We are so excited that the NHL is back, and there are more games on today for us fans to sink our teeth into. There will be 10 teams taking the ice for their first game of the season, in what is set to be five exciting games. All teams will obviously be looking to get off to a good start and shake off the rust of the off season.
What will today’s games bring? Who will be able to get their first win on the board and start their season off the right way? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain, we are in for a fantastic day! 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 for the five games on today’s schedule!
Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs – 7.00PM EDT
It is the first game of the second day for the new NHL season, and the Montreal Canadiens travel to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs. The Canadiens finished last season with a record of 24-21-11, and the Maple Leafs finished last season with a record of 35-14-7.
The second day of the 2021/22 NHL season brings us a derby between the two oldest teams in the League. Both Canadians teams have decent chances in reaching the Playoffs. The runners-up from last year, Montreal Canadiens, will be looking to repeat their unexpected run from last year. An interesting fact is that both teams met in the First Round of the Playoffs – for the first time since the 1978/79 NHL season. They put on a great show for the audience with Maple Leafs leading the series with 3-1, and Canadians taking it to game 7 where they defeated their rivals with 3:1. Game 5 and Game 6 were as close as one can think with Maple Leafs being twice on the verge of the final victory, but both times have been denied by the Canadiens after overtime.
Toronto is looking really good after their pre-season games – 5 wins and 1 loss. On the other hand, Montreal is suffering from injuries and the experiments that the coach did in these matches didn’t have a good impact on the outcome – 2 wins and 4 losses. Both teams faced up thrice with Maple Leafs taking two victories, while the Canadians had to reconcile with just 1 win with 5:2 at home. Everything points towards a clean win for Toronto and although these games are as unpredictable as one can get, I will take the opportunity with a moneyline bet including a tie for the Maple Leafs.
Denis’ NHL Pick: Moneyline (including tie) – Toronto Maple Leafs (-125)
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 11, 2021
The first game between Canadian teams this season should be a good one. After finishing as Stanley Cup runner ups, Montreal is looking to not only return but win the whole thing. Toronto is looking to finally make a deep run with the great core they’ve built. These two teams met in the playoffs last season and Montreal erased a 3-1 deficit to knock Toronto out. Montreal will also be without starting Goaltender Carey Price, which is why I think Toronto takes this one.
Tony’s NHL Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs (-172)
Two of the NHL’s most storied franchises face-off in the season’s second evening of games. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens reignite their rivalry after last season’s playoffs, where the Leafs once again broke down in the first round — blowing a 3-1 lead to the Habs. Expect Auston Matthews and Toronto’s offense to come out firing, especially with Montreal battling injuries across the board. In front of a rowdy Toronto crowd, I think the Leafs use that momentum to their advantage — that +134 spread may be too hard to pass up.
Michael’s NHL Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs -1.5 (+134)
New York Rangers @ Washington Capitals – 7.30PM EDT
It’s the second game of day two in the NHL season, and the New York Rangers will be travelling to Washington to take on the Capitals. The Rangers finished last season with a record of 27-23-6, and the Capitals finished last season with a record of 36-15-5.
Two of the most developed teams are facing each other in the opening matchday for 2021/22 season. The New York Rangers have always been a threat for the best teams in the League. However, they finished 5th in their East Division last year and missed the Playoffs. Moreover, they haven’t really enjoyed good days the last couple of years. Jeff Gorton did his best to rebuild the team during the past 6 years, but apart from the 2016/17 season when they reached the Second Round in Playoffs, his actions were unsuccessful. On the other hand, Washington Capitals led by their superstar, Alexander Ovechkin, clinched their first Stanley Cup Trophy in 2017/18. They managed to defeat the rookies, Vegas Golden Knights, by 4-1 in the series and Ovechkin was named “Finals MVP”.
Both teams have some minor injuries as Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom are expected to miss the game for the Capitals, while Ryan Reaves and Ryan Strome are questionable for the Rangers. Without some of their big names, I don’t expect this game to live up to its potential. I think that the goaltenders will make a decent game, saving their teams on numerous occasions, and I don’t believe this is going to be a match with a lot of goals.
