NHL: 5 AHL Players To Watch Out For
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl


The American Hockey League is a fantastic developmental league. It is very rare that a top young prospect will play in the NHL without getting his feet wet professionally in the AHL (notable exceptions include Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos). Most young hockey players spend some time on an AHL team as a right of passage to the NHL.

And with the lockout of 2012, the AHL has been home to some fantastic hockey this season. Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz, and the rest of the young Oilers […]

NHL: Over/Under – 5 Underperforming Teams
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl

Last week we profiled five underperforming and five overperforming NHL players from the first month of NHL action in 2013. This week, we will do the same analysis on some of the 30 NHL clubs.

Read on to find out which five NHL clubs are underperforming relative to talent and/or expectations thus far in 2013.

Washington Capitals (4-8-1, 30th overall in the NHL)
Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning (-162, 5.5)
If  games were played on paper, the Capitals would be a lock for the postseason. They have […]

NHL: Better Or Worse – LA Kings
by PlayNowSports in hockey, nhl


I said it before, and I will say it again, Hockey is a game of ratios and percentages governed by randomness. It’s certainly not about raw numbers. Sure, in a vacuum, scoring seven goals in a game is better than scoring two, but giving up eight goals while scoring seven is a worse result than giving up one while scoring two. Beyond that, teams rarely have the ability to control whether or not they’re scored against: weird ricochets off of stanchions, bouncing pucks deflecting of skates, or […]

NHL: Who Will Win The Stanley Cup?
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl


Which NHL team will hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup in 2012-13? Do the Los Angeles Kings have the right ingredients for a repeat? Does a healthy Sidney Crosby lead the Penguins all the way? Do the Canucks finally break through? How about the New York Rangers – is star winger Rick Nash the missing ingredient?

New York Rangers (+850 to Win the Stanley Cup)
The Rangers are absolutely stacked at forward, they boast a solid defensive group, and Henrik Lundqvist is far […]

NHL: The Four Biggest Questions In The Western Conference
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl

A lot has happened in the Western Conference since we last saw the NHL in action in June of 2012. Detroit legend Nicklas Lidstrom officially announced his retirement from the league. The Minnesota Wild landed the two most sought-after free agents in a July surprise, and the Edmonton Oilers signed blue-chip prospect defenseman Justin Schultz out of the University of Wisconsin.

Let’s take a look at the four biggest stories from the NHL’s Western Conference.

4. Can Detroit replace Nicklas Lidstrom? (Red Wings to Win Stanley Cup +1800)
In […]

NHL: 2012 Year In Review
by PlayNowSports in europe, hockey, nhl


2012 was a year of turmoil for the NHL, and in turn the sport of hockey as well. The Los Angeles Kings peaked at the right time, dominating their Western Conference foes from Vancouver, St. Louis, and Phoenix en route to capturing their first Stanley Cup in team history (a six game defeat of the New Jersey Devils). Sidney Crosby made his second triumphant return from a concussion, and his Pittsburgh teammate Evgeni Malkin once again showed why he is arguably the best hockey player on the […]

NHL: The Prospect Of A 48-Game Season
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl


On Thursday afternoon to the surprise of absolutely nobody, the NHL announced the cancellation of regular season games through 14 January. In response some are calling mid-January the “drop dead date” for whether or not an NHL season will be played at all. I’m not sure I buy that, especially since the league didn’t cancel the 2004-05 campaign until 16 February 2005. So characterizing 14 January as a “soft deadline” for the cancellation of the season strikes me as more compelling, but regardless, if there is an […]

NHL: Behind The Numbers – Putting It All Together
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl

This week we’ve looked at two “objective” methods of measuring team performance that are more accurate than using a team’s win/loss record or their goal differential. For teams, controlling possession is key (which we covered in Possession Metrics), as is an understanding the way percentages govern the game (The Percentages) but neither concept should be looked at in a vacuum.

The key here, is to put an understanding of both concepts together, and make the underlying numbers work for you!

Once 25 or so games have been played in any […]

NHL: Behind The Numbers – Possesion Metrics
by PlayNow Sports in europe, hockey, nhl


Traditional thinking about the game of hockey contends that it is a spontaneous, free flowing game that doesn’t lend itself well to statistical analysis. After all, there are so many variables at play: on-ice matchups, line-mates, and pure chance or “puck luck”.

There have been quantum leaps in recent years however, in our ability to measure and better understand hockey. Of course, some of these metrics are an imperfect science, but can still provide us with insight into the game that allow us to understand the numbers, […]

NHL: 2011-12 Season Wrap – Kings Win Cup, Devils Win for Bettors
by PlayNow Sports in hockey, nhl

Los Angeles Kings fans may be celebrating a Stanley Cup victory, but Devils fans probably had a more successful betting season based on their team’s surprise success.

The Devils were the top moneyline team in the NHL for 2011-12, going 48-28-2-4 which translated into 20.25 units for moneyline bettors. New Jersey made a good chunk of those winnings on the road, going 24-15-0-2 away from the Garden State.

The Devils weren’t the only team making good with hockey bettors this season. Here’s a look back at the […]