Cue the circus music, people. Just as many predicted, COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on the NHL's 2021 campaign. Teams across the league are facing forced shutdowns due to positive tests and four games on today's board have already been scrapped in an effort to contain the spread and limit any further loss of games.
From a betting perspective, this doesn't exactly make our jobs any easier, and now with only six total games on today's slate, we're really going to have to pick our spots and not get out-of-hand with any foolhardy bets during such an unpredictable time in this league.
Now, last week was another tough one for my Gold Pick, as the Leafs got outplayed by the Oilers in a close one-goal game, but another even week overall has my record sitting at the .500 mark through the first two weeks. Not great, but with everything going on right now, I will take it and move onto what is sure to be another interesting day of hockey today.
Double-check the gameday lineups, make sure you know who's starting in net, and good luck!
Side bets: 3-3
Arizona Coyotes @ St. Louis Blues – Pick: Coyotes (+1.5)
Look, I'll be straight up, I've been struggling big time with my Gold Picks ever since the bubble of last year. And if I have to take on overly 'safe' bet with lower odds to get back on track, well that's exactly what I'm fixing to do here with the Coyotes on the puckline.
These two clubs have already played twice this week, both of the contests finishing in identical 4-3 scores, one in favor of the Blues the other for the Yotes. In addition to both tilts being close one-goal games, like most of Arizona's, the recent matchup stats also back up my feeling here leaning toward the Coyotes. Rick Tocchet's crew owns a solid 7-3 record against St. Louis over their last 10 meetings and a 5-0 record in their last five Saturday games overall.
Take that last stat with a grain of salt, but the fact remains the Coyotes are a pesky team that is tough to play against in their own end. Antti Raanta and Darcy Kuemper form a formidable and underrated duo in the blue paint for Arizona, and the team currently sits seventh in the league with only 28 goals-against so far this season – more than enough reason for me to think this one is another closely-contested affair.