Tonight here at Pucking Hockey we have 3 free NHL picks for October 4th 2013.
Ottawa Senators vs Buffalo Sabres Pick
We saw the Sabres play the other night in Detroit and we pretty much saw what they’re going to do this season, nothing. If Tomas Vanek isn’t scoring, this Sabres squad is going to struggle to put points on the board and against a well rounded Ottawa team, they will continue to struggle tonight.
Ottawa is looking for a bigger and better playoff run this season and it all starts in their season opener. Erik Karlsson might be the most dynamic play-making defenseman in the league and he will bring his skills to the First Niagra Center as the Senators open their season.
Karlsson surprised everyone by returning last season after a horrific Achilles injury that made some of us wonder if he’d every be the same player again. Not only did he prove he’s fine, but now he’s had a whole off-season to really get things together.
The addition of Bobby Ryan adds to the depth of the Senators and provides them with a much needed scoring winger. With Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner in net and a very good coach in Paul MacLean behind the bench, the Senators have all the makings of a team that could make a serious post season run this year.
Ottawa Senators -115 ($1,000) TOP RATED NHL PICK OF THE DAY
Detroit Red Wings vs Carolina Hurricanes Pick
This is the second time this week we are backing the Red Wings and for good reason, they’re in the East and are eager to take down most of the weak Eastern teams. They have a great core of players ranging from veterans to young stars in the making. They are backed by an excellent American goaltender with Jimmy Howard and their defense is still solid with out long time captain Niklas Lidstrom. The bottom line is, Mike Babcock keeps these guys together and they should have an excellent season over in the Eastern Conference.
Which bring me to the Carolina Hurricanes. Their downfall last season was the injury to goaltender Cam Ward. When he went down, the entire team went down with him. He’s back and healthy, but is this enough to take down the mighty Wings?
They’ve got a dynamic group of forwards with Eric and Jordan Staal, Alexander Semin, and Jeff Skinner. Their defense could use a little help but this team should be extremely competitive on most nights and should be right in the thick of the playoff hunt. But as for tonight, expect the Red Wings to take advantage of a weak Hurricanes defense.
Detroit Red Wings -115 ($500)
New York Islanders vs New Jersey Devils Pick
Know how everyone is doubting the Devils this season and how Jaromir Jagr keeps telling the media they like the doubts and they will prove everyone wrong? Well, he’s not liking the doubts, and he and the Devils won’t prove anyone wrong this season.
They are going to struggle to score game in and game out, especially without Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise. That’s the bottom line.
Cory Schneider made the start in goal and allowed three goals on just 21 shots as he took the defeat in his Devils’ debut. Martin Brodeur will be between the pipes for the home opener on Thursday against the New York Islanders but it won’t make much difference if this team can’t put the puck in the net.
The Islanders on the other hand expect nothing short of another playoff appearance, where they almost and should have knocked off the Pittsburgh Penguins.
John Tavares was named captain of the New York Islanders in the off-season and he’s slowly proving to everyone that he’s one of the best players in the National Hockey League. This is a kid that makes anyone he’s playing with better and can single-handedly change the game in the blink of an eye.
New York should be able to score goals with their forward depth but defensively and in goal they have a lot to prove if they’re going to take that next step toward being a serious contender in the Eastern Conference. They’re young enough and have enough talent where they can make that step but they need to find consistency throughout the course of a long season. Their playoff appearance last year was a great building block but now it’s time to up the ante. There’s good value on this club in their opener.
New York Islanders +100 ($100)
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