Free NHL Bets and Picks: Los Angeles Tries to Start New Streak in Montreal
The NHL offers eleven games on Thursday Night. Most teams have played close to ten games now, and each team is looking to complete their identity. For instance, the Lightning and the Maple Leafs have been an offensive juggernaut, while the Kings and the Senators have gotten their success from their defense. Here are my free NHL picks for October 26. Odds can be found at BetOnline.
Los Angeles Kings (+106) at Montreal Canadiens (-117)
The Kings play their third away game of six straight on Thursday. The Kings are sitting at an impressive 7-1-1 record to start the season. Montreal on the other hand, have struggled to get going this season, the Canadiens sit at 2-6-1. The Canadiens enter this game after breaking a seven-game losing streak on Tuesday.
The Kings have been dominant this season, outscoring opponents 31-19. The Kings are led by Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown in scoring, each with eleven points, but fifteen players have two or more points on the team. The spread out of scoring shows that not only are the Kings getting top line production, but also production from the third and fourth lines.
Jonathan Quick has continued to do what he does best, keep the puck out of the net. Quick has posted a .934 save percentage and a 2.14 GAA. Backup goaltender Darcy Kuemper has also put up impressive numbers. Kuemper has a .929 save percentage and an even better 1.92 GAA.
Even with one of the best goalies in the league, Carey Price, the Canadiens have not had good goaltending. Price has posted a .890 save percentage with a 3.55 GAA. Al Montoya, the backup goalie, has put up even worse numbers. Montoya has a 4.20 GAA and a .863 save percentage.
The Canadiens were finally able to break their losing streak last game, but they are not in the clear yet. Montreal’s special teams could be killer for them. The Canadiens have posted a 13.89 power play percentage, while Los Angeles has the second-best penalty kill in the league with 91.18 percent.
All signs point to the Kings entering this game as the better team. Los Angeles could continue their hot start if they are able to get the puck behind the Canadiens goalies, which has not been an issue for Montreal’s opponents. Los Angeles’ defense could also create problems. I expect the Canadiens to continue their early season struggles against a strong defensive Kings team.
Dallas Stars (+105) at Edmonton Oilers (-116)
The Oilers continue to stumble on offense as they enter this game. The Stars were on a four-game win streak up until the Avalanche beat them Tuesday night. Now the two teams meet in Edmonton on Thursday night.
The Stars offense is no different than years past, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are the offense. Benn has posted eleven points – five goals and six assists -, while Seguin has posted ten points – six goals and four assists -. John Klingberg has posted nine points, but after that the next person after Klingberg has five. If a team can shut down Benn and Seguin, they are able to dictate the game.
One issue with the Stars offense has been Alexander Radulov, who signed a five-year contract with the Stars in the offseason. Radulov was brought in to take some of the offensive pressure off Seguin and Benn’s shoulders. Radulov has posted four points in nine games this season, which is not good enough for the Stars.
The Oilers have had difficulty getting the offense running throughout the season. In Edmonton’s last three games, all were on the road, the Oilers scored four goals. In the three road games, Edmonton put up a 1-1-1 record, even with scoring issues.
In the last game against Pittsburgh, Connor McDavid scored for the first time since the season opener. This is a good sign for the Oilers, as most of their offense runs through him. The Oilers, even with their 2-5-1 record, have outshot opponents 302-247. The Oilers have been able to put the puck on net successfully, but need a little puck luck to get the scoring drought to go away.
The Stars have allowed twelve goals in their last three games, a stat that the Oilers could capitalize on. If the Stars continue to allow goals at this rate, the Oilers could finally find the back of the net multiple times in regulation. Stars goalie Ben Bishop had some issues early this week complaining about the fact that he was pulled from Tuesday’s matchup. This certainly could cause some distractions in the Stars locker room.
If the Oilers could put up a solid offensive performance back at home, I believe they have played good enough defense to stop the Stars. I believe the McDavid goal could be a sign of good things to come, especially with the return of Draisaitl to the lineup.