The NHL season is fast approaching and man have there been futures coming at us left, right and center.
I’ve been at this for a while at this point, beginning with predicting the individual NHL awards such as the Hart, Vezina, Norris, Art Ross and Rocket Richard Trophies, and even gave the coaches some love with some Jack Adams candidates worth backing.
More recently, I moved on to the team side of things and predicted point total over/unders for all 31 clubs and followed that up with whether or not each team would qualify for the postseason.
Now, we’re heading back to the players’ front and taking a look at some individual stat over/unders.
Over at BetOnline, there is a wealth of statistical over/unders when it comes to goaltenders’ save percentage as well as skaters’ goal and point totals.
BetOnline has more betting options than you can shake a stick at, so I’m going to pick and choose my spots and my favorite plays as opposed to flipping a coin throughout the many, many options on the board.
All that said, let’s get to it and find some statistical over/unders worth your wager heading into the 2020-21 NHL season.
Goaltenders – Save Percentage
Anton Khudobin, Stars
- Over 924.5 (-115)
- Under 924.5 (-115)
Khudobin and Ben Bishop have been one of the elite goaltending duos in the league over the last two seasons, most recently sharing duties en route to a second-ranked .920 Sv%, just one tick behind Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak of the Boston Bruins (.921) for tops in the league.
The wrinkle this time around is that Bishop will miss roughly have the season due to offseason knee surgery, leaving Khudobin as the clear-cut No. 1 option ahead of 22-year-old rookie Jake Oettinger, he of zero career NHL starts.
The 34-year-old actually led all NHL goaltenders (min. 30 games) with a .930 Sv% last season, but it was just the second time in his career in which he exceeded this total while playing a minimum of nine games.
He’s the owner of a career .919 Sv% in 218 NHL games, but in this unique, condensed season he is going to be extremely busy at the age of 34 and this is the highest projected total of any goaltender on the board.
Give me the under.
Prediction: UNDER 924.5 (-115)
Cam Talbot, Wild
- Over 909.5 (-130)
- Under 909.5 (+100)
Talbot replaces Devan Dubnyk as the No. 1 option in the Wild crease after the latter was traded to the San Jose Sharks this offseason.
General manager Bill Guerin didn’t waste much time in getting his new 1A option in goal, inking Talbot to a three-year deal on Oct 9, just over a week after the Tampa Bay Lighting hoisted the Stanley Cup.
Talbot signed that deal on the heels of a .919 regular-season save percentage with the Calgary Flames last season, but also worked to a .924 mark while starting all 10 of the team’s postseason contests. He stole the crease from teammate David Rittich in the process, putting together his best season since posting a 919 Sv% in the 2016-17 season with the Flames.
— NHL (@NHL) August 7, 2020
He was remarkable before posting that figure and slipped in the two ensuing season, but still owns a career .915 Sv% in a 314-game sample.
Additionally, it’s the team in front of him I’m betting on here too. Last season, the Wild ranked first in scoring chances against/60, first in high-danger chances against/60 and expected goals against/60 at 5v5, only to have their 29th-ranked .897 Sv% obliterate all that fine work.
Talbot isn’t going to let an elite top-four defense go to waste, and I’ll take the over all day here.
Prediction: OVER 909.5 (-130)
Carey Price, Canadiens
- Over 911.5 (-115)
- Under 911.5 (-115)
There’s no doubt Price’s game has slipped in recent years, posting a save percentage under this total in two of the last three seasons.
However, this dude has been overworked, to put it lightly. The Canadiens couldn’t find a backup to save their life last season, and the end result was Price starting a league-high 58 games (in a 71-game season) and the end result was a .909 Sv%.
He’ll see plenty of work again in the truncated 2021 season, however this time he has a proven backup in Jake Allen who the club acquired from the St. Louis Blues in the offseason. Allen is coming off a 2.15 GAA and .927 Sv% from last season and owns a .913 Sv% himself for his career.
