NHL: The one where the Golden Knights make their debut
We’re just two nights into the NHL season, and we’ve already got a strong contender for weirdest result of the year. The Chicago Blackhawks absolutely barnstormed the defending champions Pittsburgh Penguins, 10-1.
Last night’s action: The Colorado Avalanche came through for us on the road with a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers. The Avs were out-possessed and out-chanced and things weren’t looking great after they blew a two-goal lead, but alas, they got the job done. Minnesota had two goals disallowed and failed to convert on a 5-on-3 as they fell to Detroit, 4-2, in Motown. Philadelphia hung with Los Angeles for the entire game, but ultimately fell 2-0 at the Staples Center. After originally liking the Coyotes, their late goaltending decision forced us out of that play against Anaheim. The Ducks would eventually prevail, 5-4.
The New York Islanders visit the Columbus Blue Jackets as each team opens their season with a back-to-back. It looks like Thomas Greiss will start for the Islanders against Columbus’ back-up Joonas Korpisalo. There would be a bit of value on the Isles here, but they have downgraded their roster by scratching Josh Ho-Sang in favor of Jason Chimera and Ryan Pulock for Adam Pelech, so this is a pass.
The second tilt of the night sees Florida travel cross-state to take on Tampa Bay. The goaltending matchup features Roberto Luongo in goal for Florida and Andrei Vasilevskiy in the paint for the Bolts. One thing to note – it looks like Dan Girardi will be playing on the top defensive pair with Victor Hedman, which is a head-scratcher and could mitigate all the good that Hedman does for the Lightning. The Panthers are in range here.
The small card concludes with the debut of the Vegas Golden Knights. The NHL’s newest franchise draws a tough first assignment with a trip to Dallas to take on the Stars, who are expected to contend for the Western Conference title. The Stars probably win this fixture 60 percent of the time, but the odds imply they have a 32.79 percent change of winning, so there’s considerable value on the debutantes tonight. What the heck — Go Knights!
[Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie, USA Today]
(Season to date: 3-3, +0.92u)