At last, it's a hockey night! First on the cards for the opening day of this NHL season is a mouthwatering match-up between bitter rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. Of course, this will be the first time the teams have met since their riotous play-off series last year, from which Philly emerged victorious, so get ready for a battle right from the puck drop.
I think the Flyers will come out on top here too at 2.50 with the aid of a pumped home crowd, in spite of the Penguins being slight favourites at 2.35. Goals are always on the agenda whenever these two high powered offences meet, so over 6.5 totals goals is also a good shout at 2.35.
Focus will then shift to Boston, where the Bruins host the New York Rangers. TD Garden was a happy hunting ground for the Rangers last season (they won on both visits0 and I think we might see a repeat of that tonight at 2.65. Boston come in to the game with a lot of pressure on goalie Tuukka Rask to perform in the absence of Tim Thomas. Although he has shown he is more than capable of doing so, their opponents tonight have the offensive talent to get to him.
The frontrunners for the Western Conference, the Vancouver Canucks, face off with Anaheim. This should be a relatively routine win for the Canucks at 1.90, as they go up against a Ducks roster that is largely unchanged from a disappointing campaign last time out. Perhaps go with Vancouver to overcome a -1.5 handicap at 2.55 as I think this will be a comfortable night's work for them.
Best bet: Philadelphia Flyers to win in regulation at 2.50.