NHL Hockey Betting: Anaheim Ducks at New Jersey Devils

NHL Hockey Betting:  Anaheim Ducks at New Jersey Devils

Is this deja vu all over again? The Anaheim Ducks got off to a horrible start at the beginning of the 2015-2016 season losing 9 of their first 10 games. Talk at the time was that head coach Bruce Boudreau was as good as gone. Slowly but surely, the team started to turn things around and at the end of the season were atop the Pacific Division with 103 points. Ironically, Boudreau *still* didn’t survive the season but he did make it until the Ducks were eliminated from the first round in the playoffs by Nashville in a 7 game series. Randy Carlyle is the head coach now and the Ducks are 0-2-1 to start the season. They’ll try again for their first victory of the year on Tuesday night as they head East to take on the New Jersey Devils. The Devils are 0-1-1 this year and to paraphrase boxing announcer Michael Buffer ‘someone’s ‘O’ has got to go’.

Both teams have decent goals but neither have played particularly well in the early going. The Devils have Cory Schneider who has become one of the true workhorses of the NHL. Sneider has a 2.48 GAA and a 0.926 save percentage in two starts this year. He’ll be opposed by John Gibson who has a 3.59 goals against average and a 0.860 save percentage. Gibson has yet to be ‘confirmed’ and it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if Carlyle gave former Toronto goaltender Jonathan Bernier the start. Bernier allowed 3 goals in his only start of the season but got zero help from his teammates as he faced 45 shots against the Pittsburgh Penguins on 10/15.

The Ducks had no trouble with New Jersey last year winning 2-1 at New Jersey and 7-1 at home. Anaheim has won 4 straight against the Devils including two straight at home though prior to that New Jersey beat the Ducks in 12 of 14 on home ice. Hard to take much from the results so far–two of the Ducks’ three losses have been by a single goal as have both of the Devils’ losses. The ‘eye test’ suggests that Anaheim is the better team. Taking the Western Conference in ‘East vs. West’ games has been a good strategy over the past few years and that’s what we’ll do here.