All 32 NHL teams are in action tonight, and ESPN is debuting its unique Frozen Frenzy broadcast. With plenty of games to check out, Anthony Elio has made a few NHL best bets for the evening’s matchups.
Toronto Maple Leafs Vs. Washington Capitals
Frozen Frenzy action gets rolling as the Toronto Maple Leafs hit the road to take on the Washington Capitals. My last play on Toronto didn’t quite work out, but I’m much more confident in the team tonight. The Maple Leafs stormed back to a 4-3 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, and I’m banking on some continued offensive success at Capital One Arena. Tonight will be an excellent opportunity for Auston Matthews, who hasn’t recorded a point since his back-to-back hat tricks to start the season. Even with Matthews on a milk carton for a few games, this team has been successful overall, especially on the power play, where the team ranks 6th in the league at 29.41%. Between the pipes for Toronto will by Joseph Woll, who has impressed in two starts with a .949 SV% and a 1.68 GAA.
Woll won’t exactly have a tough task tonight as he faces the Washington Capitals, currently the worst offensive team in the league while averaging 1.25 goals per game. The team doesn’t have a single power play goal this season, and has only been generating 24.75 shots per game. Alex Ovechkin’s quest to pass Wayne Gretzky’s record is off to a shaky start, with the star forward still looking for his first goal of the season after recording 42 last year. While the offensive is stuck in neutral, the Caps have been struggling defensively while allowing 3.75 goals per game. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper will get the start tonight, and he’s (you guessed it) starting slow with a 3.55 GAA and .887 SV %. While a 60 minute moneyline bet on the Maple Leafs is a safe play by itself, I’m banking on a continued sluggish start by the Caps (outscored 15-6 so far) and hoping Toronto makes the most of its power play opportunities. Give me Toronto on the puck line, which is currently +135 on BetMGM Sportsbook.
Best Bet: Toronto Maple Leafs -1.5
Colorado Avalanche vs. New York Islanders
This game might slow down the Frozen Frenzy action a bit, with two of the top goaltenders in the league facing off. New York’s Ilya Sorokin (.914 SV%, 2.31 GAA) is one of the top netminders in the league, although his current numbers are inflated by a 5-4 overtime loss to the high-powered New Jersey Devils. Meanwhile, Colorado’s Alexandar Georgiev (.943 SV%, 1.58 GAA) has been impressive to start the season, leading the league with 9.4 goals saved above expected.
This matchup will showcase plenty of defensive talent overall, with the Avalanche featuring top-tier blue liners like Cale Makar and Devon Toews (11th in xGoals Against). The Islanders have some excellent defensive players as well, such as the top line of Adam Pelech and Noah Dobson (7th in xGoals Against). Plenty of bettors will be tempted by the over after Colorado’s 6-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, but keep in mind that was against a third-string goalie. I’m expecting both goalies to stand tall tonight in a low-scoring slugfest.
Best Bet: Under 5.5
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