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Daily Picks, Oct. 18: Avalanche Warning In Florida

It’s hockey time and several games on tap for today are going to have a lot of serious action.  The NHL season is in full swing, even if some of the teams aren’t, as the battle for position continues.  Taking a look at today’s lineup, it isn’t difficult to see which teams are ready to roll through the year.

The Florida Panthers are going to host the Colorado Avalanche today and Colorado wants revenge.  It started the season with five straight wins before losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in overtime yesterday.  They’re going to have to rely on Philipp Grubauer to keep up his work at the net, already having recorded a save percentage of 92.5 this year.

The Panthers have had an interesting season so far.  They’re 2-2-2, which doesn’t look that good on paper.  However, the team showed off its skills against the New Jersey Devils, bouncing back from a 4-goal deficit to win the game.  That type of return speaks volumes of what the squad can do and they’ll need every bit of that juice tonight.  In the end, though, it may not be enough and the Avalanche are going to secure the victory.

The New York Rangers are in Washington to take on the Capitals and this is going to be a close match.  The Capitals have a better record overall, but only because they’ve played more games.  They are currently 4-2-2 going up against the 2-2 Rangers, but there’s little doubt about the Rangers’ capability.  They have scored 3.67 goals per game and have converted on the power play 33.3% of the time.  This may not seem like a great way to start the season, but the Rangers are known to be able to adapt quickly and adjust their strategy on the fly.  This will come in handy tonight.

The Capitals have a scoring average of 3.14 goals per game, converting on the power play just 22.2% of the time.  They are ready to prove themselves against the Rangers tonight and have a strong enough offense and defense to do it.  However, when the Rangers offense is on fire, the team is virtually unstoppable.  Provided New York shows up with everything it has tonight, it’s going to take the win and keep the Capitals from improving their ranking.

The Edmonton Oilers will slap sticks with the Detroit Red Wings tonight and are more than ready.  Getting off to a 6-1 start this season, the Oilers are determined to make a run on the Stanley Cup and aren’t holding anything back.  Having to face a team that’s 3-4 is only going to further entrench their desire and are fine-tuning their defense for the game.

Against the Philadelphia Flyers in their last game, the Oilers allowed 52 shots on goal.  Granted, the team took the win 6-3, but allowing that many shots can’t be permitted.  However, the Red Wings have lost their last three games and seem to be falling apart early in the season.  The Detroit squad may have some serious talent between Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi, but that’s virtually the extent of the power.  Knowing that, the Flyers will keep the pressure on the trio and win the contest.

Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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