For the first time in forever, the entire goaltending pressure doesn’t rest solely on the shoulders of the 33-year-old price, and that has to be a breath of fresh air for the 2005 fifth overall pick.
Also, let’s not forget the elite 1.78 GAA and .936 he put forth the last time we saw him across 10 postseason games. He sure as heck looked mighty capable of getting back to his old self, or close to it.
His defense should be improved with the additions of Joel Edmundson and top prospect Alexander Romanov, and the team looks better as a whole. Give me the over.
Prediction: OVER 911.5 (-115)
John Gibson, Ducks
- Over 910.5 (-115)
- Under 910.5 (-115)
There’s little doubt that is was an off year for 27-year-old John Gibson last season as he worked to a career-worst 3.00 GAA and .904 Sv% in a season where the Ducks slipped to 25th in overall defense.
There’s also very little doubt this isn’t a competitive Ducks team as they continue their rebuild, but I actually don’t mind their spot, or at least Gibson’s spot, in the new-look West Division.
It’s a top-heavy division as the Avalanche, Blues and Golden Knights will score goals, but the likes of the Wild, Coyotes, Kings and Sharks will not. Including the Ducks, the west contains five anemic offenses and even the Knights are paper thin at the center ice position. I view them succeeding more on defense than offense.
All of those bodes well for a guy sporting a career .918 Sv% across parts of seven NHL seasons. In fact, last season was the only time in that span where his save percentage slipped under .914.
Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Cam Fowler and Kevin Shattenkirk form the team’s top six, and overall it’s probably a below-average group with Lindholm and Manson the lone two stout defenders on the team.
Still, I’m betting on the man himself in this one as he could thrive in a division chock-full of inferior offenses.
Prediction: OVER 910.5 (-115)
Juuse Saros, Predators
- Over 916.5 (-115)
- Under 916.5 (-115)
The fact that Saros, not Pekka Rinne, is the lone Predators goaltender on the board tells you the direction of the goaltending situation in Music City.
If it wasn’t clear before, it’s abundantly clear now that Saros is going to be the 1A option in the Preds’ crease this season as Rinne is coming off a career-worst .895 Sv% last season while Saros worked to a .914 mark in 40 games.
We could argue over what Saros we’ll get this season. In the first three months and 20 appearances of last season, he posted save percentages of .872, .902 and .886. Over the final three months and 20 appearances, he posted save percentages of .911, .930, and .965.
I’ll tell you what side I’m on. It’s the one that has a 25-year-old goaltender sporting a career .918 Sv% in a 119-game sample. It was a disappointing season in Nashville, but let’s not forget the top four defense corps of Roman Josi, Ryan Ellias, Mattias Ekholm and Dante Fabbro. That’s a group that rivals the best in the business.
— FOX Sports Tennessee (@PredsOnFSTN) October 6, 2019
That blueline didn’t have its finest season — outside of Josi who took home Norris Trophy honors — ranking right in the middle of the pack of several defensive metrics. That said, while it’s a big total, I think Saros is being overlooked as one of the best young goaltenders in the league with monster upside and excellent numbers through the first four seasons of his NHL career.
Give me the over despite an elevated total.
Prediction: OVER 916.5 (-115)
Malcolm Subban, Blackhawks
- Over 900.5 (-115)
- Under 900.5 (-115)
Subban, the 2012 first-round pick of the Boston Bruins, will get his first shot as a 1A option at the NHL level with the Blackhawks this season after a trade deadline deal from the Golden Knights last season.
He only has 66 career NHL games under his belt at the age of 27, so we’re not working with a large sample to be sure. However, in that time, he owns an .899 Sv% and most recently posted an .890 mark in 20 games with Vegas last season.
Let’s be very clear: this Blackhawks team is not on the same planet as the Vegas Golden Knights, at least not this season.
The team also lost a trio of forwards in captain Jonathan Toews, second-line center Kirby Dach and 22-year-old Alex Nylander for the long-term, and despite adding the punishing Nikita Zadorov to their blueline, gone is Olli Maatta to offset what could be views as a gain, by some.
