Monday NHL Pregame Plays 4/15

Good Afternoon Everyone,

The end of the regular season is upon us, and five games on the slate have major playoff implications. Four teams will also play their final game of the regular season (Rangers, Nashville, Buffalo, New Jersey).

Tonight’s Scenarios:

The Rangers can lock up the division, number one seed in the East, and President’s Trophy with a win over the Senators tonight. The last time these two played in January resulted in a 7-2 win for the Rangers. Ottawa has nothing to play for other than to play spoiler to a Rangers team they’ve beaten in the playoffs before. I will watch this game, hoping Ottawa pulls it out, but it will not be easy. The -250 money line and 3.5 -140 team total is a stretch for me, and it’s not a game in which I want to take a loss on the hope that they lose. There are a lot of moving pieces for us to pay attention to. My preseason President’s Trophy plays were on the Carolina Hurricanes and Dallas Stars. Both teams are tied with 111 points, one point behind the Rangers. If the Rangers lose, a win by Carolina or Dallas will cash us a nice payout on that future. Secondly, if the Rangers lose and Carolina wins, wins, and the Isles win tonight or Wednesday, we would be looking at a first-round matchup between the Islanders and Rangers. The Rangers do not want to see this. While the Rangers have won three matchups against the Isles this year, the Isles held leads late in the third period in two of those games, and it would be a more difficult first-round matchup for them over the second wild card team. As an Islanders fan, I would much rather see the Isles play the Rangers in the first round than the Carolina Hurricanes, who have eliminated the Isles from the playoffs twice in the past four years. If the Rangers lose tonight, there is a lot to be determined over the next few days. If they win, things become a lot more clear. No plays here for me tonight hoping the Rangers lose.

Speaking of the Isles, the Devils embarrassed them their last time out in a 4-0 shutout that saw the Isles give up three quick goals in the second period. Jack Hughes is an Islander killer, but luckily for them, he won’t be playing tonight. The money line is very favorable for the Isles. The Isles can clinch the third spot in the metro with a win, an OTL, or a Penguins loss. I expect them to finish the job tonight with Hughes hurt and Jake Allen in net. The 2.5 team total is in play, and I may grab it cheaper than -185 live, but the money line is in play pregame.

Three teams are tied with 87 points fighting for the final wild card spot (Washington, Detroit, Philadelphia) with Pittsburgh one point behind them. Philly is in the worst spot with only one game left compared to everyone else’s two. Detroit faces off against Montreal at home in a very winnable game but Detroit has been anything but reliable losing 15 of their last 21 games. The money line sits at -225 and their team total of 3.5 -135 is a stretch. I’m not confident enough in the Wings to lay these lines. Detroit has split their series with the Habs so far this season, winning the most recent matchup, but not only do they play tonight, they play tomorrow in a home and home. Detroit can control their own fate but will need a little help from Boston or even Philly for the Caps final two games.

Nashville needs one point to lock in the first wild card spot. Unfortunately for Nashville, whoever they play in the first round will be a tough matchup for them. The Preds struggle against Vancouver, who have not played great as of late, but would then face the Dallas Stars if they lose in regulation tonight and Vegas wins out. Juuse Saros is getting the start tonight so Nashville is playing to win and I agree a matchup against the struggling Canucks would bode better for them. Pittsburgh is basically in a must win and I would prefer to see them get in over Washington and Detroit. A Rangers and Penguins matchup in the first round should provide a cash flow on their overs and the Penguins could give the Rags a real run for their money. Tonight is going to be a small target window heading into the final two games. We have been hot with NHL and the last thing I want to do is throw away units on toss up matchups with so much on the line.

Buffalo has won four of the last five against the Lightning but Eric Comrie is getting the start for the Sabres so I will be playing here. Tampa has nothing to play for and nothing to lose so I expect this game to be a lot more open and goal filled. Getting their team total at three is a reflection of their struggles against Buffalo as of late so we will be riding that expecting a push at minimum.

Boston can clinch the Atlantic and still has an outside shot to over take the Rangers for the President’s Trophy and number 1 seed, but a lot would need to go right for them. A matchup against Washington is a good start. I don’t like Jeremy Swayman so I’m not riding Boston’s money line here but a team total of three has some intrigue. It may be worth letting that total drop to 2.5 live and splashing it but I will not be on this game myself.

Connor McDavid returns to the ice tonight, but the Oilers will be without Evander Kane who’s being given the night off to rest. McDavid’s been out since April 6th and the Oilers have a slight outside shot to win the division. They’re locked into the number two seed in their division at worst but McDavid will definitely want to get his legs back heading into the playoffs. The lines are unplayable on the team total unless you want five goals for the Oilers without Kane in the lineup. If you are going to lay that you might as well take the puck line instead. The Oilers -1.5 -200 line is definitely a parlayable piece, but they may be better off being parlayed with a MLB line tonight.

I will be keeping things light as mentioned, and will be working on the playoff betting guide all week. Please leave comments below with any playoff content you’d like to see in the guide!

Official plays:

  • 7:08 pm Tampa Bay Lightning Team Total over 3 -165: 3u
  • 7:08 pm New York Islanders ML -120: 2u
Author: Nightghost

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