Despite massive roster overhaul the Rangers still look to be a contending team this season. Meanwhile Washington should be as good as advertised and a cup threat as usual. This game could be an opening day preview of what the race for the Eastern conference playoffs would look like. With superstar Alexander Ovechkin being questionable it seems hard to talk yourself into betting on the Capitals so for this one I’m going with the Rangers.
Tony’s NHL Pick: New York Rangers (+108)
Unfortunately, injuries to the Capitals may scar what could’ve been a very intriguing matchup. Washington may be without superstar Alexander Ovechkin, who is currently a game-time decision and they’ll for sure be without another all-star in Nicklas Backstrom. The New York Rangers on the other hand, have a retooled roster that has massive upside, but may take some time to click. Still, I have a feeling they won’t forget how Caps defender Tom Wilson laid some ugly hits on their players last season. I like the Rangers in this one.
Michael’s NHL Pick: New York Rangers (+108)
Winnipeg Jets @ Anaheim Ducks – 10.00PM EDT
One of three games on today starting at 10pm (EDT) to get your heart pumping! The Winnipeg Jets are on the road for their first game of the season, when they take on the Anaheim Ducks. The Jets finished last season with a record of 30-23-3, and the Ducks finished last season with a record of 17-30-9.
Anaheim Ducks are opening their NHL season with a game at home against the Winnipeg Jets. Ducks haven’t been the same team lately as they have been struggling on the bottom of the table for the last 3 seasons. Led by the 36-year-old veteran, Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim is hoping to somehow miraculously reach the Playoffs this year. They are not thinking about the title, since it seems that they don’t have the sources needed for such a long journey. On the other hand, Winnipeg Jets are looking to record yet another Playoffs appearance this season. They have the potential to reach 40-45 wins during the Regular Season and such games are a “must win” for them.
Although Winnipeg Jets have some injury issues within their team, I think that the depth in the squad is big enough to cover for players like Dylan Samberg, C.J. Suess, and Mark Scheifele. It seems that this is going to be another season where Anaheim will be struggling against the top contenders for the title and they will count highly on their home games. However, I don’t think that they can create an upset against the Jets due to the difference of the levels. I will choose a straight victory for the Winnipeg Jets during regular time.
Denis’ NHL Pick: Moneyline (including tie) – Winnipeg Jets (+105)
“I can’t wait to get there tomorrow and make that dream come true.”
🎥 Cole Perfetti and Connor Hellebuyck speak to the media about starting the season on the right foot, development through the season, and more!
WATCH 🔽 pic.twitter.com/LejwSMXwMp
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) October 12, 2021
The Jets are coming off a playoff appearance while the Ducks finished dead last in their division last season. Based on the offseason moves by both teams this game should not be close at all. I’m taking Winnipeg with the goal difference in this matchup. Don’t look for the Ducks to be favorites much at all this season.
Tony’s NHL Pick: Winnipeg Jets -1.5 (+172)
Let’s not beat around the bush here: the Ducks are awful. But even awful teams need to win games, so why shouldn’t they have a chance at home while the season is still young? Well, the Winnipeg Jets were already talented front to back, and they made sure to add some veteran defenders in the offseason to make them even more of a threat. Anything can happen early, but there’s nothing the Ducks have shown yet to convince me they can strike fear.
Michael’s NHL Pick: Winnipeg Jets (-152)
Chicago Blackhawks @ Colorado Avalanche – 10.00PM EDT
Take your pick of three games that are being played all at 10pm (EDT), or get multiple screens and watch them all! The Chicago Blackhawks travel to Colorado where they will face off against the Avalanche to open their accounts. The Blackhawks finished last season with a record of 24-25-7, and the Avalanche finished last season with a record of 39-13-4.