The bottom line is the Blackhawks aren’t going to be a good team this season. The forward group isn’t good enough to keep pucks in the offensive zone and the defense isn’t good enough to exit the defensive zone. Add it up and Subban and partner Collin Delia are going to be under immense pressure this season, just as Robin Lehner and Corey Crawford were last season when the team ranked dead last in allowing 35.9 shots per game.
I can’t help but like the under on this one.
Prediction: UNDER 900.5 (-115)
Mikko Koskinen, Oilers
- Over 914.5 (-115)
- Under 914.5 (-115)
After the Oilers re-signed Mike Smith in the offseason, they’ll bring back the same goaltending tandem that ranked 14th with a .905 Sv%. However, Koskinen was on the strong end of such a numbers, posting a personal .917 mark in 38 appearances.
That said, the 32-year-old worked to a .906 mark in 55 games in his return to the NHL two seasons ago. Add it up and that’s a .911 Sv% over 93 appearances over the last two seasons for the 6-foot-7 monster.
This is nothing against Koskinen, I’m just worried about this Oilers blueline.
The blow of Oscar Klefbom’s season-long absence cannot be overstated. The dude logged 25:25 of ice time per game, the fifth-highest mark in the circuit. He also helped out Koskinen and Smith while blocking an NHL-high 180 shots last season. For what it’s worth, Klefbom was on pace for a career-high in points before the league paused in mid March.
Darnell Nurse is going to be a force in this league for a long time and Adam Larsson is a fine, reliable defender, but the shape of this Oilers blueline is completely unappealing to this writer.
I’ll have the under, please.
Prediction: UNDER 914.5 (-115)
Skaters – Goals Scored
While it’s something to monitor with the goalies as well, the 56-game schedule obviously needs to be considered when it comes to the skaters. The general rule of thumb I’m considering is that a 20-goal season in a normal 82-game campaign represents a 14-game season in a 56-game schedule. Perhaps you’ll find something else works for you, but I wanted to provide an idea before we get moving on this one.
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
- Over 33.5 (-115)
- Under 33.5 (-115)
Ovechkin won the Rocket Richard Trophy for the ninth time in his Hall of Fame career last season, only this time he had to share it with the Bruins’ David Pastrnak who had himself a year as well.
His 48 goals a season ago in just 68 goals had him on pace for a 58-goal campaign, a number that would have helped him chase down Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record of 894 tallies.
Nonetheless, there’s little reason to believe Ovechkin is in for any regression this time around. The Capitals’ top-six is identical to the group that helped him produce at another unworldly level last season, and even at 35 years old with plenty of miles under his belt, Ovechkin remains the deadliest goal-scorer in the NHL.
Until he proves otherwise, I’m not doubting the guy to get over this total, and you shouldn’t either.
Prediction: OVER 33.5 (-115)
Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
- Over 32.5 (-115)
- Under 32.5 (-115)
We’ll get our first quick math lesson done here off the hop. If you took the over here, you’re better on 33 goals for Matthews in 56 games this season. That figure represents a hair over 48 goals in an 82-game season.
Considering Matthews tallied 47 goals in just 70 games last season, we should strongly consider the over on this one.
Let’s also factor in his surroundings. Under Mike Babcock, Matthews was skating alongside William Nylander, a fantastic young player in his own right. However, once Sheldon Keefe took over, Matthews formed a tandem with Mitch Marner, a player with the sixth-most assists in the NHL over the last two seasons.
If that weren’t enough, Joe Thornton — ranked seventh on the NHL’s all-time assist leaderboard — is starting camp with the duo that are young enough to be his children. No, Jumbo isn’t the same play-maker he was in his prime, but he’s no slouch, either. He might be a fantastic addition to that top line.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 19, 2020
Add it up and I’ll take the 23-year-old sniper to take yet another step forward and get well over this total this season.
