cnotes Posts:25919 Followers:33
On 09/24/2013 04:14 PM in NHL

Cnotes 2013 NHL Previews

NHL Metropolitan Division preview: Pens, Rangers best of the bunch

The Metropolitan Division has the potential to be the most top-heavy in the league this year, provided the Penguins and Rangers live up to expectations.

The Blue Jackets move to the Eastern Conference, rounding out the eight-team division. Here’s a quick look at each.

New York Islanders (2012: 24-17-7)

Odds to win division: 12-1
Season point total: 91.5

Why to bet the Islanders: The Isles made major strides last season, culminating with a near-upset of the Penguins in the opening round of the playoffs. John Tavares is coming into his own as the leader of this team both on and off the ice.

Why not to bet the Islanders: Losing power play specialist and blue line anchor Mark Streit hurts the Isles on the back-end. Goaltending remains a weak spot, with an aging Evgeni Nabokov once again being called on to shoulder the load.

Season point total pick: Over 91.5 points

Carolina Hurricanes (2012: 19-25-4)

Odds to win division: 25-1
Season point total: 79.5

Why to bet the Hurricanes: The Canes won’t be burdened with the same high expectations they dealt with leading into last season. They’ll also have a healthy Cam Ward back between the pipes. This should be the breakout year for the reunited Staal brothers in Carolina.

Why not to bet the Hurricanes: There’s not a lot of scoring depth, nor are there many ‘sure things’ on the blue line. Carolina is going to need a total team effort to keep pace with the big boys in the division, and that might be asking a little too much.

Season point total pick: Over 79.5

New York Rangers (2012: 26-18-4)

Odds to win division: 5-2
Season point total: 103.5

Why to bet the Rangers: The Broadway Blueshirts didn’t make the same splash in the free agent market we’ve become accustomed to seeing, and that might not be a bad thing. The pieces are in place for the Rangers to take a run at the Cup, especially with a healthy Marc Staal returning to anchor the defense.

Why not to bet the Rangers: These are still the under-achieving Rangers. Will they be able to keep their star players healthy? Is Henrik Lundqvist still one of the world’s best goaltenders? And then there’s the pressure. How will the Rangers handle it this year?

Season point total pick: Under 103.5

New Jersey Devils (2012: 19-19-10)

Odds to win division: 20-1
Season point total: 81.5

Why to bet the Devils: There’s nowhere to go but up for the Devils following a disastrous 2012 campaign. Martin Brodeur is back for one more year, and New Jersey went out and got a nice insurance policy in the form of Cory Schneider.

Why not to bet the Devils: They’re going to be relying on two aging stars, Jaromir Jagr and Patrik Elias to provide scoring pop on the top line. Beyond newly-signed center Adam Henrique, there’s not a lot of young talent on the roster to get excited about.

Season point total pick: Under 81.5

Columbus Blue Jackets (2012: 24-17-7)

Odds to win division: 12-1
Season point total: 88.5

Why to bet the Blue Jackets: After a major turnaround last season, the Blue Jackets have plenty of momentum on their side entering the 2013-14 campaign. Nathan Horton joins an already impressive cast up front. Marian Gaborik should perform well in a contract year.

Why not to bet the Blue Jackets: Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will be hard pressed to match the numbers he posted last season. Horton will be called upon to lead the offense after being more of a role player in Boston. How will the Jackets deal with sudden high expectations?

Season point total pick: Under 88.5

Washington Capitals (2012: 27-18-3)

Odds to win division: 12-1
Season point total: 91.5

Why to bet the Capitals: First-year head coach Adam Oates did a nice job of bringing together this team last season and with the core remaining intact, there’s reason to believe the Caps can take another step forward in 2013-14. Ovi finally looked like Ovi again and he’s poised to lead the team on another run at the East.

Why not to bet the Capitals: There were significant offseason losses, with Mike Ribeiro, Matt Hendricks and Jeff Schultz jumping ship, among others. The addition of Mikhail Grabovski certainly won’t instill much confidence in Caps fans.

Season point total pick: Over 91.5

Pittsburgh Penguins (2012: 36-12-0)

Odds to win division: 5-7
Season point total: 110.5

Why to bet the Penguins: Sidney Crosby is back at full strength after missing a quarter of last season due to a broken jaw. The first two lines are still absolutely loaded with talent. The Pens finally rid themselves of a big distraction in the form of Matt Cooke.