The Chicago Blackhawks will have probably the toughest opponent for their opening fixture. Although Chicago has players like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, they are struggling to reach the Playoffs in the last couple of seasons. On the other hand, the Colorado Avalanche is seen by many bookmakers as the favorite for lifting the Stanley Cup in 2022. Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, and Erik Johnson are ready to step up their game and lead their team not only to the first place in the Regular Season, but also to the eventual title at the end of the season.
There are some players who will most definitely miss the game. The fans at the Ball Arena in Denver won’t be able to see Devon Toews, Pavel Francouz, and Nazem Kadri. Caleb Jones and Wyatt Kalynuk will be missing for the Blackhawks. I am expecting to see a solid beginning of the season for Colorado as they will be eager to make a statement for the title early on. Hence, I am thinking that they will cover the spread and make the audience erupt for the first of many times this year.
The Colorado Avalanche should be one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup this season. While on the other side of the ice the Blackhawks look to be heading towards a rebuild. This game should still be the best out of tomorrow’s 10pm window. Even with Patrick Kane and new Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury the Blackhawks should be outmatched in this one. But having Fleury should make it more competitive, so for that reason I’m taking the under.
Tony’s NHL Pick: Under 6.5 (-120)
The Chicago Blackhawks made some intriguing additions this offseason, trading for Vezina Trophy winner Marc-Andre Fleury, and adding four-time all-star Seth Jones to the defense. While they should be fun to watch this year, Colorado is a juggernaut; a Stanley Cup favorite. Unfortunately for the Avalanche, they just learned they’ll be without captain and Hart Trophy favorite Nathan MacKinnon (COVID). Still, there’s a reason Colorado is among the best, with guys like Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog who are more than happy to make up for MacKinnon’s absence.
Michael’s NHL Pick: Colorado Avalanche -1.5 (+114)
Vancouver Canucks @ Edmonton Oilers – 10.00PM EDT
Another game at 10pm (EDT) and this time it’s the Vancouver Canucks who are on the road playing against the Edmonton Oilers to get their season underway. The Canucks finished last season with a record of 23-29-4, and the Oilers finished last season with a record of 35-19-2.
The last game for Day 2 puts up against each other Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers. Vancouver Canucks are still looking for their first title for this franchise, but this season doesn’t bring more hope for them. Edmonton Oilers have done several decent performances during the Regular Season, but they didn’t manage to capitalize on the opportunity later on in the Playoffs. However, good days should be awaiting them with players like Connor McDavid, Darnell Nurse, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, all of them in their mid-20s.
Both teams are struggling with injuries and the list of missing players on both sides is huge. Worth noting is that some of these players are playing in defense – William Lagesson, Dmitry Samorukov, and Oscar Klefbom for the Oilers and Brady Keeper for the Canucks. Having this in mind, I think that this game will bring excitement and many goals on both ends. I am expecting plenty of errors in their defensive builds-up and therefore, I will pick over 7 goals mainly due to the better odds compared to the other option I would suggest – over 6.5 goals.
Denis’ NHL Pick: Over 7 (+118)
Opening night eve.
Excited? Can’t sleep?
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) October 13, 2021
Edmonton is one of the National Hockey League’s best teams while Vancouver is experiencing some troubles. With a superstar like Connor McDavid, the Oilers are in the conversation every single season. Vancouver looks to be extremely outmatched here and I agree. That’s why your safe bet here is the Edmonton Oilers with the spread to maximize value.
Tony’s NHL Pick: Edmonton Oilers -1.5 (+128)
While many have Vancouver to take that wide open third place spot in the Pacific Division, I just don’t see it yet. I know preseason shouldn’t be taken very seriously, but for the most part the Canucks looked like duds. They have some promising young talent, but they face one of hockey’s best offenses courtesy of the Edmonton Oilers, who are propelled by the league’s last two Hart Trophy winners (Connor McDavid & Leon Draisaitl). With that firepower at home, the Oilers look too good to pass up at that spread.
Michael’s NHL Pick: Edmonton Oilers -1.5 (+128)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.