New York Rangers (64-29-8) at Chicago Blackhawks (64-34-7)
|Date & Time||Wednesday October 7, 2015, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Chicago Blackhawks -130 / New York Rangers +110 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Rangers and Blackhawks meet up at the United Center on Wednesday as the defending Cup champions raise another banner to the rafters in front of their Original Six rivals.
The Blue Shirts head into this season looking for a much quicker start than they head last season and will certainly be Cup favourites again this year despite not laying claim to league champs since 1994. New York has one of the best goalies in the league in Henrik Lundqvist and a very deep team top to bottom which will allow them to compete with anyone on the ice on any night of the week, though with a tough division that includes the likes of the Washington Capitals, New York Islanders, and the Pittsburgh Penguins the Metro is wide open. New York will rely on the usual suspects in Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello, Derek Stepan, and a talented defense corps led by Keith Yandle, Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi, and Marc Staal but against a Hawks team flying high from last season they are in tough on opening night and will need a total team effort to leave Chicago with a win.
The Blackhawks open the season at home after yet another Stanley Cup title and while the offseason has been a circus thanks to the allegations surrounding Patrick Kane you can bet the team will be focused on the ice from the drop of the puck. Chicago is loaded once again this season with the same group of guys back this year led of course by Kane and Jonathan Toews but also have key guys like Marian Hossa, Teuvo Teravainen, and Andrew Shaw back plus the work horses on the blue line and Corey Crawford between the pipes. This will be a very exciting game to get the season started and while these always seem like a trap spot for the team raising the banner the Hawks do match up well against the Rangers. In the end, the best bet is on the total as I think these teams will take some time to get adjusted and with Crawford and Lundqvist between the pipes this should stay a low scoring affair.