds on betting apps when making your NHL picks, as they aren't likely to get any longer in the near future.
Things are finally starting to click for this team, who have just one regulation defeat in their last 13 games. Toronto went 3-0-1 this week, including a 2-1 regulation victory to prevent a franchise record 14th straight win for the Devils. Canada sports betting sites are hot on this team this season, and the Leafs may well be the Great White North's best chance.
The trip to Finland has done wonders for this team, it seems. Since making the trip across the Atlantic, the Avs have gone 7-2-0, in spite of ongoing injury worries. When the likes of Gabriel Landeskog, Valeri Nichushkin and Bowen Byram return to full health, this team will take some stopping. Even at a point-per-game pace, Cale Makar still has room to improve.
Although they've lost their two most recent games, it's probably about time I gave this team the respect they deserve for their start to the season. A 16-6-1 record sees them clear at the top of the Western Conference standings, and a potential Presidents' Trophy contender. The defensive scoring threat of Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore is unparalleled in the NHL this season.
It was unlucky number 13 for the Devils, as they managed to equal the franchise record for consecutive victories but could not find a way to defeat Toronto to make it 14. Not to worry, as the Devils were right back to winning ways, starting a new streak with back-to-back victories over the Sabres and Capitals.
The Boston Bruins set an NHL record by going 12-0-0 in their first dozen home games of the season when they beat the Hurricanes in Friday's matinee game. David Pastrnak's incredible start continued as he scored the OT winner in that game. The Czech winger now has 14 goals and 18 assists in his first 21 games played this season.