The NHL is back and better than ever! Today there are stacks of games for us fans to sink our teeth into. With so many teams taking the ice, it is going to be an exciting day of NHL action, so you don’t want to miss this.
What will today’s games bring? Which teams will have the ability to get the all important win on the board? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain, we are in for some great games! So gear up, sit back, relax and watch. And if you like to have a bet, then you have certainly come to the right place.
Look below to find our free NHL picks, as we preview the best five games on today’s schedule.
Colorado Avalanche @ Florida Panthers – 7.00PM EDT
The Colorado Avalanche are hoping a game against the Florida Panthers will help them get back on track after losing their previous two games against the Blues and the Capitals. The Panthers on the other hand, have won all three of their games so far this season, which includes a 4-1 win over the Lightning.
The Colorado Avalanche travels to Florida to meet up with the Panthers in what seems to be a pretty intense and important game. Colorado started the season in a way that not only disappointed their fans, but also brought up some concerns about the near future. They lost twice in a row already, getting beaten by the St. Louis Blues and the Washington Capitals. The team led by Jared Bednar will need to do something soon, if they want to avoid the hole they could potentially find themselves in.
On the other pole, the Florida Panthers are on cloud nine after their first three games. They dominated over some of the best teams in the League like the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins. They also defeated the New York Islanders with 5:1. Aleksander Barkov, Sam Bennett, Anthony Duclair, and Aaron Ekblad have already contributed with at least 3 goals and assists for their team. All of them continue to be healthy and this represents a great threat for their opponents. However, I believe that the Colorado Avalanche would know how to resist this offensive line of the Panthers. Hence, I would choose a more closed game with less goals.
Denis’ NHL Pick: Under 6.5 (-112)
This is an early season matchup that could potentially be a Stanley Cup Finals series come 2022. Despite the Colorado Avalanche’s slow start, make no mistake about it, they are still a very talented team. Meanwhile the Florida Panthers are off to a roaring start this season at 3-0-0. Colorado will almost certainly improve once their best player Nathan McKinnon returns to the lineup after his issues with COVID-19.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) October 20, 2021
For now Compher is holding down the ship for the Avalanche, scoring 2 Goals and adding 2 Assists in 3 games played this season. As for the Florida Panthers, Barkov is leading the way with 2 Goals and 3 Assists in 3 games played this season. If this game was later on in the year or if Colorado was at full strength they would be the smart bet. However that is not the case and this all being a home game for Florida makes this an even easier decision. I do not see them covering the 1.5 Goal spread but I think the moneyline is the winner in this one.
Tony’s NHL Pick: Florida Panthers (-118)
In two of their first three games, the Florida Panthers have conquered two of their conference’s fiercest opponents. They handled the New York Islanders with ease, 5-1 and then took out their bitter rivals the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-1. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier as they host Stanley Cup favorite the Colorado Avalanche.
On Tuesday night, the Colorado Avalanche were thrilled to have Nathan MacKinnon back in the lineup—they weren’t thrilled to lose 6-3 to the Washington Capitals. Due to MacKinnon’s injury and captain Gabriel Landeskog’s two-game suspension, the Avs haven’t really had a chance to fully gel this season, so better days will be ahead, but heading to Florida to take on a confident Panthers team will certainly be a test. If they’re the favorites everyone seems to think they are, it’s important for them to win these games on the road. Colorado is still trying to mesh against a hot Panthers team with possibly the league’s top goalie tandem of master: Sergei Bobrovsky and apprentice: Spencer Knight. That being said I think it will turn out to be a gritty battle and I think the safest bet going into the game is the under.
Michael’s NHL Pick: Under 6.5 (-112)
Carolina Hurricanes @ Montreal Canadiens – 7.00PM EDT
The undefeated Carolina Hurricanes take on the Montreal Canadiens, who are still yet to win a game. The Hurricanes two wins so far this season have been against the Islanders and the Predators. The Canadiens have been struggling all season, and if you include their preseason games, they have only won two of their previous 10.
