Sport NHL dog of the day: New era begins for Rangers
McDavid, MacKinnon, Crosby, Draisaitl top NHL 22 player ratings
Cover boy Auston Matthews comes in with a 92 rating.Cover boy Auston Matthews comes in with a 92 rating, tied with Patrick Kane, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, and Alex Ovechkin.
Right off the bat, I've got two issues that surfaced on opening night of the NHL season.
First, and far less serious, how can the Tampa Bay Lightning just absolutely not show up in their season opener in front of their home fans against a depleted Penguins team. Shoutout to the Penguins who played a great game, but Tampa just never showed up. Thankfully we didn't lay the -250 juice on the moneyline.
Second, and this is a far more serious issue as a hockey bettor, is the handling of the Kraken situation. For those unaware, Seattle played its first NHL game last night and it was expected to be without four players due to COVID protocols. Then, out of nowhere, about an hour before game time, news came out that three of the players on the COVID list were cleared to play.
Rangers’ young talent is only thing that will make rebuild a success
The New York Rangers made some significant changes this offseason but none of them will matter if their potential young impact players do not become actual impact players.General manager Jeff Gorton was fired and replaced by Chris Drury. Head coach David Quinn, the man hired to usher in the young talent of this rebuilding phase, was replaced by Gerard Gallant. They also made a little bit of a philosophical shift to the roster by targeting toughness — and a lot of it — by bringing in Ryan Reaves, Barclay Goodrow, Jarred Tinordi, and Patric Nemeth to fill out the bottom of the lineup.
Jared McCann and Joonas Donskoi play top-six minutes for the Kraken. Jamie Oleksiak is a second pairing defenseman. These are vital players for the team. The NHL has no transparency in terms of reporting injuries or COVID issues, and if it wants to become serious about entering the betting and fantasy landscape, these things need to change.
NHL dog of the day
The New York Rangers had a wild offseason, and Tom Wilson was the main reason for that. After Wilson basically rag-dolled Artemi Panarin in a game toward the end of last season, the Rangers changed their whole organizational philosophy. They fired their general manager and coach, and bought in a whole lot of players known for being tough to play against.
Funny how things work out sometimes, as the Rangers play Tom Wilson and the Capitals to open their season. Washington is
NHL 2021-22 season preview: Jack Eichel vs. Sabres, inaugural season for Kraken, other storylines to follow
There's plenty to dissect before the NHL campaign gets underway on TuesdayTORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 17: Jack Eichel #9 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period at the Scotiabank Arena on December 17, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Capitals will be without first-line center Nicklas Backstrom, and star forward Alex Ovechkin is a game-time decision. Even without those injuries, I think the Rangers might be the better team.
Video: Blitz 16 Player of the Week: K'Swaya Moffett (WAPT Jackson)
New York is a young team that has been improving over recent years. I think it upgraded its coaching by hiring Gerard Gallant. And even though they'll never say it out loud, you know the Rangers see this as a game where they can make a loud statement against a team that embarrassed them last year.
Igor Shesterkin gives the Rangers a significant advantage between the pipes over Vitek Vanecek. I like the Rangers here as a small pup. Currently, New York is
Veteran forward Tyler Ennis signs with Ottawa Senators
Ennis, 32, spent the 2020-21 season with the Edmonton Oilers, scoring three goals and nine points in 30 games. Though those numbers won’t jump off the page, the undersized forward is versatile enough to move around."Tyler has had a strong training camp. He’s a highly skilled veteran whose leadership qualities should prove as valuable as they were here two seasons ago. He’s capable of generating offence both at five-on-five and on the power-play, and, with an ability to play both wing postions, he’ll be a good addition for us at forward.
UPDATE: The NHL strikes again as we find out half an hour before gametime that the Rangers will be starting their backup goaltender, Alexandar Georgiev, in this game. I think the Rangers are still worth a bet.
Rest of the slate
There are four other games on Wednesday's slate:
Toronto vs. Montreal: The Maple Leafs are -175 favorites at home against Montreal. This is a revenge spot for Toronto after the Canadiens eliminated it in the playoffs last season. With that being said, this line is a bit too high and I'd lean toward
Vancouver vs. Edmonton: The Oilers areand I have no interest in laying that price with them. I don't expect much from the Canucks, but if you're throwing darts, Vancouver at +155 is the value side. I'd also look toward the over as neither team inspires much confidence defensively.
Colorado vs. Chicago: Colorado opens the season as the favorite to win the Stanley Cup. I don't lay -200 in hockey games, but I'm also not starting the season by stepping in front of the Avalanche train this early either.
Winnipeg vs. Anaheim: Another road favorite for me here. Winnipeg is a good team, Anaheim is one of the league's worst teams. I'll
Teams are rolling with their No. 1 goalies to begin the season. In some cases, teams' top goalies aren't as obvious as others.
Washington is going with Vitek Vanecek over Ilya Samsonov. Toronto is going with Jack Campbell over Petr Mrazek. Montreal's No. 1 goalie for the foreseeable future will be Jake Allen as Carey Price has left the team for personal reasons.
Lightning talent pipeline will be put to test in next repeat attempt .
The Lightning lost a lot of talent this offseason but they do have plenty of intriguing in-house options to help replace them.They have the most regular season wins. The most playoff wins. They have played in the Stanley Cup Semifinals/Conference Finals four different times and the Stanley Cup Final three times, winning two of them. They have been, and remain, the NHL’s standard for on-ice success.