The NHL season has now passed the midway point, and the battle for playoff spots is now really starting to heat up. The races taking place in both conferences are about as tight as it gets, and while every team still have a lot of games to play, the margin for error gets smaller with each passing game. This is not the time to go into a tailspin, as getting out of it and back into the playoff picture gets a whole lot tougher as the season progresses, especially since the top teams are now starting to kick into high gear. There are a lot of very good match-ups on the schedule for the rest of the week, so let’s take a look at some of the bigger games and bigger online betting opportunities on tap.
Top NHL Matches of the Week
Montreal Canadiens vs Boston Bruins – Wednesday
The Montreal Canadiens are certainly not as strong this year as they have been in seasons past, but the form book tends to go out the window when you have two Original Six teams going head to head. This is a bitter rivalry, but the Canadiens are going to need to find a way to get out of their current slump, which has seen them go 3-5-2 in their last 10 games, as they are going against a Bruins team that is hot right now. Boston is 7-0-3 in their last 10 and are an impressive 14-5-4 on home ice. This should be a fun battle to watch and wager on.
.@loganshaw11 was happy to see a familiar face in Boston on Wednesday.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) January 17, 2018
Vegas Golden Knights vs Tampa Bay Lightning – Thursday
When you have the team with the best record in hockey going against the second-best team, you know that you are potentially in for something very special. The Lightning has been an absolute juggernaut this season, and are an offensive force to be reckoned with. They have been good for a few years now, but this is definitely a big step forward for them. The Golden Knights have been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season, as they are playing a style of hockey that you would not expect from a franchise team. I think there is a good chance we will see some offensive fireworks in this one.
LA Kings vs Anaheim Ducks – Friday
One of the best divisional battles in the NHL is currently taking place in the Pacific Division, where Las Vegas Golden Knights are the surprise leaders. The rise of the new franchise has coincided with the dropping off of one of the most consistent teams of the last few seasons. The Anaheim Ducks are having a bit of a rough season, and are currently sitting below the playoff line in the West. They are not out of it by any stretch of the imagination, though, and a good run of form could get them back into the playoff picture, possible at the expense of the LA Kings, who are not that far above the line. This is an important game for both teams.
Winnipeg Jets vs Calgary Flames – Saturday
Things really couldn’t be much tighter than they currently are in the playoff race in the Western Conference. The Winnipeg Jets are very much holding their own and are currently sitting at the top of the Central Division, although just 4 points separate them from the 4th place Dallas Stars. Over in the Pacific Division, the Calgary Flames are making a big move for the leaders, and are currently riding a 7-game winning streak where they have beaten some of the best teams in the league. Two very good teams go head to head in a great Western Conference match-up in this one.