Carolina Hurricanes are taking up the runners-up from the previous season, Montreal Canadiens, who are way out of shape in the first couple of games this year. The Hurricanes made a good start of the season as they got the maximum out of the two games. However, they played against teams that don’t seem to be really competitive this season – the Nashville Predators and the New York Islanders.
On the other side, the Montreal Canadiens are doing something that is common for most teams who surprisingly reached the Finals the previous season. They are struggling to find their game, as the team scored just 3 goals and conceded 15 goals in the span of 4 games. This put them in the bottom of the table with 0 points. What is even scarier is that they lost these matches against teams like the Buffalo Sabres, the San Jose Sharks, and the New York Rangers. Hence, I would follow this trend and hope for another good game for Montreal’s opponents – Carolina Hurricanes.
Denis’ NHL Pick: Carolina Hurricanes (-130)
The 2-0-0 Carolina Hurricanes head north of the border to take on last season’s Stanley Cup runner ups, the Montreal Canadiens. While nobody expects Montreal to return to the Stanley Cup Finals, they still never expected an 0-4-0 start for the team either. During their 4 game skid to open the 2021-22 season they have been outscored 15-3. Despite this being a home game for Montreal, home ice advantage does not seem to mean much this year as they are 0-2 at home so far this year. Exhaustion is also sure to play a part in this game as well, as they have already played 4 games compared to Carolina’s two games thus far.
Leading the way for the Hurricanes thus far is Andrei Svechnikov, who has netted 3 Goals and has Assisted on one more through 2 games. As for the Montreal Canadiens, Johnathon Drouin has scored 66% of their 3 Goals after 4 games of the 2021-22 National Hockey League season. That is not a trend that can continue if the Canadiens are hoping to pick up a victory soon. As for this game, I expect Carolina to continue the trend of beating up on the poor Canadiens, with a decisive victory.
Tony’s NHL Pick: Carolina Hurricanes -1.5 (+205)
So far the Montreal Canadiens have struggled mightily in the aftermath of being Stanley Cup runner ups. It could be a hangover, the loss of key players or key injuries but the Habs just haven’t been able to make it happen after this first week. They’ve only scored 2 goals while conceding 15 after their first four games resulting in an (unsurprisingly) 0-4 record.
Meanwhile the Carolina Hurricanes have had two solid wins. They started off their season with their ninth straight win over the New York Islanders and followed that with a solid road win against the Nashville Predators, which included two third period goals. The Canadiens will need to win games eventually and if they could take one at home against a very good Carolina team, it could flip their whole season around. The Canes have so far been thrilled with the performance of 2018 2nd overall pick Andrei Svechnikov, the young Russian has tallied four points in these first two games. Whether it’s through him or the rest of Carolina’s depth, the Canadiens will definitely have their hands full for what could be seen as a pivotal game for this team.
Michael’s NHL Pick: Carolina Hurricanes (-130)
Washington Capitals @ New Jersey Devils – 7.00PM EDT
Both teams in this clash have got their seasons off to a pretty good start. The Capitals have lost just one game so far, which was in overtime to the Lightning. Meanwhile the Devils are yet to lose a game, with their two wins so far this season against the Blackhawks and the Kraken.
The Capitals are facing the New Jersey Devils in a game that might answer several questions asked by the fans and by the NHL analysts. Washington began the season on a high as they performed really well against some of the toughest opponents in the League. They won against the Colorado Avalanche and the New York Rangers and lost after penalties and after leading in the 3rd Period against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ovechkin proved once again that he still has a lot in his body and is ready to prove to the world of ice-hockey that he is one of the best forwards to have ever played in the NHL.
The New Jersey Devils are a team full of young prospects who are eager to show their head coach, Lindy Ruff, what they are capable of. Their captain, although aged 22, Nico Hischier, is ready to lead the team to new glorious times. In addition to this, he will get further help from teammates like Dougie Hamilton, P.K. Subban, and Tomas Tatar. I am reluctant to believe that this team will make the Playoffs, but this is certainly achievable down the line. However, up until this moment they will continue playing a more open style game, focusing mainly on the offensive end. The option for “over 6.5 goals” in the upcoming fixture seems really good in my opinion.
