STRIKE POINT SPORTS
6-Unit Play. Take #1 Montreal (-140) over Toronto (7 p.m., Wednesday, October 7)
Here we have a big mismatch up North as hockey season gets underway! The fact that the Canadiens are such a strong favorite on the road is a big tip-off on how this one is going to go. The Maple Leafs were one of the worst teams in the NHL last year and spent the offseason overhauling their roster. They needed it. They have a brand new coach in Mike Babcock and this is the start of a long-term rebuilding effort. Montreal has made the playoffs three straight seasons and they didn’t make any major moves heading into the season and they are ready to strike first here. They have done some fine tuning to the lineup but this is still one of the better lineups in the conference and they should handle this game easily. Montreal has dominated this series. They have beaten the Leafs six straight times and have won 8 of the last 10 meetings. Toronto was one of the worst teams in the NHL this preseason and they have a long way to go. Take Montreal here.
4-Unit Play. Take #3 N.Y. Rangers (+115) over Chicago (8 p.m., Wednesday, October 7)
The celebration in Chicago was sullied by the off ice actions of Patrick Kane so the Rangers may be in a great spot to take the season opener. Kane is under investigation for sexual assault from last August. That coupled with the slew of new faces skating with him points the arrow firmly in the Rangers direction. NY returns basically the same roster as last season outside of a trade with Anaheim that saw Carl Hagelin leave town and the retirement of Marty St.Louis they return six of their top seven point scorers. Rick Nash started slow last season but managed to score 42 goals to lead the team in that category. Nash will look to help NY tae its 4th in the last 5 games against the Blackhawks and with King Henri standing on his head all night it looks like a Ranger victory.
5-Unit NHL Futures Play: Take Washington Capitals ‘Over’ 45.5 Wins
I think that this team underachieved last year. But I think that they could bounce back in a big way. They won exactly 45 games last year and I think they have all the weapons and skill to be the best in the East this year and finally live up to their hype and talent. Their +39 goal differential was No. 3 in the East and No. 5 in the entire NHL last season. But they only had the 5th most wins in the East and just the 11th most wins in the entire league. The Capitals are ready to take that next step and I see this team getting between 48-50 wins this season. Play the ‘over’.