The season is back, and with it are the weekly picks. Marty "Mapletree" Kwiaton and Steve "Notch" Johnson have returned and will alternate weeks for their game picks. Notch will kick things off for Saturday, October 3, 2009.
Vancouver at Colorado 3:00 PM EDT
Vancouver’s undefeated preseason met up with the regular season and they quickly lost their first game. Luongo is known as a slow starter and that motto if you will held true in the Canucks first game against a quick striking Flames team. I look for Luongo to bounce back against a Colorado team that shocked the Western Conference favorite San Jose Sharks in Game number one. Craig Anderson stole the show in that game, but not only do I think Luongo will out duel Anderson, I see a let down from the Avalanche. It is not every night that the Avs will be able to harness the energy for Joe Sakic retirement night like they did against the Sharks on opening night.
Vancouver – Visitor Win – V (ProLine)
Detroit at St. Louis in Stockholm Sweden 3:00 PM EDT
Game #2 will see Detroit try to even the early season series at one game apiece. It is the beginning of the season obviously, but Detroit does not want to see the Blues ahead of them by 4 points this quickly. The Wings 8 Swedish players will try to give the fans something to cheer for. The problem is the Blues are going to surprise a lot of people this year. Kariya is back and healthy for now and the juggernaut offense of the Blues will catch the Wings off guard again.
St. Louis – Home Win – H (ProLine)
Carolina at Boston 7:00 PM EDT
One of these teams will get their first win after each team lost their opener. Carolina was physically beaten up by Philly in their first game and while Boston was run over on the scoreboard by Ovechkin and the Caps. Call this game a playoff rivalry of sorts as this was one of the more thrilling series’ of last years playoffs. Boston will try to get a tiny bit of revenge for that heart-breaking Game 7 loss.
Boston – Home Win – H (ProLine)
Montreal at Buffalo 7:00 PM EDT
I see this game as Price vs. Miller. I give Miller the edge as his preseason was impressive and his confidence right now seems to be as high as it has ever been. Montreal will be without Markov as you all know. Buffalo dominated Montreal is the season series last season taking 9 of 12 points.
Buffalo – Home Win – H (ProLine)
Philadelphia at New Jersey 7:00 PM EDT
In Ray Emery’s Philly debut he recorded a 27 save shutout. 23 of those 27 saves were first save shots as the Philly defense did an amazing job at letting “Razor” see every shot and clearing almost every rebound. At the other end of the rink, Brodeur will start his record setting 15 consecutive opening night game. Brodeur will also try to pad his 9-3-2 record on opening nights. In those games, look at these numbers -1.88 goals-against average and .928 save percentage. That is great, but it won’t help. I don’t think Lemaire will last the season.
Philly by 2 or more – Visitor Win – V+ (ProLine)
Pittsburgh at New York Islanders 7:00 PM EDT
Crosby vs. Tavares and Malkin vs. … vs. ??? I am not sure if the Penguins would lose this game even if they allowed the Islanders to play all 3 of their starting goalies at the same time. Pittsburgh looked great in their first game of the year, the Islanders will be playing without their newly appointed captain in Doug Weight due to old age, I mean a groin injury.
Pittsburgh by 2 or more – Visitor Win – V+ (Proline)
Ottawa at NY Rangers 7:00 PM EDT
Ottawa will start Pascal Leclaire. If he can make it through the whole game without hurting something, Ottawa may have a chance. Seriously though, Leclaire will be playing his first meaningful game in almost 11 full calendar months. I don’t care how new your goalie equipment is, it will be rusty already. Gaborik is making his MSG debut as a Ranger and will look to fly. Can Lundqvist carry the Rangers into the postseason? Look for a low scoring affair. 5 goals or under total. What will Ottawa look like with 3 capable scoring lines?
Ottawa – Visitor Win – V
Toronto at Washington 7:00 PM EDT
Defensive miscues and undisciplined penalties cost Toronto against Montreal and the Habs don’t have the most feared PP in the league. Try that against Washington and see what happens to you. Oh wait, you are playing each other and that is the only way you know how to play, ok, thanks.
Washington by 2 or more – Home Win – H+
Minnesota at Columbus 7:00 PM EDT
Both teams will open their season tonight. Minnesota has made lots of changes, Columbus has not. The Blue Jackets will be looking to build on their first post season appearance ever, while the Wild will be looking to make it back. Hitchcock always has his teams ready to start the season and I think this is a coaching mismatch that will actually decide the game.
Columbus – Home Win – H
Calgary at Edmonton 10:00 PM EDT
Calgary came out fast against Vancouver to start the year and picked up their first win against a Canadian rival. They will try to do the same against their Provincial rival. It may be easy as Edmonton is banged up and will be without Hemsky, Visnovsky, Moreau, Pisani and Pouliot.
Calgary – Visitor Win – V
San Jose at Anaheim 10:00 PM EDT
Heatley’s game is already being picked apart for his effort levels of disappearance when the game gets physical. Good luck in the West Coast, and enjoy tonight game against Anaheim.
Anaheim – Home Win - H