Denis’ NHL Pick: Over 6 (-118)
The Washington Capitals may have finally picked up a loss but Alexander Ovechkin has continued his reign of terror over National Hockey League goalies. He has already netted 4 Goals in 3 games and even assisted on 2 more. Meanwhile Jack Hughes has the New Jersey Devils unbeaten at 2-0-0 with 2 Goals and an Assist of his own. This will be a great matchup between 2 teams who are certainly going to be in the conversation come playoff time.
Mercer’s first was a vibe.
We ride again tomorrow night.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) October 20, 2021
Both of these teams are putting up nearly identical numbers of the offensive and defensive ends of the ice. They are both averaging around 4 Goals scored per game, while only giving up around 2 Goals per game. The main difference is Washington’s 3 Power Play Goals compared to New Jersey’s zero. Even when breaking down shots and shots against per game again they both nearly identical. With those stats being so close this should be a fairly even matchup on Thursday night. However because of the Ovechkin factor, I am leaning with the Capitals moneyline in this game.
Tony’s NHL Pick: Washington Capitals (-134)
Back to back four goal wins, have continued to put the New Jersey Devils on a lot of NHL fans radar as a potential playoff team. Goal scoring across the board has shown the capabilities from both forwards and blue liners to step up and find the back of the net. Although there has been a bit of concern of them coming out too hot, only to let their opponents back into the game. The Blackhawks took the game to OT and the Kraken stayed around until a final minute empty net goal gave the Devils a definitive win.
The Devils will face a true test against a Washington Capitals team that fails to slow down. Alexander Ovechkin continues to be a scoring machine and Evengy Kuznetsov is right there with him setting him up. The Caps show they still have some left in the tank and they face a team that includes young talent like Jack Hughes and Ryan Graves. I’ll go with the Devils to slow down the Capitals with a close win.
Michael’s NHL Pick: New Jersey Devils (+114)
New York Rangers @ Nashville Predators – 8.00PM EDT
After starting their season with two losses in a row, the Rangers have finally got it together, and have won their last two games, which were against the Canadiens and Maple Leafs, this brings their season record to 2-1-1. The Predators also lost their first two games of the season, but managed to get a win last time out against the Kings.
The Nashville Predators are awaiting in their home arena the New York Rangers for their game number 4 for this season. Both teams have already had their ups and downs in the first couple of days. Nashville lost two games against the Seattle Kraken and the Carolina Hurricanes. Later on, they managed to defeat the Los Angeles Kings with 2:1 after a comeback in the 3rd Period.
The Rangers also have a lot of work to do before they can think of reaching the Playoffs. They lost twice, against the Washington Capitals and the Dallas Stars. However, the team led by Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin got two wins against the best Canadian teams in the League – Toronto and Montreal. Igor Shesterkin had an amazing performance against the Maple Leafs as he saved 40 out of 41 shots on the goal. Both teams are finding trouble in front of the enemy’s goal while at the same time they keep good stats in terms of saves and blocked shots. Hence, this makes me think that the option for “under 6 goals” has a high chance to come through.
Denis’ NHL Pick: Under 5.5 (-106)
Nobody is sure what to make of the New York Rangers this season after 4 games. Their team goal seems to be beating up on the Canadian teams while losing to the American ones. They have suffered losses to Dallas and Washington but have found a way to beat the top Canadian teams in the National Hockey League. In fact they have outscored Toronto and Montreal by a combined 5-2 score. Meanwhile their losses to Dallas and Washington have been a combined score of 8-3.
As for the Nashville Predators, they currently sit at 1-2 and seem like another team who has struggled to find any type of direction so far in the early stages of the 2021-22 season. One of those two losses came to the brand new NHL franchise, the Seattle Kraken, by a score of 4-3 at home. This is their 4th game of the season and also their 4th home game, where they are 1-2 on the season. This shows that even having home ice advantage might not be enough for them to win games this year. That’s why I’m picking the New York Rangers in this game.
