Allow me to introduce the panel for those of you who may be tuning in for the first time, or have a goldfish memory span and forget who we all are. Joining me all year will be the ladies whom I like to refer to as my co-hostesses with the mostesses. Debi (JrCanuckFan) is no Vancouver fan. The Canuck in her name is for Canada, she's one of our biggest NASCAR fans here and she roots for the Calgary Flames.
I'm BK, your thorn between two roses...or is it the rose between two thorns? Just kidding...at any rate, all 3 of us are featured writers, and I personally am the token Pittsburgh guy here...let's go Pens!
Now that you know a little bit about your 3 hosts, let's get down to business, shall we? On the schedule this afternoon and evening, we have 11 games overall, everywhere from Toronto to Tampa to a night cap in San Jose. Debi and I are here today, Jess gets a free pass and will be joining us early next week.
Debi: I haven't had much opportunity to watch hockey yet this year, but that is going to change pronto!
BK: Get ready, because we've got a long way to go and a short time to get there. Hop on the Q Train, it's about to depart on a tour across North America...ALL ABOARD!
Our firs stop is in Ohio's capital city where the upstart Jackets host the Bruins...
Debi: Somehow, Boston managed to lose against the Avs the other nght, and with all due respect to Stoney, that was unexpected. Somehow, the Blue Jackets have managed to win two on the road. Granted, they were against the Islanders and the Sabres, but that gives Columbus the same 2-1-0 as Boston. Does any of this matter? Not really. Boston to win.
BK: Go figure that with the realignment, this is now a conference matchup. The Blue Jackets do look impressive, but I think this early season matchup goes to the visitors. Bruins rebound from a shutout on home ice and take the win as their suffocating defense proves to be just too much.
Boston Bruins @ Columbus Blue Jackets: 2:00 PM ET - NESN, FSN Ohio
After this we've got a nice dinner break before the mad rush. Let's make our way to Toronto where the Leafs play host to the Oilers.
Debi: Edmonton starts a horrific road trip with this game against the Maple Leafs. It doesn't matter whether they are on the road or at home, they just aren't finding their way this season. Toronto, on the other hand, is starting off really well. Toronto takes it.
BK: Edmonton still doesn't impress me, I have to take the Leafs here for a win on home ice on Hockey Night in Canada.
Edmonton Oilers @ Toronto Maple Leafs: 7:00 PM ET - CBC
Next we're off to The Joe where the Wings host the Flyers.
Debi: Both teams are struggling a little, and looking for some movers and shakers to lead their teams. I honestly haven't got a clue about this game. Normally I'd say Detroit probably has it, but I'm actually going to say the Flyers will prevail.
BK: I would personally rather see them all crash and burn, but my Keystone hatred wins out here. For those who don't remember, I can never find it in me to pick the Flyers, and that will hold true until the day I die. Wings get the W.
Philadelphia Flyers @ Detroit Red Wings: 7:00 PM ET - CSN Philadelphia, FSN Detroit
Next up, we're headed south where we find Crosby and Stamkos facing off in Tampa...
Debi: Pittsburgh lost to the Panthers. I honestly thought it was a glitch when I saw the score, no offence to Panther fans, but it was so unexpected. Will they lose against Tampa Bay? I don't think so.
BK: Yeah that was a bit surprising last night, but that's what happens when you have a rookie goalie make his NHL debut. With Sid back and looking 100% healthy, and Fleury obviously getting the start between the pipes tonight, this is my pick for game of the night against Stamkos and company. It could be a high octane game, but I'm going with my Pens to split this Florida trip.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Tampa Bay Lightning: 7:30 PM ET - ROOT Pittsburgh, SUN
From there we're headed to our Nation's capital as the Caps play host to the Avs.
Debi: I love Patrick Roy behind the bench.What a perfect match. I don't think Washington has a chance.
BK: The Avs are 4-0 and they look damn good early on. The Caps look much better than the beginning of last year, but I have to go with Colorado to stay unbeaten for another night in this game.
Colorado Avalanche @ Washington Capitals: 7:30 PM ET - RDS, Altitude, CSN Washington
Next it's off to the Windy City where the defending champs host the Sabres.
Debi: After a little stumbling here and there, Chicago seems to have found their skates again. They will beat Buffalo, just like Columbus did.
BK: Watching Buffalo last Saturday night against the Pens, they are bad, very bad. They will eventually win a game, but not tonight...Hawks win. This game is also on NHL Network for your viewing pleasure, unless you live in Buffalo, in which case you might not want to watch.
Buffalo Sabres @ Chicago Blackhawks: 8:00 PM ET - NHL Network (US), MSG Buffalo, CSN Chicago
The next game is in St. Louis where the Blues host the Rangers.
Debi: Ugh. I just don't understand the Rangers this year. They don't have a chance against the Blues.
BK: The Rangers are continuing their 9-game road trip to open the season, and the Blues look good so far. I am going with the Rangers for a win here, nothing more than a gut pick.
New York Rangers @ St. Louis Blues: 8:00 PM ET - MSG, FSN Midwest
Let's head to Music City USA where the other NYC team visits the Predators.
Debi: Nashville takes this one easily. Christi will be happy.
BK: The Isles aren't the pushover anymore, but I'm going with the Preds as my upset pick of the night.
New York Islanders @ Nashville Predators: 8:00 PM ET - MSG+
Next it's off to Minnesota where the Wild host the team that used to play in Minneapolis. The Stars are back in town.
Debi: In Jess's absence, I take up her torch and refuse to pick Dallas. Minnesota it is.
BK: Minnesota looks very good so far, and I am going to take them for the win. (Jess will be happy with me for this.)
Dallas Stars @ Minnesota Wild: 8:00 PM ET - TXA 21, FSN North
For our last 2 games we head out west, our first stop is in Vancouver where the Canucks host the Habs.
BK: What's the story with the Canucks? I don't know anything about them. In any case, just because I've missed saying this, les Habitants vont gagner ce soir!
Montreal Canadiens @ Vancouver Canucks: 10:00 PM ET - CBC, RDS
Our night cap is at the Shark Tank where the Sharks try to keep it going against the Sens.
Debi: I really, really want Ottawa to win this one but I don't think they will be able to beat the red hot Sharks who are number one in the league right now.
BK: Both of these teams should be near the top all year. That said, knowing how well they play at HP Pavilion, I have to go with the Sharks for the win in tonight's finale.
Ottawa Senators @ San Jose Sharks: 10:00 PM ET - CBC, CSN California
All season long this will be your place to come to talk (or bitch) about the game(s) you're watching this afternoon and into the night. Let's get this party started!