Prediction: OVER 32.5 (-115)
Dominik Kubalik, Blackhawks
- Over 19.5 (-130)
- Under 19.5 (+100)
Kubalik did well as a Calder Trophy finalist to tally 30 goals in just 68 games in his rookie season with the Blackhawks. He also did so in just 68 games, so all things should be pointing up for the 2013 seventh-round pick of the L.A. Kings.
However, let’s make note of a few things.
One, he scored those 30 goals at a fairly unsustainable shooting percentage of 19.1%. Of course, all high-end goal-scorers boast elevated shooting rates, but that’s quite high for a rookie and a numbers I don’t expect to see this season.
Two, like with Subban, I expect very little from this Blackhawks team this season. They are already beat up among the forward group, the defense is weak and the goaltending won’t be much better. When the entire team struggles, it drags down the production of all involved. I’m aware he could skate with Kane on the top line, but a 20-goal season (over) means repeating his 30-goal campaign from last season. I just don’t see it.
Give me the under.
Prediction: UNDER 19.5 (+100)
Jake DeBrusk, Bruins
- Over 14.5 (-115)
- Under 14.5 (-115)
If Brad Marchand had missed time to start the season, DeBrusk would have looked like a real nice bet to hit the over on this one as potential first-line duty could have been in his future.
That said, even with Marchand likely to be ready to go to begin the campaign, I still like the over on this one.
In the 2018-19 season, DeBrusk notched 27 goals in just 68 games, good for 0.40 goals per game. Last season, he tallied 19 goals in 65 games while seeing a major drop in shooting rate from 17.3% to 11.8%. That represented a 0.29 goals-per-game mark.
Even if we translated the latter figure into a 56-game season, that’s a 16-goal season from DeBrusk. I would venture a guess and suggest his shooting rate will bounce back some, at least towards his 13.5% career mark.
In his career, he’s scored at a 0.30 goals-per-game pace, and that pegs him for a 17-goal season in 56 games this time around. Keep in mind this is a still-developing 24-year-old player that will get notable power play time, perhaps even on the top unit in David Pastrnak’s season-starting absence.
Add it up and I’m confident in the over on this one.
Prediction: OVER 14.5 (-115)
Patric Hornqvist, Panthers
- Over 15.5 (-115)
- Under 15.5 (-115)
Hornqvist was traded from Pittsburgh to Florida in a one-for-one deal in exchange for defenseman Michael Matheson. Last season, Hornqvist scored 17 goals in 52 games, and that’s about as many as he’ll play this season as he’s struggled to stay health over the last four seasons, missing a combined 54 games in that time.
His offense production has also dipped with age. If we use the over at 16 goals here, that would represent a 23-goal season in 82 games. Over the last seven seasons, he’s scored more than 23 goals just twice, and he’s largely played alongside Sidney Crosby in that time and on a deadly Penguins top power play unit.
It appears initially that Hornqvist will not play with Aleksander Barkov at 5v5 or on the Panthers’ top power play unit, but rather Alexander Wennberg on the second line and second power play unit. That’s a major drop in surroundings from his Pittsburgh days.
His physical style of play does not lend itself well to aging gracefully, and not only has he struggled to stay healthy, but has noticeably regressed when on the ice.
Give me the under here.
Prediction: UNDER 15.5 (-115)
Patrik Laine, Jets
- Over 23.5 (-115)
- Under 23.5 (-115)
Last year was considered a down season for Laine as he “only” scored 28 goals in 68 games while the 30 he scored in all 82 games the season prior was also considered an off year.
While those years are career-years for the majority of NHL players, the truth is that Laine is capable of much more as he displayed across his first two NHL seasons when he scored 80 goals in his first 155 games, good for 0.52 goals per game.
His shooting rate has been an interesting story as well. Over his first two seasons, he posted an 18% shooting rate. Over the last two seasons, that marked has fell all the way to a 12.3% mark and he now has a 15.1% career average.
Where I think he can make up for lost production of late is on the power play. After scoring 35 power play goals from the 2017-18 to the 2018-19 campaign, Laine notched just eight last season as the Jets’ power play went from 24.8% (4th) in 2018-19 to 20.5% (15th) last season, although he had himself a night on the man advantage on this occasion:
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 8, 2020
Given the talent on that unit, I expect more of the former than the latter. Also, let’s keep in mind Laine averaged a career-high 19:25 of ice time per game a season ago.
