The Red Wings are a veteran club with 20 straight postseason appearances — the longest such streak in North American professional sports — in search of their 12th Stanley Cup. The Senators are a young squad — 12 players on their roster are 25 or younger — and have failed to qualify for the playoffs in two out of the last three seasons, including a last-place finish in 2010-11.
The Wings might have lost Chris Osgood, Brian Rafalski and Kris Draper to retirement, but their captain and seven-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom is back for yet another season. While they maintain a large veteran presence with the likes of Lidstrom, Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk, Danny Cleary and Henrik Zetterberg, the Wings will also feature some key young talent. Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader, both 24, will be counted on to fill in some of the void left by departing players.
As for the Ottawa Senators, MacLean takes over for Cory Clouston, who was fired after the Senators finished 32-40-10 in 2009-10, but he isn’t the only new face on Opening Night. There could be as many as 10 different players on the opening-day roster.
Mika Zibanejad, the sixth pick in June’s Entry Draft, who made the team after a very strong preseason. The 18-year-old Swedish center will make his NHL debut on Friday, hoping to help an offense that finished with the second-worst goals-per-game last season at 2.32.
Goaltender, Craig Anderson prepares for his first full season in net for Ottawa after performing very well since being acquired from Colorado last February. He went 11-5-1 with a 2.05 GAA for the Senators and was rewarded with a four-year, $12.75 million contract extension. The main reason why we think here at Pucking Hockey on why Anderson did so good for the Senators, was because he had to prove himself coming down the stretch of the season. He is good, not taking that away from him but, now that it’s a new season, he knows this team has a lot of work ahead of them, no matter how good he plays in net.
The no brainer pick here is the Detroit Red Wings, the only problem is, they are a -220 moneyline favorite. I don’t personally like taking that kind of juice, especially in a hockey game, but let’s face reality. Your risking your money on an experienced well rounded hockey team v.s. a young, miscued hockey team. If you don’t mind risking the cash, play the money line as a sure winner. As for us, we are going with the puck line as our top play of the day.
Detroit Red Wings -1.5 (5 UNITS)
Other plays for the day
Detroit Red Wings -220 (1 UNIT)
New York Rangers vs L.A. Kings OVER 5 (1 UNIT)
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