Florida Panthers vs. New Jersey Devils - 10/13/16 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
New Jersey Devils (38-36-8) at Florida Panthers (49-27-12)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm (BB&T Center)
The Line: Florida Panthers / New Jersey Devils --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers open the 2016-17 NHL season Thursday night at the BB&T Center.
The New Jersey Devils haven’t made the playoffs since the 2011-12 season but did make some positive strides in the first year under coach John Hynes. The Devils have to like the direction they’re heading this season with a healthy Michael Cammalleri and the addition of Taylor Hall. The Devils finished last in the league last year with an average of 2.22 goals per game, and Hall is just what the doctor ordered considering he has 132 goals and 196 assists in 381 games played. The Devils also return one of the best goalies in the league in Cory Schneider, who saved 92.4 percent of his shots and had four shutouts. The New Jersey Devils have a real chance to build on last years 38 wins and remain in the playoff hunt if everybody can stay healthy. The Devils are a team to watch early.
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The Florida Panthers are coming off their most successful regular season in which they earned 103 points and won 47 games. Despite the success, the Panthers were quite busy during the offseason, which included additions of Keith Yandle, Mark Pysyk, James Reimer and Mark Pysyk. Add those moves to a core that already includes Aleksander Barkov, Jaromir Jagr, Vincent Trocheck and Aaron Ekblad, and the Panthers should have little trouble making another run towards being one of the top teams in the East. The main questions for the Florida Panthers is the durability of goalie Roberto Luongo and how long it’s going to take for all those moving parts to gel together. Either way, the Panthers are a top-10 team on paper and will be a fun watch with their combination of experience and youth.
The Devils are 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 1-5 in their last 6 road games. The Panthers are 13-4 in their last 17 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 10-4 in their last 14 Thursday games. The Devils are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Florida and the home team is 13-3 in the last 16 meetings.
The Devils have the potential to be a surprise team this season and push for a playoff spot untill the very end. However, the Florida Panthers are one of the more talented teams in the East and have huge goals for this season. Also, the home team has won 13 of the last 16 meetings between the Devils and Panthers. Hard to ignore those trends. Give me the Florida Panthers on their home ice.