With better puck luck, an improved power play and plenty of ice time, I believe Laine is going to far exceed this total this season.
Prediction: OVER 23.5 (-115)
Taylor Hall, Sabres
- Over 15.5 (-115)
- Under 15.5 (-115)
Taylor Hall has never exactly been part of a high-octane offensive attack in his NHL career. His days with the Oilers produced a pair of 27-goal seasons, but the team was never a contender. He broke out for a gargantuan 39-goal season while winning the Hart Trophy in 2018 with the Devils, but he was a one-man wrecking crew.
Then, it was off to the low-scoring Arizona Coyotes where he notched a decent 10 goals in 35 games.
Now, Hall moves on to the Buffalo Sabres, an offense that ranked 21st last season, just two spots ahead of the aforementioned Coyotes.
That said, he’s going to line up with Jack Eichel at 5v5 and on the Sabres’ top power play unit. Despite the anemic offense of the Sabres since his arrival, Eichel ranks 20th with 224 points over the last three seasons, 12th over the last two and 10th last season alone.
In other words, like Hall, Eichel has been a one-man show in his NHL tenure. Now, the two will team up to give the Sabres one of the deadliest scoring duos in the NHL.
Like with Hornqvist, the over would represent a 23-goal season over a full 82 games and 22 for the under. If we extrapolate his goal-scoring production for his career (218 goals in 627 games), the result represents a 19-goal, 56-game season.
He’s already well over the total at that point, and add the first time he’s playing with an elite center and Hall is going to cruise past this total with authority this season.
Prediction: OVER 15.5 (-115)
Skaters – Points
Aleksander Barkov, Panthers
- Over 55.5 (-115)
- Under 55.5 (-115)
We’ll start with a point total right in line with a point-per-game production in this 56-game schedule.
In his NHL career, Sasha Barkov has 407 points in 479 games, good for 0.85 points per game. Last season when the Panthers ranked sixth in overall offense, Barkov notched 62 points in 66 games. However, he also tallied 96 points in 82 games in the 2018-19 campaign, good for a career-high 1.17 points per game. That said, the Panthers’ offense ranked ninth.
That said, I’m a little bearish on this total. In seven NHL seasons, Barkov has only tallied a point-per-game pace once. Furthermore, his full-time right winger over the last three seasons in Evgenii Dadonov left for Ottawa in free agency, and power play mate Mike Hoffman will suit up in St. Louis this season. The Panthers’ power play ranked 10th last season at 21.3%, a number I think they’ll struggle to achieve without Dadonov and Hoffman, two of their top power play producers last season.
I see regression in this Florida offense, and considering Barkov has just one point-per-game season under his belt to this point, I’ll take the under on this one.
Prediction: UNDER 55.5 (-115)
Anders Lee, Islanders
- Over 39.5 (-115)
- Under 39.5 (-115)
If Lee is going to even come close to this total, general manager Lou Lamoriello must get Mathew Barzal signed before the Islanders open their season six days from today.
Even with Barzal as his center over the last two seasons, Lee has recorded points at a 0.63 point-per-game pace. In a 56-game season, Lee’s production from the last two seasons would represent 35 points.
For his career largely on the left wing of Barzal and John Tavares, Lee’s 301 points in 493 games is good for a 0.61 point-per-game pace, good for 34 points in a 56-game season.
Needless to say, Lee not only needs Barzal to sign a contract ASAP, he also needs to outpace his career norm to get over this total.
Otherwise, it’s probably Brock Nelson as the top-line center on an anemic Islanders offense and power play. The under is the safe bet on this one.
Prediction: UNDER 39.5 (-115)
Filip Forsberg, Predators
- Over 39.5 (-110)
- Under 39.5 (-120)
Last season, Forsberg tallied 48 points in 63 games, good for 0.76 points per game, a 42-point season in 56 games. If we combine his last three season, he’s racked up points at a 0.83 point-per-game pace, good for 47 points in a 56-game season.
