The NHL season is upon us on January 13th, Wednesday after a short hiatus considering last season’s late finish. Looking ahead to a shorter season, different divisions, and overall different year, let’s lead into TITTH’s NHL First Night Picks!
*Betting lines via Betonline.ag*
*Betting trends via Oddshark.com*
Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers
PIT ML : -105, PHI ML: -115, Total Over/Under: 6 goals
While the Penguins are trying to recover from the abysmal year they had last year, the Flyers are trying to translate last year’s momentum into this new year. Carter Hart had some spectacular performances as a young goalie for a playoff team. Malkin / Crosby vs Hart / Flyers D will be an AMAZING first-night matchup for the NHL.
With the Penguins clearing the deck of vets and not exactly filling the cupboards back up, the playoff hardened Flyers are poised for the win on the first night for the NHL. I can easily see Carter Hart letting up only one goal max against the Penguins, while the Flyers get that extra goal to lock in the extra points for the standings.
Pick: Philadelphia ML -115, Taking the Under
Montreal Canadians at Toronto Maple Leafs
MTL ML: +115, TOR: -135, Total Over/Under: 6
For everyone’s sake in Toronto, the Maple Leafs need to start off on the right foot. But the true question (like every year) is, will they? My biggest concern for Toronto is their goaltending, will Frederik Andersen return to the elite form he enjoyed a few years back? or will he be a talking point all year like last year?
On the other hand, how will the departure of Max Domi affect the offensive side for the Canadians? Carey Price will be a tough opponent for Tavares, Matthews, and Marner (if he can get hot) but will the Canadians be able to keep pace with the flashy Maple Leafs offense? To me, I don’t see Matthews having the hot start he did last year. But I definitely see the veteran Carey Price locking down the W for the first night of 2021.