January 13, 2017

NHL Hockey Betting: Pittsburgh Penguins at Detroit Red Wings

NHL Hockey Betting:  Pittsburgh Penguins at Detroit Red Wings&h=253&w=372&zc=1

In most seasons this Saturday game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings would be a marquee matchup. This year not so much. The Red Wings are not having a very good season and at 17-19-6 are dead last in the Atlantic Division and tied for the worst record in the Eastern Conference with 40 points with the New York Islanders. The Penguins are doing a good job in their Stanley Cup defense and currently sit in third place in the insanely tough Metropolitan Division. They’re tied with the Rangers (though the Penguins hold the tiebreaker) and are 4 points back of the Washington Capitals (despite the Caps winning 8 straight) and 5 back of the first place Columbus Blue Jackets. That makes this an important game for the road team as they need to keep pace with the Caps and Jackets–a couple of teams that don’t lose much these days.

The Penguins will start Marc-Andre Fleury in net who appears to have regained the #1 goaltending spot after he lost it to rookie phenom Matt Murray in the playoffs last season. Murray has been plagued by injuries this season and Fleury was their to answer the bell. Given the fact that Murray is significantly younger than Fleury he’s got the inside track at staying with the team longterm. That being said, Fleury’s strong play has made the decision somewhat difficult once again after it appeared to be a fait accomplit.

Detroit will go with Petr Mrazek who hasn’t played especially well this year. He’s lost a lot of playing time to Jimmy Howard this season but Howard is sidelined and will miss at least another month. Jared Coreau is now the backup and has given a decent account of himself in limited playing time. The Red Wings’ goaltending has been very poor this year and the team ranks #22 in goals against per game. The Wings return home after a horrible West Coast road trip where they lost 3 straight and 4 of 5. Pittsburgh has lost two straight and has a huge game against Washington on deck for Monday. Just don’t see much to like with Detroit at this juncture.