His production last season also came on a Predators offense that ranked 16th with a power play that ranked 25th. The Preds ranked 19th in offense and 31st on the power play two seasons ago. In other words, he’s produced at a level well over this total despite working with some subpar Predators offenses over the last two seasons, recording 0.77 points per game in that time, good for 43 points in 56 games.
The Michigan? The lacrosse goal?
Whatever you call it, Filip Forsberg has officially got it pic.twitter.com/1DVLzS7pit
— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) January 15, 2020
I think the Predators should improve some on offense with a better defensive performance this season. Any positive regression in the offense carries Forsberg well over this total, if he wasn’t there already.
Prediction: OVER 39.5 (-115)
Jack Eichel, Sabres
- Over 60.5 (-115)
- Under 60.5 (-115)
See: Hall, Taylor above.
Like Hall with Eichel, Eichel has never exactly had a winger as good as Hall. He helped Jeff Skinner to a 40-goal season two years ago and has helped develop the likes of Sam Reinhart and Viktor Olofsson.
None of those players are on Hall’s level. Last season, Eichel tallied 78 points in 68 games, and and 82 in 77 games two seasons ago. Add it up and that’s a 1.185 point-per-game pace, representing 66 points in this 56-game season.
I’m not exactly factoring in injuries in most of my picks given their general randomness, but it’s worth noting that Eichel has had a difficult time staying on the ice in the three seasons preceding the 2019-20 campaign.
Nonetheless, he’s already on pace to blow by this total given his last two seasons, and with Hall in the equation, this should not be close, whatsoever.
Prediction: OVER 60.5 (-115)
Mark Scheifele, Jets
- Over 55.5 (-115)
- Under 555 (-115)
Like with Barkov, his total puts us right in line with a point-per-game pace and whether or not Scheifele can achieve such a thing.
Unlike Barkov, however, Scheifele has a lengthy track record of such production, notching at least a point-per-game pace in each of his last four seasons. In that time, he’s racked up points at a 1.02 points-per-game pace, good for a 57 points in a 56-game season.
Obviously, it’s pretty close. However, the fact that he was able to tally 73 points in 71 games last season, a year in which the Jets’ offensive production fell way off, speaks to his level of consistency and talent.
In a normal season, he exceeds this total, so I’ll simply roll with the trend on this one.
Prediction: OVER 55.5 (-115)
Patrick Kane, Blackhawks
- Over 64.5 (-115)
- Under 64.5 (-115)
If you read the Kubalik section above, you’ll know my feelings on these Blackhawks.
Kane is going to be without his projected center in Kirby Dach and given Jonathan Toews’ absence, he’s likely to skate on the team’s top line with Dylan Strome down the middle and goal-scorer Alex DeBrincat on the other wing.
That’s a talented top line, to be sure. Even over the last two seasons when the Blackhawks made their way down the standings, Kane tallied 194 points over 151 games, good for 1.28 point-per-game pace that puts him at 72 points in this 56-game season.
That said, this Blackhawks team is going to steamrolled this season. The Central is generally a weak division, but the Hurricanes, Blue Jackets, Lightning, Stars and Predators will present tough defensive challenges.
For his career, Kane’s 1.05 points-per-game puts him at a 58-point season in 56 games. I don’t like to bet against some of the game’s best, but with this Blackhawks team already in shambles, I’m not sure Kane can reach this lofty total with plenty of meaningless hockey on the horizon for this club.
Prediction: UNDER 64.5 (-115)
Ryan Getzlaf, Ducks
- Over 32.5 (-115)
- Under 32.5 (-115)
The Ducks struggled to a 29th-ranked offense last season, and Getzlaf managed a decent 42 points in his 69 games, good for a 34-point pace in a 56-game season.
