Ice picks: Thursday's best NHL bets

Calgary Flames at Edmonton Oilers (-104, 5.5.) odds provided by logans

The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers don’t have a whole lot in common besides the province they reside in. The Oilers are rebuilding and will rely on untested youngsters while the Flames are hoping their grizzled group of veterans can squeak out one last good season.

Calgary GM Darryl Sutter took some heat for bringing back Olli Jokinen and Alex Tanguay, two players who did not play up to expectations in their previous stints with the franchise.

So why does Calgary’s management team think a Jokinen-Tanguay-Jarome Iginla top line will fix the club’s offensive woes?

“The whole lynchpin was Tanguay,” Flames assistant GM Jay Feaster told NHL.com. “One of the big problems was Olli tried to become something he’s not and that’s a playmaker. He and Jarome are both shooters. Putting them together, he (Jokinen) felt he had to set up Jarome. But bringing in Tanguay, he’s the playmaker and that’s what they felt they needed for both guys.”

We’ll believe it when we see it.

This much we do know: Calgary is so banged up at centre (Daymond Langkow and Matt Stajan are both out with injuries), Sutter had to sign 35-year-old Brendan Morrison as a stopgap.

We’ll take the scrappy Oilers in their first home game of the season.

Pick: Oilers

Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs (-129, 5.5)  odds provided by logans

Nothing starts off the hockey season quite like a clash between two of the game’s biggest rivals.

The Leafs got off to a terrible start last season, losing 12 of their first 13 games, and were basically eliminated from playoff contention after a couple of weeks of play. So they know just how important it is to get off to a good start.

“I’ve overheard our players talking about (that start),” Toronto GM Brian Burke told the media on Monday. “They’re fully cognizant of how that start buried us last year. Reaching the playoffs, it’s too tough to dig that kind of hole. The gas you’re going to expend to get to level ground is going to do you in anyway.

“At one point we were three points out in December, but we had expended so much energy to get back in the hunt, that we had no chance.”

Burke addressed a few of the teams’ shortcomings by acquiring veteran goalie Jean-Sébastien Giguère, who replaced struggling netminder Vesa Toskala, and physical defenseman Dion Phaneuf at the end of last season. Those additions should give Toronto’s special teams a boost. The team had the worst power play and penalty kill in the league last season.

The Canadiens surprised everyone last year by making it all the way to the Eastern Conference final. They did so in large part thanks to incredible performances by goalie Jaroslav Halak and center Mike Cammalleri, who led all scorers with 13 postseason goals.
 
Carey Price is now the main guy in net for Montreal, but he might not even be able to play Thursday because of the flu, leaving backup Alex Auld to face the Leafs.

Cammalleri will also have to miss the season opener after being suspended for one game for slashing rookie Nino Niederreiter in Saturday’s exhibition tilt against the Islanders.

Pick: Maple Leafs

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Posted by LeeK3
3 years ago

yeah DDH, I'm one of the losers so far at 0-2 on the first 2 Overs. But peer pressure got to me so I just added a Chase bet on the Flames.....Calgary -110 vs EDMONTON, to win 1 unit. GOOD LUCK!
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Posted by DDH420
3 years ago

Looks like a tough night for a few of us. I can still have a winning night with my earlier plays but seeing as it's an Alberta battle I will add a play of....CAL ML to U 5.5 to SF ML +485...BOL & lets finish strong.
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Posted by LeeK3
3 years ago

I just added these 2 other OVERS for tonight, but going smaller on the Blackhawks OVER..........OVER 5.5 (-115) LEAFS vs Habs, to win 1 unit............... OVER 5.5 (-120) AVALANCHE vs Blackhawks, to win a half-unit..........Hopefully the Trend of OVERS early in the season continues.
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Posted by ak7fan57
3 years ago

Its Finally time for some Hockey 1 play today the Over in Mont / Toronto
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Posted by LeeK3
3 years ago

Happy Opening Day of the HOCKEY season everyone! I plan on taking it slow here in the first couple of weeks of the season, and I may make several half-unit bets to get things going, but I did make 1 bet for tonight that I like and that is the............. OVER 6 (-120) PENGUINS vs Flyers, to win 1 unit.............With Sergei Bobrovsky (WHO???) starting for the Flyers, I have to think the Penguins can score 4 or more goals tonight and the Flyers should be good for 2 or 3 so I will try the OVER here to start out. Good luck to everyone!
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Posted by DDH420
3 years ago