Why not to bet the Penguins: There are question marks between the pipes, with Tomas Vokoun already injured and Marc-Andre Fleury not exactly a pillar of confidence. Who will step up to provide third-line scoring and take some of the pressure off of Crosby and Evgeni Malkin?

Season point total pick: Under 110.5

Philadelphia Flyers (2012: 23-22-3)

Odds to win division: 12-1
Season point total: 93.5

Why to bet the Flyers: It’s hard not to like the offseason moves the Flyers made, bringing in some veteran talent in the form of Vincent Lecavalier and Mark Streit. The addition of Ray Emery should help shore things up in goal as well.

Why not to bet the Flyers: Can Emery stay healthy, and if not, is Yann Danis a legitimate starting goaltender in this league? There is also concern that the Flyers defense will be unable to handle strong offensive teams like the Penguins and Rangers with a number of offensive-minded blue-liners.

Season point total pick: Under 93.5

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25919 Followers:33
09/24/2013 04:19 PM

Sharks open training camp with similar look

September 12, 2013


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - The San Jose Sharks opened training camp looking to play like the fast, aggressive team that had a strong playoff run last season rather than the plodding one that struggled for much of the lockout-shortened campaign.

The Sharks started Thursday with a very similar look on the roster to the team that ended last season with a Game 7 loss to Los Angeles in the second round of the playoffs. The only newcomer on the top four lines and three defensive pairings on the first day of practice was forward Tyler Kennedy, who was acquired in the offseason from Pittsburgh.

The core of the team led by longtime stalwarts like captain Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and Dan Boyle is back for another run in a clear sign that management believes the pieces are in place to get the Sharks over the hump and to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in franchise history.

``We were pleased about how we played last year from the deadline on and into the playoffs. The big key for us is to continue that and build upon that,'' general manager Doug Wilson said. ``The players we have are the ingredients we're looking for to match up with the system we want to play. We want to play a north-south game, attack people, make them defend, and you've got to have players that have that skill set to be able to do that. We're coming back, and if we're ready to build on what we did last year, we're very excited about this team.''

The Sharks return players who accounted for more than 85 percent of the team's goals and points last season and almost all the key contributors from that group that won 12 of the final 16 regular season games and swept Vancouver in the opening round.

That success followed a stretch of 17 losses in 23 games that led to a roster re-set by general manager Doug Wilson as he tried to put together a faster team that he hoped could have postseason success.

``We've talked a little already in camp about finding that new identity here in the playoffs and now finding a way to just, boom, pick that back up and go,'' forward Adam Burish said. ``It took six months just to find it, and we found it, so now we know what it is. We found it, we got it, and now after a couple months off, you kick the rust off and let's go pick up right where we left off.''

The biggest questions for the Sharks to answer during training camp are figuring out line combinations and deciding whether Alex Stalock or Harri Sateri will back up Antti Niemi in goal.

Neither figures to get a lot of time as Niemi has started more than 80 percent of the games since joining San Jose in 2010-11, including all but five games in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.

As far as the lines, coach Todd McLellan wants to keep Marleau and Couture together on one line, with Thornton and Brett Burns together on another after their strong success as a pair last season.

The Sharks went to those combinations late last season with TJ Galiardi joining Thornton and Burns and a variety of players teaming up with Marleau and Couture.

Kennedy got the first chance to work with Thornton and Burns, while Raffi Torres teamed with Marleau and Couture after playing well on that line in the postseason before a suspension for an illegal hit on Los Angeles' Jarret Stoll in Game 1 of the second round ended his season.

``We really stress talk, communicate and that's how you find each other early on,'' Thornton said. ``Hopefully, by the first week of October we'll all know where each other are and be all familiar with each other.''

NOTES: F Marty Havlat was not able to practice with the team after undergoing offseason bilateral pelvic floor reconstruction surgery to repair an injury that sidelined him for all but two playoff games last season. He is skating but there is no timetable for when he can begin practice. ``Right now we're working together with the medical team. We're doing everything as fast as we can,'' he said. ... D Brad Stuart also did not practice because of a lower-body injury.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25919 Followers:33
09/27/2013 01:58 PM

NHL Central Division preview: Hawks poised for another run

The Central Division has the potential to be one of the most top-heavy in the league with the Blackhawks and Blues leading the way.

