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Panthers vs. Red Wings Pick – NHL December 2nd

Jeez, 0-0 after the mid-way point of the 2nd period last night and then three quick goals made it 2-1 heading into the 3rd period. As I write this we are still at 2-1, so we’ll see where it goes from there, hopefully in our favor. We went 30 minutes without a goal and then got 3 in 10 minutes, so who knows what the final result will be (Editors Note: 3-2 final). The Ducks went in as -126 favorites and they’re up in this game. The Bruins are in a tough spot, as they played the Ducks last night and need to head to LA for a meeting with the Kings tonight. A couple of hard ones in a row for a team that is still trying to recapture a rhythm. The Ducks went on a crazy home winning streak last year to start the season last year if you recall, and have been good this season, but didn’t match that mark. Regardless Anaheim will be a threat again moving forward in 2014. Tonight’s pick features a team that’s gotten off to a hot start at home in their own right.

I have talked about the Detroit Red Wings in my past couple of write-ups and nothing has changed, so I’ll quickly just reiterate what I previously said. The offense has been looking very good since the return of Pavel Datsyuk. I suspected they would be a much better team getting him back, of course, but I didn’t see them looking this good. The Wings have assumed a defensive identity due to injuries the last couple of years, but if they can stay healthy they’ll have a proficient offense for the rest of season. Gustav Nyquist came out of nowhere to carry the load in their injury plagued season, and the Red Wings ultimately ended up exceeding expectations. If they keep their main pieces together, they’ll be able to do damage under head coach Mike Babcock. With the Florida Panthers visiting them tonight, let’s see what they can do after a big win over the Canucks.

Florida Panthers @ Detroit Red Wings

The Red Wings proficiency on offense is thanks to the return of Datsyuk, without a doubt. Even when he isn’t scoring goals or getting any points, he has a huge impact on the ice. He is perhaps the best player in the NHL when the puck isn’t on his stick. He still can’t speak English very well, but he is still one hell of a hockey player. The Wings have won their last four games and are winners of six of their last seven games. The offensive output has been quite impressive in that time span, averaging just over 4 goals per game. In four of those games they scored 5 in each. They’ve quickly pushed their average goal mark for the season over 3 goals a game after this influx of goals from the Wings. They are also strong on defense allowing 2.42 goals per game.

The Panthers have been playing hard this season and have a record of 9-6-3-3. Nothing overly impressive in the big picture, but for the Panthers this is a success. The problem for the Panthers is that they have major problems offensively. Florida is scoring only 2.04 a game, which puts them as the 30th best team in the NHL. Will they be able to keep up with the Wings here tonight? After playing last night against a physical Columbus team, I don’t know if they will be able to. -1.5 on the Red Wings is quite attractive to me in this game, as we are being given a sexy looking price. I am going to lock it in as I expect the Detroit Red Wings to keep on rolling at home.

Pick – RED WINGS -1.5 (+149) @ 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)