The calendar flips to November on Wednesday, which means the NHL season is well underway.
At this point of the year, we are getting a better understanding of what teams are and what their seasons will look like.
Ahead of Wednesday Night Hockey, we've previewed two of the four games taking place on the night of November 1.
Flyers -110 ML
Sabres -110 ML
Total: O/U 6.5
We'll kick things off in Philadelphia where the Flyers have got off to an impressive 4-4-1 start. Being .500 at this point of the year may not sound all that impressive, but it is for this Flyers team who was picked to finish dead last in the Eastern Conference by many media members and fans.
Head coach John Tortorella has the Flyers playing an extremely competitive, defensive brand of hockey. There is no such thing as an easy game against the Flyers right now. Just ask the Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, and Minnesota Wild. Philly has also played in one-goal games against Stanley Cup favourites the Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights.
The Flyers have had strong offensive performances from Travis Konecny, Cam Atkinson, Sean Couturier, and Travis Sanheim, all of them have at least eight points in their first nine games.
Meanwhile, the Buffalo Sabres have been off to an inconsistent start. They're a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde team. One night they look like they could win the Atlantic division and lead the NHL in goals; the next night they look like a team that is going to miss the playoffs.
We don't know what exactly we're going to get out of the Sabres. They're obviously more talented than the Flyers. Tage Thompson, Alex Tuch, Dylan Cozens, Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power are one of the best young core groups of players in the NHL. They love to play an up-tempo, score-off-the-rush style of play. But I don't know if that's going to work against a defensively committed team in Philly.
Flyers -110 ML
Under 6.5 Goals
Flames +120 ML
Stars -140 ML
Total: O/U 6
Out west, we have a matchup of two teams going in opposite directions. The Dallas Stars pay a visit to Calgary to take on the Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Dallas is off to a great start (5-1-1) in a season where they have Stanley Cup aspirations. They have one of the deepest teams in the NHL at every position group.
In five starts, goaltender Jake Oettinger has been stellar with a .940 save percentage, 1.74 goals against average, and has saved 5.20 goals above average. He is in the top five in the NHL among goalies with at least two starts this season in all three categories.
We all know Miro Heiskanen and Esa Lindell are great defenseman. But Thomas Harley has stepped up early in the season and is establishing himself as a legit top four defenseman. He has four points in seven games and leads the Stars in plus/minus.
Up front, the Stars have been scoring by committee. Their top line of Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and Joe Pavelski have combined for 18 points in seven games. Second year forward Wyatt Johnston leads the team in scoring with seven points in seven games. And the Stars have gotten some depth scoring from Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Matt Duchene and Evgeny Dadanov.
Calgary, on the other hand, have been a disaster to start this season. They are 2-6-1, which is good for 31st in the NHL. They've lost seven of their last eight games and have scored 14 goals in that span (1.75 goals per game). The only team worse than them is the San Jose Sharks.
Like the team as a whole, Calgary's top players have had a brutal start to the season. Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri, and Elias Lindholm have all had little to no impact on the game at 5-on-5 and on the power play. Nazem Kadri and Jonathan Huberdeau have combined for three goals, four assists and a minus 21 in nine games.
This Flames team has a very difficult time creating high-danger scoring chances. There seems to be a lack of chemistry and skill among this group of players.
Playing against one of the best goalies in the NHL and one of the deepest rosters won't bode well for Calgary.
Stars Puck Line -1.5
Jason Robertson Anytime Goalscorer +160
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