That is unless teams like the Wild, Jets and Avalanche are able to make some headway.

Here’s a look at how all seven teams shape up entering the 2013-14 season.

Nashville Predators (2012: 16-23-9)

Odds to win division: 25-1

Season point total: 82.5

Why to bet the Predators: The Preds are hoping that Seth Jones can make an immediate impact on the blue line, adding to an already solid group that is headed by veteran Shea Weber. If there’s one thing we know about the Preds, it’s that they’re well-coached and get a lot out of a little in terms of talent.

Why not to bet the Predators: There are no bonafide goal scorers up front, with the likes of Mike Fisher and Viktor Stalberg counted on to lead the charge. Goaltender Pekka Rinne has been asked to shoulder too much of the load in recent years and that won’t change this season.

Season point total pick: Over 82.5

Minnesota Wild (2012: 26-19-3)

Odds to win division: 13-2

Season point total: 96.5

Why to bet the Wild: This is the year the Wild are expected to take a big leap forward with the duo of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter now fully acclimated with the team. Fans in Minnesota are among the best in the league, not to mention starved for a winner and expectations are high for good reason.

Why not to bet the Wild: The Wild have had a tough time stepping up in class, as we saw in the opening round of last year’s playoffs against Chicago. Until proven otherwise, that’s still the knock on this team. Losing guys like Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Devin Setoguchi could leave an offensive void.

Season point total pick: Over 96.5

Colorado Avalanche (2012: 16-25-7)

Odds to win division: 25-1

Season point total: 81.5

Why to bet the Avalanche: An infusion of young talent, not to mention an NHL legend behind the bench, has optimism running high in Colorado – and for good reason. The Avs might be a year or two away from contending, but this should be an exciting, upset-minded team to watch this season.

Why not to bet the Avalanche: They’re unproven. While the pieces are in place for the Avs to be good for years to come, there will undoubtedly be some growing pains. How will Patrick Roy’s coaching style translate to the pros? He’s got the job done leading teenagers, but this is a different situation.

Season point total pick: Over 81.5

Dallas Stars (2012: 22-22-4)

Odds to win division: 15-1

Season point total: 87.5

Why to bet the Stars: Sweeping changes are expected to breathe some life into what has become a forgotten team in the West. Tyler Seguin is the new face of the franchise and should provide excitement up front. Lindy Ruff is a proven winner behind the bench.

Why not to bet the Stars: It remains to be seen where leadership will come from inside the dressing room with veterans few and far between. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen has shown flashes of brilliance but consistency between the pipes, or lack thereof, remains a big issue in Dallas.

Season point total pick: Under 87.5

Winnipeg Jets (2012: 24-21-3)

Odds to win division: 25-1

Season point total: 83.5

Why to bet the Jets: After falling just short of the postseason last spring, the Jets will be hungry to make the leap in 2013-14. Winnipeg didn’t do much to bolster its roster in the offseason, but keeps its core virtually intact and continuity isn’t a bad thing for a young squad.

Why not to bet the Jets: Is Ondrej Pavelec really the answer in goal? He’s held up reasonably well, but certainly isn’t a first-rate netminder. There’s plenty of grit up front, but not a lot of goal-scoring talent outside of Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd. The Jets defense is average at best.

Season point total pick: Over 83.5

Chicago Blackhawks (2012: 36-7-5)

Odds to win division: 1-2

Season point total: 112.5

Why to bet the Blackhawks: Unlike in 2010, when the Blackhawks lost a ton of talent following their Stanley Cup run, they remain relatively intact off of their latest Cup victory. You would be hard-pressed to find a more talented team from top to bottom. Re-signing last spring’s breakout start, Bryan Bickell, was key.

Why not to bet the Blackhawks: It goes without saying, no team will carry a bigger target on its back than Chicago. The Blackhawks essentially won wire-to-wire last season but will be hard-pressed to duplicate that effort in 2013-14. How hungry will the ‘Hawks be after raising the Cup in two of the last four years.

