Well, my return to NHL picks couldn't have started much worse. I went 3-4 in day 1, including some awful misses.
Anyways, it's time to get back, and improve my overall record for the 2010-2011 season.
Buffalo Sabres vs. New Jersey Devils
The Devils aren't really THIS bad, are they? Sure they've lost a big chunck of their defense in the last 12 months, including Paul Martin and Johnny Oduya, but the addition of Kovalchuk would have to give them some offense to make up for that. Seemingly not as the Devils have been one of the worst teams in the league to this point. However, I have them winning this game in a defensive lockdown.
Devils win 2-1
Boston Bruins vs Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins were my preseason pick to win the Stanley Cup. The additions of Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek are huge for their defense which lost Sergei Gonchar in the offseason. I think this team improved itself in the offseason with those additions and might just be the most well-rounded team in the Eastern Conference. I have the Penguins taking this one.
Penguins win 4-2
St. Louis Blues vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Who would've thought that the Blues would be the best team in hockey on November 9th? Sure they've had a young group of talent waiting to explode at any minute for the last 2-3 years, but they really burst onto the scene. I'm not sure how long this can keep up for, but for now, I've got them winning this game behind Halak.
Blues win 3-2
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers
The Panthers really unloaded a lot of salary in the offseason parting ways with Nathan Horton and Keith Ballard most notably. I think they might finally be committing to a full on rebuild mode, something they should've done at the end of the 08-09 season after parting ways with Jay Bouwmeester. Leafs have struggled of late, but I like them in this game.
Leafs win 4-3
Phoenix Coyotes vs Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks made headlines this offseason more for their salary dump than for their Stanley Cup win. Letting go of Andrew Ladd, Kris Versteeg, Dustin Byfuglien, and Brent Sopel just to name a few. This team was however able to maintain it's core group of young talent, it's primary goal. The Yotes were a great story last season, but even as an advocate for the Pacific Division, I'm not a big believer in the Coyotes. I see them as a 7 or 8 seed in the postseason at best.
Hawks win 5-2
New York Islanders vs Anaheim Ducks
Coming off a big 3-2 overtime win over the division rival Sharks, the Ducks will be more than happy to return to the Honda Center to face the Islanders. After a rough start, the Ducks are 4-0 in their last 4 games. New York is 4-8-2 at the moment, and their leading scorer is defensman James Wisniewski, a guy the Ducks let go this offseason. Who would've thought James Wisniewski would lead this team in scoring?
Ducks win 4-1
Well, there ya have it. Hopfully my day 2 picks will turn out better than day 1.