It’s a little early to put any line combinations in stone as teams work through training camp, but it appears Getzlaf is going to skate as the team’s second-line center alongside the likes of Sonny Milano and Danton Heinen. It’s safe to say at this point that Adam Henrique is the Ducks’ No. 1 center and he’ll probably skate on a line with the team’s top two wingers in Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg.
According to Daily Faceoff, Getzlaf isn’t even on the team’s top power play unit.
This is already a 35-year-old player with 1,053 regular-season games under his belt and an additional 125 postseason contests. He’ll also play all season against excellent defensive teams in the Avalanche, Blues, Coyotes and Wild. Even the L.A. Kings remained an above-average defense last season.
Given his spot in the lineup, linemates, age and competition, I can see Getzlaf slipping under his total.
Prediction: UNDER 32.5 (-115)
Sidney Crosby, Penguins
- Over 61.5 (-115)
- Under 61.5 (-115)
Health was a concern for Crosby again last season after he required core muscle surgery, but he had only missed a total of 19 games over the previous six seasons combined. I’m not factoring health concern into this one, like I haven’t almost all of these picks.
Despite the mid-season injury, Crosby tallied 47 points in 41 games, good for 1.15 points per game, a 64-point season across 56 games.
He posted that total without goal-scoring left-winger Jake Guentzel for the final 24 games of his season, otherwise known as half his season. He also had the regressing Patric Hornqvist on his right wing.
This season, he has a healthy Guentzel on his left and the speedy Kasperi Kapanen on his right. Kapanen’s north-south speed is a far better fit with Crosby than Hornqvist’s heavy-footed game, and I think Crosby has a shot at the Art Ross Trophy as a result.
Sid makes it look too easy. 🤩
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 4, 2020
Even for his career, he’s produced at a 1.28 points-per-game pace, good for 72 points in this 56-game season. Given the new-look top-line, Crosby is in for a big season and I think he sails past this total.
Prediction: OVER 61.5 (-115)
Tomas Tatar, Canadiens
- Over 33.5 (-145)
- Under 33.5 (+115)
By all means, this should be an easy one.
Last season, Tatar tallied points at a 0.90 point-per-game pace, good for 50 points in 56 games. The season before — his first in Montreal — his 58 points in 82 games represented a 0.70 point-per-game pace, good for a 40-point campaign in 56 games.
Blend his first two seasons in Montreal together and Tatar’s 0.80 points-per-game with the Habs calculates to a 45-point season in 56 games.
To be honest, he’s really only had one poor stretch of hockey in his NHL career when he recorded just six points in 20 games with the Vegas Golden Knights following a trade deadline deal from Detroit.
Clearly, he’s found a home in Montreal, however, and will once again return to the team’s top line alongside Philip Danault and Brendan Gallagher while there is only one team — the Winnipeg Jets — from the new-look North Division that ranked among the league’s top-14 defenses last season, and that only happened thanks to a Vezina Trophy-winning effort from netminder Connor Hellebuyck.
At the end of the day, I’m hitting the over here with authority.
Prediction: OVER 33.5 (-145)
Torey Krug, Blues
- Over 37.5 (-115)
- Under 37.5 (-115)
When the Blues signed Krug on the free agent market, they added the anchor of the league’s second ranked power play to the league’s third-ranked power play from last season.
Over the last four seasons, Krug is tied with John Carlson for first among defenseman with 107 power play points. It’s a power play that will add Mike Hoffman, a player that ranks fourth in that same time with 49 power play goals.
This is also a Blues offense that will get Vladimir Tarasenko back mid-season from another shoulder procedure. All told, I see plenty of room for the Blues’ offense to grow from their T-14th ranking last season.
Over the last two seasons, Krug has recorded 102 points in 125 games, good for a 0.816 point-per-game pace, good for 46 points in a 56-game season. For his career, he’s produced at a 0.64 point-per-game pace, good for 36 points in a 56-game season.
Clearly, he’s taken his game to a new level at a 29 years of age he’s right in the middle of his prime.
This is a deep Blues offense with a loaded power play, and Krug is set to thrive in his new environment as a result.