Season point total pick: Under 112.5

St. Louis Blues (2012: 29-17-2)

Odds to win division: 5-2

Season point total: 103.5

Why to bet the Blues: With a strong blue line and a balanced attack up front, the Blues are poised to take another run at the Blackhawks. Re-signing Alex Pieterangelo was critical, as was filling the void left by a retiring Andy McDonald. Derek Roy should fit in nicely as a second-line center.

Why not to bet the Blues: Who will be St. Louis’ go-to guy? Only three players reached double-digits in goals scored a year ago, and not much will change this season. The goaltending tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott looks good on paper, but both have been streaky.

Season point total pick: Under 103.5

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25919 Followers:33
10/01/2013 01:29 AM

NHL betting: Top goalscorer prop bet

The National Hockey League makes a welcomed return on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

One of the most popular prop bets in the world of hockey betting is, obviously, the top goalscorer in the league.

Steven Stamkos (of course) of the Tampa Bay Lightning leads the way with a total of 51.5, but there are a host of other players that should be able to compete for the Rocket Richard Trophy.

Here is a look at 2013-14 regular season total goals for the top scorers in the NHL.

Odds courtesy of SportsInteraction.com:

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning - Over/Under 51.5
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals - Over/Under 48.5
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins - Over/Under 32.5
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins - Over/Under 40.5
James Neal, Pittsburgh Penguins - Over/Under 35.5
Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings - Over/Under 36.5
Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild - Over/Under 30.5
John Tavares, New York Islanders - Over/Under 37.5
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks - Over/Under 34.5
Rich Nash, New York Rangers - Over/Under 32.5
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks - Over/Under 29.5
Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers - Over/Under 29.5
Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks - Over/Under 33.5
Jarome Iginla, Boston Bruins - Over/Under 29.5
Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks - Over/Under 34.5
Daniel Sedin, Vancouvery Canucks - Over/Under 30.5
Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets - Over/Under 24.5
Nazem Kadri, Toronto Maple Leafs - Over/Under 21.5
Evander Kane, Winnipeg Jets - Over/Under 28.5

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25919 Followers:33
10/01/2013 04:33 PM

NHL Pacific Division preview: Wide-open race provides value

There’s no clear favorite to win the NHL’s Pacific Division with the Ducks, Kings, Canucks and Sharks all looking like potential frontrunners.

Here’s a quick look at how all seven teams stack up entering the new season.

Anaheim Ducks (2012: 30-12-6)

Odds to win division: 4-1
Season point total: 98.5

Why to bet the Ducks: Losing Bobby Ryan wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Ducks have some emerging young stars ready to pick up the slack and, of course, the nucleus remains in place with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf leading the way. You can be sure veterans Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu are hungrier than ever.

Why not to bet the Ducks: The same reason that most are excited about the Ducks, their young talent both up front and on the blueline, is also a cause for concern. Will the gradual youth movement work? Or perhaps the better question is, how quickly can the Ducks return to Stanley Cup status.

Season point total pick: Over 98.5

Calgary Flames (2012: 19-25-4)

Odds to win division: 300-1
Season point total: 63.5

Why to bet the Flames: I’ll be brief as to be honest, there’s little reason to lay your hard-earned money on the rebuilding Flames. Maybe the fact that everyone is counting them out will light a fire under them. The element of surprise is certainly there.

Why not to bet the Flames: There is little veteran leadership to turn to, nor is there much young talent that’s ready to step to the forefront right now. Karri Ramo is an unproven commodity in goal, where the Flames could be the weakest team in the league.

Season point total pick: Under 63.5

Edmonton Oilers (2012: 19-22-7)

Odds to win division: 8-1
Season point total: 90.5

Why to bet the Oilers: The young Oilers are brimming with talent and poised for a breakout year if they can stay healthy. New GM Craig MacTavish didn’t stand pat during the offseason, making a number of key moves to improve his team. Andrew Ference and David Perron could turn out to be underrated pick-ups.

Why not to bet the Oilers: We’ve heard this story before. Every year it seems that the Oilers are on the cusp of greatness, only to fall flat by the midway point of the season. Question marks abound in net, where Devan Dubnyk has yet to prove he can shoulder the load of being the No. 1 guy.

