After the All-Star break, several teams have extended breaks as the NHL tries to maximize rest for all the teams before February. Here is what to look for this week.
Any sharp bettor tries to plan ahead and after the All-Star break, some teams will be playing more on the road or at home to start the so-called second half. While it makes sense clubs would scuffle more on foreign ice than at home, that is not always the case, still, those following the NHL odds should be aware of what is happening.
Florida – The Panthers are a full 10 points back to become a wild card team, however, they will have every opportunity to make up ground once they return to action on Feb.1. Florida will play 11 of their next 12 games at home and they are 10-6-5 in their building. If they can pick up 16, 17 points in this stretch, they enter the playoff conversation.
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Washington – After playing well for almost two months, the Capitals will start the second half on a sinister seven-game losing streak. The recent time off and having six straight home games could revitalize the Caps, but they will have to do better than 13-11 SU at the Capital One Arena.
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Montreal – After slumping badly, the Canadiens played better before taking a breather and are only one point behind second-place Toronto in the Atlantic. Montreal will try and hop over the Maple Leafs with five consecutive home games. The Habs are 14-10-2 at home.