We get back to the NHL tonight, after a two day hiatus to focus on football and baseball. It’s been a nice start for us on the ice, with a perfect 3-0 start betting. It’s been an exciting few days in the NHL, and it looks like it’s gearing up to be one heck of a season. The Ottawa Senators have jumped out to a nice 2-0-0 start to the season, beginning with an overtime win over the Maple Leafs, and a 4-3 shootout win against the Canadiens. The Sens were able to overcome a 4 goal effort by rookie Auston Matthews in his first ever game to record the win. Matthews went berserk in his debut, which signaled the start of a new era in the history of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Mike Babcock’s old team, the Detroit Red Wings have started out awfully slow. They have yet to record a win, and are staring at a possible 0-3 start to the year tonight.
There are going to be some massive pains going forward for the Red Wings. Pavel Datsyuk decided to bypass the final year on his contract, leading to a crater sized hole on their roster. Datsyuk provided terrific play on the offensive and defensive end of the rink, he was one of, if not the best defensive forward in the NHL. Luckily for the Red Wings, Henrik Zetterberg is still wearing the winged wheel. Also, Dylan Larkin is back after a terrific rookie season, which saw him score 23 goals and 22 assists. Larkin is hoping to avoid a sophomore slump, something the Wings need to avoid if they want to play competitive hockey this season. If he doesn’t improve, I do not see the Red Wings making the playoffs.
The Red Wings have made the playoffs every year since the 1990-91 year, a streak that has lasted 25 years. In the last season playing at Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings are in serious danger of missing out on playoff hockey. Joe Louis is famous to some great memories in Red Wings’ hockey history, and they are hoping that the last memory isn’t missing out on the playoffs. That will start and end with Dylan Larkin, depending on the progress he makes from last season, it’s going to dictate the end result for the Red Wings. There should be plenty of emotions in the building tonight, as the Red Wings play in their final home opener at Joe Louis Arena. We’ll see if it carries over into a victory against the Senators.
The defense has slowly regressed over the last two seasons for the Red Wings. This used to be a team that didn’t give up much room, due in large part to Datsyuk’s presence on the ice. Further, defenceman Niklas Kronwall has been battling injuries. For this season, Kronwall was doubtful to play in the season opener, and then soon after was placed on the IR. The holes on defense have been on display for everyone to see this season. They’ve allowed 10 goals in two games, including a whopping 37 shots against per game. The Wings can forget about playing in the playoffs if that’s a sign of things to come for them this season.
The Senators are no team to talk, even though they have two wins to their credit thus far. The Sens have allowed an average of 31 shots per game and have surrendered 7 goals. Difference being, Ottawa has hit the net an average of 34 times per game, compared to 27 for the Red Wings. I fully expect the Senators to find significant chances to score the puck in this game. There should be plenty of scoring opportunities. I see a ton of value in the Senators in this game, but I expect an extra added effort from the Wings in this final home opener at Joe Louis Arena. It’s not going to mean much on defense, they just don’t have the talent in that respect, but the offense should look crisp and efficient. There should be 7 or 8 goals in this one tonight, so the OVER looks like an attractive option.
PICK: OVER 5.5 GOALS (+105)