Season point total pick: Over 90.5

Los Angeles Kings (2012: 27-16-5)

Odds to win division: 2-1
Season point total: 104.5

Why to bet the Kings: Continuity is key for the Kings, as they continue to ice virtually the same team that won the Stanley Cup two seasons ago. They boast world class talent all over the ice, with goaltender Jonathan Quick the cornerstone. L.A. has the ability to win in so many different ways.

Why not to bet the Kings: Are things getting stale in SoCal? The Kings seemed to be stuck in neutral for parts of last season, but perhaps that can be chalked up as a Stanley Cup hangover. After the top five forwards, there isn’t a ton of scoring depth up front.

Season point total pick: Under 104.5

Phoenix Coyotes (2012: 21-18-9)

Odds to win division: 8-1
Season point total: 90.5

Why to bet the Coyotes: With the off-ice distractions in the rearview mirror, the Coyotes can get back to focusing on the product on the ice. Adding Mike Ribeiro should help a team that was offensively challenged last season. Goaltender Mike Smith is in line for a solid bounce-back season.

Why not to bet the Coyotes: The fact that a defenseman, Keith Yandle, led the team in scoring last year is more than a little concerning. After Ribeiro there are few proven goal scorers to turn to. Mike Smith is a proven commodity in goal, but he’ll need to stay healthy for the Yotes to contend.

Season point total pick: Under 90.5

San Jose Sharks (2012: 25-16-7)

Odds to win division: 3-1
Season point total: 102.5

Why to bet the Sharks: It’s getting close to “now-or-never” time for the Sharks. The core of this team continues to age, but that should only leave them hungrier than ever to reach the ultimate goal. Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle are all heading into free agency at the end of the season, so the motivation to perform is there.

Why not to bet the Sharks: Has head coach Todd McLellan worn out his welcome in San Jose? Whatever he’s doing doesn’t seem to be working as the Sharks continue to fail in the postseason on a yearly basis. Only a couple of minor offseason moves were made to boost the team’s chances.

Season point total pick: Under 102.5

Vancouver Canucks (2012: 26-15-7)

Odds to win division: 3-1
Season point total: 102.5

Why to bet the Canucks: A coaching change could work wonders in Vancouver as John Tortorella attempts to light a fire under an aging but still talented team. Roberto Luongo is once again the unquestioned starter in goal and that should take a load off the time-tested netminder.

Why not to bet the Canucks: The Canucks didn’t make any sort of splash in the offseason, only bringing in role players, Brad Richardson, Mike Santorelli and Yannick Weber. Beyond the top two lines, where is the offensive production going to come from?

Season point total pick: Over 102.5

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25919 Followers:33
10/01/2013 04:33 PM

NHL Atlantic Division preview: Will Red Wings run the show?

The Detroit Red Wings are the new kid on the block in the Eastern Conference. Division re-alignment has created a number of intriguing storylines and the ultra-crowded Atlantic Division could provide the most compelling one of all.

Here's a look at all eight teams and how you should approach them entering the new season.

Detroit Red Wings (2012: 24-16-8)

Odds to win division: 3-1
Season point total: 99.5

Why to bet the Red Wings: After coming just one win short of reaching the Western Conference final, the Red Wings have re-tooled their roster in an effort to take the next step. The additions of Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss will boost an offense that sagged to under 2.6 goals per game. The defense remains intact while all-world goaltender Jimmy Howard is locked up with a long-term extension.

Why not to bet the Red Wings: Expectations are going to be sky-high in the Motor City following a strong playoff showing. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg remain the cornerstones of the offense, but they’re not getting any younger. Moving to the East could also result in some growing pains.

Season point total pick: Under 99.5 points

Boston Bruins (2012: 28-14-6)

Odds to win division: 7-4
Season point total: 105.5

Why to bet the Bruins: The Bruins always seem to be in the conversation when it comes to Stanley Cup contenders. Despite enduring a roller-coaster ride of a season, Boston still reached the Cup final. Adding Jarome Iginla and Loui Eriksson should help with leadership after letting Nathan Horton walk away and dealing Tyler Seguin.

Why not to bet the Bruins: There will be plenty of young players taking on much larger roles, particularly on the blueline. Guys like Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski, and Dougie Hamilton all got their feet wet thanks to an injury-riddled playoff run. But how will they handle the 82-game grind? No fewer than five rookies or second-year players could fill out the forward depth chart.

