The last time sports betting players considered a New York Islanders game a remotely relevant sporting event, Mr. Alexei Yashin was still around collecting his $10-million paycheck. Well, that was the case before this season. Before John Tavares arrived.
The most hyped prospect since Sidney Crosby, John Tavares is passing his first test with flying colors so far this season. He’s a creative center who has a goal-scoring touch but can also make others around him better. Seeing him help turn Matt Moulson into a sniper is like seeing Brett Favre and Sidney Rice blossom in NFL betting.
[adinserter block=”1″]Because of the Isles’ improved offensive play, they’re no longer an automatic pushover. That said, I’m not sure if they can handle the Flyers in Philadelphia on Tuesday night. After playing some strangely undisciplined, underachieving hockey over the first third of the season, the Flyers fired coach John Stevens last week. New head coach Peter Laviolette’s debut on Saturday couldn’t have gone worse – an 8-2 drubbing against Washington – but we’ll give the new bench boss a mulligan.
After visiting Montreal for a tough matchup on Monday the Flyers host the Islanders in their first home game since the Capitals pummeled them. I think sportsbook bettors should mark this date on the calendar as the point at which the Flyers’ turnaround begins. More so in hockey than in most sports, new coaches always seem to energize players upon their arrivals. Laviolette should do the same and the Flyers will be pumped up at home.
[adinserter block=”2″]For whatever reason, Stevens couldn’t get the most out of a talented offense group. Jeff Carter and Mike Richards should be adding to their superstar reputations but are both averaging under a point per game this season. Look for that trend to start reversing Tuesday night against the Isles, whom Philly has beaten once already this season. Laviolette showed when he coached Carolina to a Stanley Cup that he knows how get the most out of power forwards and we’ll start to see the fruits of his labor with the Flyers on Tuesday night. Pick Philly.
Hockey odds pick: Flyers
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