Welcome to the 2011-12 NHL season! As a proud first time father I would like to take a minute to share a story. My wife got a message from her childhood best friend whom she hasn't spoken to in years congratulating us on our new baby. As it turns out he is an avid Dobberite and came across a congratulatory shout out the other day in the ramblings to a Marty Kwiaton. At first he didn't make the connection that in fact his childhood best friend’s husband chips in with a column every other week on a website he has been visiting for who knows how long.


Once the connection was made and confirmed using Facebook a congratulations was in order welcoming little Gordon Forrest Kwiaton born October 3rd. He is 2030 draft eligible and just completed his own "Gordie" hat trick with a pee, poop, and puke all in one diaper change.  It is such a small world after all and I would like to thank everyone on Dobberhockey that we are committed to hockey only 99.8% of the time.  Now onto some puck for our first Saturday night of hockey:


Hurricanes @ Capitals

By the Numbers – Frozen Pool


The Canes and Caps have went past 60 minutes in seven of their last fourteen regular season match ups. Last year, all but one game was decided by a single goal. These two sides play each other closely, however the Canes will have a regular season game under their belts already. Rookies blue liners Faulk and Murphy have the pleasure of going up against Stamkos and Ovechkin to begin their NHL careers.  Ovechkin gets to use his Bauer stick again since his CCM deal has come to an end.


Marty's Pick: Capitals (T - win in SO)

Thunder's Pick: H


Senators @ Maple Leafs

By the Numbers – Frozen Pool


If Craig Anderson does for Ottawa what he did for Colorado two years ago the Sens will sneak up on a few teams this year. The Leafs had a sluggish start against the Habs, however Lombardi looked dangerous in his return after a year of due to a concussion. The Leafs have won six of their last nine games at home against the Sens, with the three losses being all one goal decisions. Look for the Sens to catch the Leafs napping as Anderson steals his first game of the year as he is 4-1 at the ACC with a 1.56 GAA.


Marty's Pick: Senators (V)

Thunder's Pick: H


Panthers @ Islanders

By the Numbers – Frozen Pool


The Panthers lineup heading into their first game of the season will be going through growing pains as the team looks to find chemistry once the real season has begun. This is the perfect opportunity for a young and improving Isles squad to take advantage of.  With a healthy Mark Streit and a full training camp for guys like Okposo should continue their climb in the Atlantic division.  This will be Tavares' coming out party this season to the tune of 35-40 goals and 80+ points. The main distraction on Long Island that will keep the Isles from challenging for a playoff spot will be the revolving door between the pipes.


Marty's Pick: Islanders (H)

Thunder's Pick: H


Coyotes @ Sharks

By the Numbers – Frozen Pool


The main question all season long in the desert will be where will the Coyotes be playing at the start of the 2012-13 season. I don't care what kind of system Dave Tippett runs, at the end of the day Mike Smith isnt even half the goalie that Ilya Bryzgalov is. The Sharks on the other hand made some offseason moves strengthening their defense with Brent Burns.  Giving them that all around behemoth on the back end that munched monster minutes ala Rob Blake. It will be exciting to see what Havlat can do alongside Joe Thornton when he is healthy.  These should be easy points for the Sharks as they have won nine of the last ten head to head meetings.


Marty's Pick: Sharks (H+)

Thunder's Pick: T


Red Wings @ Avalanche

By the Numbers – Frozen Pool


The Avalanche open up the most important season since 01-02 when they were defending their Stanley Cup Championship.  Failure to produce this season will put them into the same breath as the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Kessel trade. It is very fitting that on the day one promising Swede begins his NHL career another will have his jersey retired, Avs fans hope this will be a symbolic passing of the torch from Forsberg to Landeskog. Just as above, the Avs also needed a dman to fit a roll that has been vacant since the departure of Rob Blake.  Enter Erik Johnson. He should have a breakout year this year with everything to prove.  The Avs have hopefully shed their losing ways as Sacco's and Sherman's jobs are both on the line. Since the lockout the Avs and Wings have met three times in October, with the Avs coming away with all three wins, the other 21 games has seen the Wings walk away with 15 victories.  Thank God it's only October.


Marty's Pick: Avalanche (H)

Thunder's Pick: T


Penguins @ Flames

By the Numbers – Frozen Pool


The Penguins had a terrific start on the road Thursday night in Vancouver handling the defending Western Conference Champs thanks to their special teams play. Malkin will be a man on a mission this season, whereas on the other side of centre ice Jarome Iginla has yet to dress for the Flames.  The Backlund injury will really hurt the Flames heading out of the gate, as the search for a temporary centre to slot between Tanguay and Iggy continues.  The Pens have won the last four meetings between these two teams by a combined score of 12-4.


Marty's Pick: Penguins (V)

Thunder's Pick: V

Write comment
Comments (2)add comment

Evan Cook said:

... It's for proline picks. Go to proline.ca for more info.

V = Visitors win by 1
V+ = Visitors win by 2
T = Tie (Game goes to Shootout)
H = Home Team wins by 1
H+ = Home Team wins by 2
October 08, 2011
Votes: +0

Malone D said:

... hi, first time reader. What does H, T, V and V+ mean?
October 08, 2011
Votes: +0
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.