Season point total pick: Under 105.5

Florida Panthers (2012: 15-27-6)

Odds to win division: 60-1
Season point total: 69.5

Why to bet the Panthers: A top line featuring Jonathan Huberdeau and second-overall draft pick Aleksander Barkov could make a splash. The Panthers have stock-piled a number of top prospects over the years and in 2013-14, that group will be given its opportunity to shine. Veteran Sean Bergenheim returns after missing all of last season due to injury while Scott Gomez should provide some much-needed veteran leadership.

Why not to bet the Panthers: This is still very much a work-in-progress. While the Panthers are just two years removed from winning the Southeast Division and coming within a goal of reaching the second round, this is a different team. Question marks remain in goal, with Jacob Markstrom having yet to pan out and invite Tim Thomas really little more than a headline-grabber.

Season point total pick: Over 69.5

Buffalo Sabres (2012: 21-21-6)

Odds to win division: 50-1
Season point total: 76.5

Why to bet the Sabres: It’s now or never for the Sabres, who are staring down the barrel at a massive rebuild if they’re unable to contend this season. Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller remain on board for at least one more year, and certainly have the motivation to carry this team. In a crowded Atlantic Division, we could see value with the Sabres as a forgotten team.

Why not to bet the Sabres: Outside of Vanek, Miller and recently re-signed forward Cody Hodgson, there’s not a lot to get excited about in Buffalo. The Sabres didn’t make any sort of splash in the free-agent market, acquiring only two notable players in Jamie McBain and Henrik Tallinder. A difficult schedule could doom the Sabres if they’re unable to get off to a quick start.

Season point total pick: Under 76.5

Toronto Maple Leafs (2012: 26-17-5)

Odds to win division: 9-2
Season point total: 95.5

Why to bet the Leafs: Toronto believes it has solved its goaltending woes by acquiring Jonathan Bernier.The additions of Dave Bolland and David Clarkson up front could turn out to be a major coup. This is a team that grew up an awful lot during seven-game series against the Bruins and should continue to progress under the guidance of head coach Randy Carlyle.

Why not to bet the Leafs: The jury is still out on the Leafs defense and while Bernier has plenty of upside between the pipes, it’s difficult to predict how he’ll handle being a starter in the pressure cooker that is Toronto. There’s a chance the Leafs could be a little overvalued following their surprisingly strong showing in what many will call a fluky lockout-shortened season.

Season point total pick: Under 95.5

Tampa Bay Lightning (2012: 18-26-4)

Odds to win division: 15-1
Season point total: 83.5

Why to bet the Lightning: After back-to-back miserable seasons there’s nowhere to go but up for the Lightning. The departure of Vincent Lecavalier marks the end of an era and that’s not a bad thing. With their goaltending situation figured out following the acquisition of Ben Bishop late last season and the duo of Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis primed for another big year, the potential is there for a bounce-back performance.

Why not to bet the Lightning: Bishop was good, but certainly not great after joining the Lightning, posting a 2.99 GAA and a .917 save percentage. Once you get past the Lightning’s top defensive pairing, there isn’t a lot of depth and that could leave Bishop on an island.

Season point total pick: Over 83.5

Ottawa Senators (2012: 25-17-6)

Odds to win division: 9-2
Season point total: 95.5

Why to bet the Senators: After losing Alfredsson to free agency, the Senators believe a roster shakeup was needed. The infusion of new faces should serve them well. Bobby Ryan has the potential to make an immediate impact and evolve into the face of the franchise. Joe Corvo is back on the blueline after helping them reach the Cup final in 2007 and represents and upgrade over the incumbent Sergei Gonchar.

Why not to bet the Senators: Who will fill the leadership void now that Alfie has jumped ship to Detroit? There’s plenty of young talent on board, but that comes at the expense of proven veterans. After pouring everything they had into the lockout-shortened campaign, it remains to be seen whether the Sens have enough left in the tank to contend again.

Season point total pick: Under 95.5

Montreal Canadiens (2012: 29-14-5)

Odds to win division: 9-2
Season point total: 94.5

Why to bet the Canadiens: A sense of pride and responsibility was seemingly restored in Montreal, even if things ended on a sour note with an early playoff exit. The Habs didn’t lose much in the offseason and gained a veteran leader in Danny Briere, not to mention some much-needed toughness in the form of George Parros and Doug Murray. Having P.K. Subban from Day 1 should help their cause in the wake of last year’s holdout.

