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NHL Eastern Conference playoff betting preview – defending the East

Posted by Ari Louis on 4/15/2014 8:19:21 AM

NHL Eastern Conference playoff betting preview

The NHL playoffs are really the best playoffs in all of sports. To give you an idea of how insanely tough the Stanley Cup Playoffs are, a team who wins the Stanley Cup will most likely have to play more games in their post-season, than a Super Bowl winning team will have to play for their entire season (playoffs and regular season combined.) Unlike the NBA playoffs, where some teams take some games off, the NHL playoffs is always good, all the time. The Stanley Cup is not just one the greatest sports traditions; it is one of the best traditions in the United States. Players have had the dream of winning the Stanley Cup since they were children. Whoever wins the Stanley Cup lives on in hockey lore; by having their names engraved on the Stanley Cup.

How are the Boston Bruins rewarded for winning the President’s Cup Trophy? By having to play the Detroit Red Wings, who won the regular season series against the Bruins (3 to 1). The Red Wings (+2200), who moved to the Eastern Conference this year, have a wealth of playoff experience on their roster. Also, it should be noted Boston has not won a game in Detroit since 2007. There is also the whole President’s Cup trophy curse. The President’s Cup trophy (which is given to the team with the NHL’s best record) was first given out in 1986. Since that time, only eight winners of this trophy have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. None of these facts seem to bother odds makers. Boston is (+300) to win the whole thing.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are the next in line when it comes to being the favorite from the East. They are (+700) to win the championship. This gives you an idea of how much of a favorite Boston is to make it out of the East. However, while Boston will be fighting hard against the Red Wings, Pittsburgh should have an easy time in their first round match up against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets have not been in the post-season since 2009. Pittsburgh should end their 1st round series early and will be able to rest up for the latter rounds of the playoffs. If you like a real long shot, the Columbus Blue Jackets are (+5200) to win the Stanley Cup.

When looking at the sports betting odds, it should be noted outside of Boston and Pittsburgh, most East teams are considered long shots to win the Stanley Cup. A lot of people like The Montreal Canadians as a dark horse as they are a (+2200) to win the championship. The Canadians will have to rely on their gold medal winning goalie, Carey Price. Price has been red hot lately, only losing two games in his final ten regular season games. Price also only allowed 12 goals in his last six games. Many believe the Canadiens can beat Boston. Can Montreal get a lot of offense from Thomas Vanek and Max Pacioretty? Can Alexi Emelin and Andrei Markov be consistent? Can Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk step their game up? If the answer is yes to these three questions, the Canadians can be a great bet at (+2200).

The Tampa Bay Lightning are (+2800) to win the whole thing. Tampa Bay has the third best record in the East with 101 points. The lack of respect they have been getting from odds makers is fascinating. The Lightning have a good playoff record the last three years (11-7). They also have a great goalie in Ben Bishop who is a candidate to win the 2013-2014 Vezina (award for best goalie). Although Ryan Callahan will be the x-factor for Tampa Bay, the Lightning’s chances rest on Steven Stamkos. Stamkos is a great goal scorer, but can he get it done in the playoffs? One of the reasons why the Lightning are (+2800), is due to their first round match up with Montreal.

The New York Rangers are (+1800) to win the Stanley Cup and most experts don’t expect New York to get out of the first round. With older players like Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis, the Rangers will have a tough time getting past Philadelphia. The Flyers are (+2200) to win the championship. Philadelphia features seven players who scored more than 20 goals this season. Flyers’ head coach Craig Berube is known as a great defensive coach. With these factors, Philadelphia will be tough to beat in the first round. If Rangers’ goalie Henry Lundqvist can play like he did in the Olympics, New York has a chance.

* Betting lines mentioned in this article are subject to change due to time sensitivity. Please visit the sports betting lines for up to date odds.


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