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After a break from NHL games due to the NHL’s All-Star weekend, we’re back in the saddle during a month of rescheduled games that were previously delayed in December.

We were supposed to be seeing no NHL hockey at all right now, as the top players were due to be heading to Beijing for the Olympics, but that hasn't happened. Over halfway through the 2021-22 season now, let’s survey the field.

New Jersey Devils to defeat Montreal Canadiens

The Devils have been terrible lately, and losing Jack Hughes isn’t going to help the situation, but the Montreal Canadiens are still the undefeated champions of losing in this NHL season.

The Devils have done a great job snatching defeat from the jaws of victory a few times lately, and have lost 10 of their last 11 games, whereas the Canadiens have lost 12 of their last 13 games, and entered the All-Star break being outscored 26-11 over their previous four matches.

The Canadiens are being favoured in the odds for the first time in what seems like months, so it makes sense to bet on them to find a way to lose, as they’ve done 82 per cent of the time this season. 

Pittsburgh Penguins to defeat Boston Bruins

It’s the black and yellow game! Both these teams have been flat out great this season, there are almost no notes in terms of what they need to improve, but the Bruins are the heavy favourite by the odds makers.

That’s not unearned. The Bruins are arguably the best even strength team in the league, and their top end scorers have been as hot as the sun over the last stretch, but the Penguins are no slouches, and including special teams actually rank ahead of the Bruins in expected goal differential.

The Penguins are going to be without Evgeni Malkin, but he’s missed all but 12 games so far this season anyway, so it’s not a situation the team isn’t used to.

Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers to score over 6.5 total goals

Two teams with high-end offenses are meeting up, and with the Oilers finally digging themselves out of the doldrums that plagued them in December and early January, this looks like it could be a bit of a scorcher.

Robin Lehner has had an up and down season for Vegas, which opens the door for the Oilers’ generational offensive talents. Lehner went into the All-Star break with four straight great games, but the time off may have disrupted his rhythm a little bit.

The Oilers’ goaltending has been supbar all season long, but their ability to score goals often gets them out of trouble. Who will win this one is anybody’s guess now that the Oilers are back to their winning ways, but it looks like a high-scoring affair.

Bryan Rust to score anytime

Whenever a big time player is out for the Penguins, you can be sure that someone is going to step up and deliver some offensive performances that are wholly unexpected. Rust, for example, has scored 12 goals and 11 assists in his last 12 games.

He has been absolutely incredible for over a month, which is yet another reason why the Penguins seem to always be so competitive. Rust is a free agent this summer, and he’s having the kind of year that’s going to get him paid a lot of money in future.