Ice picks: Friday’s best NHL bets

Oct 5, 2007 |

Pittsburgh Penguins at Carolina Hurricanes (-104, 6 ½ )

Today is a huge day in Penguins history. Last season's MVP Sidney Crosby makes his debut as captain of the hockey club at the age of 20 and Pittsburgh's current owner and former Pens super star, Mario Lemieux, turns 42 years old today. The date is also huge to Crosby, considering he made his NHL debut two years ago on this date.

Crosby lost his first ever game in the league, but that was with a lackluster team that had problems beating anybody. These new Pens are filled with stars young and old and Crosby wants to make a statement to critics who think he's too young to wear the "C" on his jersey.

Pick: Penguins -106

Boston Bruins at Dallas Stars (-175, 5 ½)

The Boston Bruins haven't won a Stanley Cup since 1972, but they sure know how to work the coaching carrousel. Claude Julien makes his debut behind Boston's bench and is the club's third coach in the last three seasons. 

Julien inherits a young team with several young players who want to prove to their newest coach that Boston can return to past glory. The B's are loaded at the center position and most opposing players will have to deal with 6-foot-9 inch defenseman Zdeno Chara, who is one of the most intimidating blueliners in the league.

Pick: Bruins +165

San Jose Sharks at Vancouver Canucks (-117, 5)

The San Jose Sharks are coming off a tough shootout loss to Edmonton and now less than 24 hours later must face one of the top goaltenders in the league. Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks open their season looking to defend their Northwest Division crown.

Last year Luongo lost to the Sharks in his first home game as a Canuck, but then earned three straight wins against them, allowing five goals in total in the process.

"Every team depends on their goaltender," Luongo told the Associated Press. "The goalie has to do a good job if they want to give their team a chance to win every night. It's been like that my whole life."

Pick: Under 5 

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