Tony’s NHL Pick: New York Rangers (-102)
After some offseason retooling and plenty of young talent, the New York Rangers looked like a team ready to compete for a playoff run. Unfortunately, they started out with a dud, as they got run over by the Washington Capitals. Since that game, they’ve steadily improved. They nabbed one point in an OT loss against the Dallas Stars and then went onto gain wins against the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Nashville Predators have been a bit harder to put a finger on. They gave the Seattle Kraken the franchise’s first ever win, and then followed that with a tight loss against a top tier Carolina Hurricanes team. They finally broke through with a victory against the L.A. Kings. With both teams coming over an early hump, it should be a tight one, but I think that Nashville takes advantage of their fourth straight home game and holds on for victory.
Michael’s NHL Pick: Nashville Predators (-116)
Edmonton Oilers @ Arizona Coyotes – 10.00PM EDT
This one has the potential to turn into a bloodbath for the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes are playing at home when they take on the undefeated Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers have enjoyed three wins so far this season against the Canucks, Flames and Ducks. On the flip side, the Coyotes have lost all three of their games, and so far this season have allowed 17 goals to be scored against them, while only scoring seven goals themselves.
Last but not least, we will cover the game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Arizona Coyotes. This a fixture between two teams who find themselves on the opposite side of the table. The Oilers began the season smoothly and recorded three wins. Their victims were the Vancouver Canucks (3:2 after penalties), the Calgary Flames (5:2), and the Anaheim Ducks (6:5). The 24-year-old forward, Connor McDavid, feels really excited for this season; he believes that his 7th season at Edmonton will make a difference for his career. He has already contributed 8 goals for the team, an achievement that can only be matched by Leon Draisaitl and Jesse Puljujarvi from the Oilers.
The Arizona Coyotes will have yet another hard season. Although they made some great pre-season games defeating teams like the Vegas Golden Knights and the LA Kings, they have crumbled against the Columbus Jackets and the St. Louis Blues conceding a total of 15 goals. The team is healthy so far, but cannot really find its form. Therefore, I am inclined to believe that the superior team, the Oilers, will take the victory tomorrow. Also, I would suggest that they will cover the spread of -1.5 goals.
Denis’ NHL Pick: Edmonton Oilers -1.5 (+128)
The Arizona Coyotes have by far been the National Hockey League’s worst team in the 2021-22 season thus far. That is not something that is expected to change as this season progresses, as evident by their horrible 0-2-1 start. In those 3 losses they have already given up 17 Goals while only scoring 7 themselves. Worst of all it includes separate 8-2 and 7-4 trashings by the Columbus Blue Jackets and St. Louis Blues respectively.
home sweet home 🏡 pic.twitter.com/yayHPcDrO0
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) October 20, 2021
Things will certainly not get easier as they go up against one of the NHLs top duos and the Edmonton Oilers. Connor McDavid may very well score at will in this game, so do not be shocked if we see another hat trick this early on in the season. Even with this being a home game, it will not help Arizona as this game should not even be close, or be competitive at any point following the first Oilers Goal. To maximize your winning value you should absolutely go with the 1.5 Goal spread, and potentially even do a same game parlay with the moneyline and over as well, because Edmonton may very well score 7 Goals on their own on Thursday night.
Tony’s NHL Pick: Edmonton Oilers -1.5 (+128)
Oh man the Coyotes, if the Blue Jackets and Blues put in 8 and 7 goals against this team respectively, what kind of damage will an Edmonton Oilers squad led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl do? This Coyotes team may just be “tanking for Shane (Wright)” or they may just be historically bad—or both.
That being said they have to win some games eventually, so why not play upset to an Edmonton team at home? Well, over the last two games, the Oilers have been goals galore. I just can’t see how they’ll let up against a team like Arizona, unless they just play completely uninspired. Sure, upsets happen, but there’s nothing here that indicates that has any chance of that happening here. I’m still going to go over because at 6.5, the Oilers are a real chance of scoring all the goals themselves.
Michael’s NHL Pick: Over 6.5 (-104)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of writing, courtesy of FanDuel.