Teams are beginning to pass the halfway mark in this shortened NHL season but only a few clubs can consider themselves safely on the road to the play-offs. The New York Islanders are still in touching distance but have been terribly inconsistent. They play their 25th game today against a resurgent Washington Capitals. I've said that before about the Caps and they've quickly receded, but now it's five wins from the last six. They are now getting good goaltending, so are well set up a make a charge. A victory here would take them level with the Islanders and I think 2.55 is good value on a Washington win.
San Jose and St Louis are two of the four teams in the Western Conference sitting on 26 points but there's little margin for error, with a number of teams snapping at their heels. San Jose need to start getting some secondary scoring from their depth players: they have only five players with over ten points, compared to the Blues who have eleven. St Louis picked up a good win last time out whilst the Sharks stalled again. Take the Blues here at 2.75.
Dallas should be well rested after a lightly populated game calendar, and they also carry back-to-back wins with them to Phoenix to duel with the Coyotes. Phoenix have been quickly brought back down by a couple of heavy losses; it looked like they might be on the up after consecutive wins over Anaheim but they have stepped off the pedal. These are another pair of clubs contained lurking in the main bunch in the West, so another it's vital game to win if either wants to create some leeway. The Coyotes are yet to drop consecutive games at home and will be anxious to hold on to that statistic so back them to improve for the victory at 2.25.
Best bet: St Louis Blues to win at 2.75