I agree Leeker,I say What-About-BOB-rovsky gets lit tonight. He was one of my main reasons for going PENS and LAFFS PL and not in a vug buster. Pronger out and Price ill didn't hurt either........MON/LAFFS O 5.5 -110......FLAMES ML -110 X1.5 UNITS......CAL/EDM U 5.5 -115......PIT PL +165......T.O PL +200.....AV's ML +110...BOL & enjoy the start of what promises to be a great year.
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Posted by StevenGA1011
3 years ago

I'll be taking a different approach this season as in fading my own plays, going against the percentages, and taking more dogs when possible. I figure being an action player if I can hit at least half of 'em with some dog money coming in from time to time should end up in the plus. Would have hit this Over in Minny if I had gotten up in time, maybe should have put it in last night -- PHI +145=====+===== COL EVEN & UNDER 5.5=====+===== EDM -110
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Posted by TheSportsBabe
3 years ago

JGM...I HOPE you get out of the gate on a positive note today. sorry for the double post..bol...TSB..
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Posted by BET2COVER
3 years ago

Hey TSB...Good to se you back here....Looking forward to the new year and seeing your plays...
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Posted by TheSportsBabe
3 years ago

It has been a long off season with my Rangers not making the post season. Maybe this year we can be competative from start to finish....To all the cappers,good luck...bol...TSB......(go Yankees)
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Posted by TheSportsBabe
3 years ago

It has been a long off season with my Rangers not making the post season. Maybe this year we can be competative from start to finish....To all the cappers,good luck...bol...TSB......(go Yankees)
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Posted by cantex48
3 years ago

Price confirmed....I must send a letter,to the Local Montreal news @ noon,for LYIN,to me...still takin Leafs,maybe oilers if all goes according to Hoyle,GL!
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Posted by DDH420
3 years ago

Now you buggers got me looking at my LAFFS again. I was trying to stay away and just root in the win but now....hmmm
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Posted by madh4ttr
3 years ago

yep, finally some hockey. starting off the season with one pick today. Toronto (-145) GL
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Posted by DDH420
3 years ago

Other starters care of Leftwinglock.com.....http://www.leftwinglock.com/?p=4165
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Posted by BET2COVER
3 years ago

HELLO NHL>>>> 1 play a day for me.......Toronto ML-145
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Posted by quincydee
3 years ago

On the Under in Montreal Toronto its also 1 unit sorry
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Posted by quincydee
3 years ago

2 plays today to kick off the year NHL Recors 0-0-0 Game #1Carolina EV over Minnesota Canes finished year strong and were banged up all last year Cam Ward when healthy a top tier goalie. Minnesota switched to a more offensive system and Backstrom saw more rubber Canes get the W and will be a sleeper team this year put 1 unit to win 1 unit( all my units equal $100)___________ Game #2 Montreal@Toronto Under 5.5 EV No Price most likely but doesnt matter Auld is a capable backup and played well last year. No Cammalleri as he is serving a suspension Montreal isnt an offensive juggernaut but Toronto was worse offensively. Toronto is a very physical team and strong on defense with Giggy in net look for a low scoring game. Good luck all and will be back tomorrow
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Posted by DDH420
3 years ago

Carey Price is confirmed as the HABS starter tonight.
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Posted by bilsfn15
3 years ago

Pens ML...Under Minny/Carolina...Oilers ML
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Posted by Compasaurus
3 years ago

DDH its been a while. how are ya? Hockey season is back. Who do you like opening day/night?
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Posted by DDH420
3 years ago

I don't want to go to crazy on opening night but I do have a few leans I am working on. I am looking at the PIT PL for some great value. The O 6 also looks playable as well with Sergei Bobrovsky getting the start ahead of Boucher tonight for the Flyers. But I am a bit worried about how long the opening ceremonies will be (new Barn) as they can take the energy out of the players legs in the first period........................................... I am also wondering if the Flyers will participate in these ceremonies (stay on the bench) or if they will stay in their rooms until puck drop ??? These teams don't care much for each other and there should be some PP's which may lead to some extra goals. That said I am still trying to decide what the play is here. PENS PL or the O ???
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Posted by DDH420
3 years ago

Also Pronger is out tonight so that is good for both the O and the PENS.
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Posted by DDH420
3 years ago

Beauty
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Posted by Compasaurus
3 years ago

Finally, the NHL has returned! - Minnesota - Toronto - Pittsburgh - Edmonton - Colorado
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Top Response

Posted by LeeK3
3 years ago

"Happy Opening Day of the HOCKEY season everyone! I plan on taking it slow here in the first couple of weeks of the season, and I may make several half-unit bets to get things going, but I did make 1 bet for tonight that I like and that is the.........."