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Who's hot or not? NHL teams to watch

By Andy MacNeil  () 

No NHL team is blind fade, or tail, but there are several teams bettors should be keeping an eye on for one reason or another as we enter the second month of the season. All statistics referenced here come courtesy of Evolving Hockey.

Philadelphia Flyers

Approximately 13.5% of the Flyers’ five-on-five shots are finding the back of the net and, according to Evolving Hockey’s expected goals model, they’re scoring a full goal more than they should be given the quality of their shots. In other words, the Flyers can score, but it doesn’t seem sustainable. A season ago, the Flyers converted on roughly 9% of their five-on-five shots. This is a team that we should expect to outperform their expected goals because they have proved in the past that they are capable of doing so. Still, they are very fortunate to be where they are in the standings given that their best player, Sean Couturier, just missed a couple of weeks. Couturier is back in the lineup, now though, which means the Flyers’ play should improve. However, I’m more confident than ever that this team isn’t among the league’s elite. The Flyers’ prices are going to climb, assuming the goals continue to pour in the way they have. If the team continues to grade out poorly through the lens of expected goals and puck possession, though, bettors should be wary of laying inflated prices.

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