NHL Picks: Outdoor Game and Holiday Weekend Lookahead

NHL Picks: Outdoor Game and Holiday Weekend Lookahead
© USA Today

The NHL plows into the weekend with several early Saturday games, a Stadium Series contest in Raleigh, and a Sunday with more action than usual. 

With this being Family Day weekend in Canada and President's Day weekend in the U.S., we add Monday into the mix because of those pesky afternoon games. 

Schedule Breakdown

Let us do this by the number of games each day. 

  • Friday – 5
  • Saturday – 13
  • Sunday – 6
  • Monday – 6

Saturday features a wide-open schedule with a whopping six games that start at 10 p.m. or later on the East Coast. Get ready for about 11 hours of wall-to-wall hockey.

Who plays back-to-back this holiday weekend? Here are those teams below. 

  • Pittsburgh (Friday, Saturday)
  • Dallas (Friday, Saturday)
  • New York Rangers (Friday, Saturday)
  • Los Angeles (Friday, Saturday)
  • Toronto (Saturday, Sunday)
  • St. Louis (Saturday, Sunday)
  • Nashville (Saturday, Sunday)
  • Arizona (Saturday, Sunday)
  • Columbus (Saturday, Sunday)
  • New Jersey (Saturday, Sunday)
  • Winnipeg (Sunday, Monday)
  • Ottawa (Sunday, Monday)

Again, this is easy to follow, the Sunday games begin at 2 p.m. ET. Then, the Monday contests start at 1 p.m. ET. 

The Big Holiday Weekend

The takeaway from this weekend is that teams suddenly start playing more often. Please note all the teams playing back-to-back. That will include several teams on three games in four-night scenarios. 

Also, quite a few teams go on the road and then come home, or vice versa. That was to cut down on travel. Unfortunately, arena conflicts seem to rear their ugly head more often this time of year. It may be one of those weekends to bet more cautiously than usual. Taking advantage of the week proved to be exceptionally fortunate. 

The Stadium Series Game

One typical “trap betting game” involves a game outdoors. Several concerns exist with this Washington Capitals versus Carolina Hurricanes contest on Saturday night. The action gets underway a little bit after 8 p.m. ET on SN360, TVAS and ABC. 

Weather is expected to cooperate with cooler temperatures around 40 degrees (4 degrees Celsius) at puck drop. Expect clear to partly cloudy skies with near-calm winds. 

These contests carry a bit of uniqueness. For one, goal scoring could be higher than usual for an outdoor game. Then again, it may not. Here is the problem. Washington is not scoring goals lately. Part of that is because Alexander Ovechkin is out of the lineup again (personal). He took a leave of absence to be with his ailing father, who passed away earlier this week. 

Eight goals in the previous four games is not a lot, but after allowing six to Florida, Peter Laviolette and his squad may try to tighten things up on Saturday night. They need the two points more than Carolina as Washington tries to hold off bubble teams like the New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, etc. 

The other theory is that Carolina and Washington have played twice this year to consecutive 3-2 outcomes for the Hurricanes. One ended in a shootout, and the other last week ended in regulation. Carolina expects to win, but if that Under stays around 6.5 goals, take that wager.

Not Just Another Sunday And Monday

Hockey bettors are in for a solid Sunday slate and an even more intriguing Monday schedule. That is because Monday has four matinee hockey games (two from the East Coast and two further West). Finally, two New York teams end Monday night with somewhat advantageous matchups. 

New York plays host to Winnipeg after the Jets tussle with the Devils on Sunday, who are on the road in Pittsburgh on Saturday. The Rangers benefit from seeing a potentially tired team and possibly not having to face Connor Hellebuyck. Either way, it is an easier matchup. Boston gets an Ottawa team coming off the same basic scenario earlier in the afternoon. 

For the Bruins, they have the league’s best record. They are the lucky recipients twice this long weekend. In the past, that was grounds for concern. However, this Boston team is different. Speaking of the New York Islanders, they grapple with a Pittsburgh team on the bubble, like them. Do the Penguins get Tristan Jarry back sometime soon? Pittsburgh needs their goaltending like the Islanders still need offense. 

Some Quick Points To Consider

  • Calgary is in deep, deep trouble. Something is very off there.
  • Does Filip Forsberg come back soon for Nashville? He is sorely missed!
  • Los Angeles could give up quite a few goals to Anaheim and Arizona.
  • Note all those late Saturday night games. Expect plenty of late betting shifts.
  • Columbus and Arizona could be an all-or-nothing game.
  • Montreal plays Toronto, and the Over could be very much in play for a motivated Leafs squad.
  • Our best picks swept last weekend. This time around, see our note below.

Good luck, and once again, thanks for reading! We will have a few more plays on social media as conditions warrant.

Thanks to BetMGM for solid weekend lines, TSN, and ESPN.com for the easy-to-follow schedules. 

NHL Odds
June 8th 6:00pmPuck LineOver/UnderMoneyline
Vegas Golden Knights LAS
1.5 1.40 William Hill -- 2.05 William Hill
Florida Panthers FLA
-1.5 3.20 William Hill -- 1.82 Unibet
June 10th 6:00pmPuck LineOver/UnderMoneyline
Vegas Golden Knights LAS
-- -- --
Florida Panthers FLA
-- -- --
June 13th 6:00pmPuck LineOver/UnderMoneyline
Florida Panthers FLA
-- -- --
Vegas Golden Knights LAS
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