The first month of the 2019-20 NHL season is officially in the books. It was an October full of surprises and disappointments, but there is still plenty of hockey to be played. This past week, we were treated to a re-match of the Stanley Cup Final last year. The Bruins shut out the Blues at home and got some revenge after being put out in game seven of the playoffs. Currently on a four-game winning streak, the Bruins are firing on all cylinders and have taken over first place in the East. Unfortunately for the Blues, they will be without star Vladimir Tarasenko for up to five months after he underwent shoulder surgery. This is a crucial blow for the defending champions, but they are a resilient bunch and have dealt with plenty of adversity.
Another team surging in the Eastern Conference is the New York Islanders. The Isles have won seven games in a row, and are doing it with a combination of stellar goaltending and solid defense. Barry Trotz has the team buying into their system and it has paid huge dividends. In the West, Elias Pettersson and the Canucks have gone 8-1-1 in their last 10. They have climbed all the way to second in the Pacific, two points behind the Oilers. It remains to be seen if these two west coast Canadian teams can find their way back to the playoffs this season.
Bests Bets of the Weekend
Detroit Red Wings at Carolina Hurricanes (Friday, 7:30 PM)
The Hurricanes are off to a strong 8-3-1 start and host one of the weaker teams in the league at home on Friday night. Detroit just recently snapped an eight-game losing streak and are really struggling on both offense and defense. The Red Wings rank 28th in goals for per game and 26th in goals allowed per game. This is good news for the Canes, as they boast a 5-1-0 record at home and should have little trouble generating offense. Goaltender Petr Mrazek is off to a stellar start with a 2.24 GAA and a .917 save percentage.
The Pick: Carolina Hurricanes, Moneyline (-245 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
Ottawa Senators at Boston Bruins (Saturday, 7 PM)
Both the Senators and Bruins will be well-rested for this matchup. The Sens will go on the road after having five days off, while the Bruins will look to continue their home dominance with three days rest. Off to a 5-0-1 start on home ice, Boston has the edge. The Senators are not a good road team, as they currently have a 0-3-1 away record. Tuukka Rask has been unbeatable between the pipes this season with a remarkable 1.42 GAA and .951 save percentage. Look for the Bruins to keep rolling on Saturday.
The Pick: Boston Bruins, Puckline
Toronto Maple Leafs at Philadelphia Flyers (Saturday, 7 PM)
The Leafs will be glad to flip the calendar to a new month and try to play more consistent hockey. They have a much needed three-day break going into this game, and may even get their captain, John Tavares, back. Regardless of Tavares’ return, this is a good spot for the Maple Leafs. The Flyers have really struggled to keep the puck out of their own net, allowing 3.36 goals per game and the most shots allowed per game at 28.3. The Maple Leafs were one of the best road teams last year.
The Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs, Moneyline (-112 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
New York Rangers at Nashville Predators (Saturday, 2 PM)
The Predators are one of the hottest teams in the league right now. First in the league in goals per game, the Preds have won four straight. Their starting goalie Pekka Rinne has yet to lose in regulation and should be in net at home Saturday. 6-1-1 at home to start the season, Nashville continues to be a difficult arena to play in for the road team. It is a bad matchup for New York, as they have given up 3.5 goals per game and have allowed over 36 shots per game. Expect the Preds to add another W to the win column on Saturday afternoon.
The Pick: Nashville Predators, Moneyline (-230 on DraftKings Sportsbook)