© USA Today
The NHL has five days of action this week. Christmas falls on a Sunday, so the traditional time off is taken over the weekend. This will create unique advantages.
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Let us do this first, in terms of game allotment.
- Monday – 8
- Tuesday – 8
- Wednesday – 7
- Thursday – 8
- Friday – 13
That is no misprint. There are 13 games on Friday. After that, the league takes three nights off for the Christmas break. Games will resume next Tuesday, along with lifting the Christmas roster freeze come midnight, Wednesday.
Then, there are the teams that play back-to-backs this week. So, quite a few teams do that.
- St. Louis (Monday, Tuesday)
- Columbus (Monday, Tuesday)
- New Jersey (Tuesday, Wednesday)
- Tampa Bay (Tuesday, Wednesday)
- Minnesota (Wednesday, Thursday)
- Philadelphia (Thursday, Friday)
- Carolina (Thursday, Friday)
- Boston (Thursday, Friday)
- Ottawa (Thursday, Friday)
- Winnipeg (Thursday, Friday)
- Washington (Thursday, Friday)
- NY Islanders (Thursday, Friday)
- Vancouver (Thursday, Friday)
- Calgary (Thursday, Friday)
- Los Angeles (Thursday, Friday)
Again, there are plenty of teams playing three games in four nights. A majority do this week with this more balanced schedule.
What To Look Forward To This Week
The biggest thing to look forward to might be the holiday weekend. Getting an extended weekend this time of year charges the engines for the players and the bettors too. Naturally, there will be a look back or two on the regular season in the first almost three months. Time seems to always fly on by.
One of the bigger games tonight is Buffalo versus Vegas. The Sabres are playing better, and they play against former Captain Jack Eichel. Eichel looks great since his neck fusion surgery and has the Golden Knights rolling. However, Vegas is 1-6 in their past seven games at home.
Then, there is New Jersey. The Devils have lost five straight after winning 13 consecutive games and 18 of 21. These are things that happen with young teams. Look at how the Chicago Blackhawks jumped up out of almost nowhere. The young days of Toews and Kane saw them have their moments too. New Jersey plays Carolina and Florida back-to-back. Finally, they end the week at home against Boston. Circle that one on your calendars!
The Battle Of New York resumes on Thursday. Those pesky Islanders and Rangers are on the upswing. Honestly, calling the Rangers vexing is probably not accurate. However, they have won seven straight games as their scoring heater sets up one goaltending battle between Igor Shesterkin and Ilya Sorokin.
More About That Friday Night
Funny enough, the game to bet on may be the Islanders and Florida on Friday. The team from Long Island often has letdowns after the Rangers game, so wagering on Florida at plus money could …….