Why not to bet the Canadiens: Briere was a nice addition, but there’s no question he’s on the downside of his career in terms of offensive production. It’s going to take a true team effort to produce more than two goals per game. As good as Carey Price is, he can’t be asked to shoulder the entire load, as we saw a couple of years ago.

Season point total pick: Over 94.5

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25919 Followers:33
10/01/2013 04:34 PM

NHL Central Division preview: Hawks poised for another run

The Central Division has the potential to be one of the most top-heavy in the league with the Blackhawks and Blues leading the way.

That is unless teams like the Wild, Jets and Avalanche are able to make some headway.

Here’s a look at how all seven teams shape up entering the 2013-14 season.

Nashville Predators (2012: 16-23-9)

Odds to win division: 25-1

Season point total: 82.5

Why to bet the Predators: The Preds are hoping that Seth Jones can make an immediate impact on the blue line, adding to an already solid group that is headed by veteran Shea Weber. If there’s one thing we know about the Preds, it’s that they’re well-coached and get a lot out of a little in terms of talent.

Why not to bet the Predators: There are no bonafide goal scorers up front, with the likes of Mike Fisher and Viktor Stalberg counted on to lead the charge. Goaltender Pekka Rinne has been asked to shoulder too much of the load in recent years and that won’t change this season.

Season point total pick: Over 82.5

Minnesota Wild (2012: 26-19-3)

Odds to win division: 13-2

Season point total: 96.5

Why to bet the Wild: This is the year the Wild are expected to take a big leap forward with the duo of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter now fully acclimated with the team. Fans in Minnesota are among the best in the league, not to mention starved for a winner and expectations are high for good reason.

Why not to bet the Wild: The Wild have had a tough time stepping up in class, as we saw in the opening round of last year’s playoffs against Chicago. Until proven otherwise, that’s still the knock on this team. Losing guys like Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Devin Setoguchi could leave an offensive void.

Season point total pick: Over 96.5

Colorado Avalanche (2012: 16-25-7)

Odds to win division: 25-1

Season point total: 81.5

Why to bet the Avalanche: An infusion of young talent, not to mention an NHL legend behind the bench, has optimism running high in Colorado – and for good reason. The Avs might be a year or two away from contending, but this should be an exciting, upset-minded team to watch this season.

Why not to bet the Avalanche: They’re unproven. While the pieces are in place for the Avs to be good for years to come, there will undoubtedly be some growing pains. How will Patrick Roy’s coaching style translate to the pros? He’s got the job done leading teenagers, but this is a different situation.

Season point total pick: Over 81.5

Dallas Stars (2012: 22-22-4)

Odds to win division: 15-1

Season point total: 87.5

Why to bet the Stars: Sweeping changes are expected to breathe some life into what has become a forgotten team in the West. Tyler Seguin is the new face of the franchise and should provide excitement up front. Lindy Ruff is a proven winner behind the bench.

Why not to bet the Stars: It remains to be seen where leadership will come from inside the dressing room with veterans few and far between. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen has shown flashes of brilliance but consistency between the pipes, or lack thereof, remains a big issue in Dallas.

Season point total pick: Under 87.5

Winnipeg Jets (2012: 24-21-3)

Odds to win division: 25-1

Season point total: 83.5

Why to bet the Jets: After falling just short of the postseason last spring, the Jets will be hungry to make the leap in 2013-14. Winnipeg didn’t do much to bolster its roster in the offseason, but keeps its core virtually intact and continuity isn’t a bad thing for a young squad.

Why not to bet the Jets: Is Ondrej Pavelec really the answer in goal? He’s held up reasonably well, but certainly isn’t a first-rate netminder. There’s plenty of grit up front, but not a lot of goal-scoring talent outside of Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd. The Jets defense is average at best.

Season point total pick: Over 83.5

Chicago Blackhawks (2012: 36-7-5)

Odds to win division: 1-2

Season point total: 112.5

Why to bet the Blackhawks: Unlike in 2010, when the Blackhawks lost a ton of talent following their Stanley Cup run, they remain relatively intact off of their latest Cup victory. You would be hard-pressed to find a more talented team from top to bottom. Re-signing last spring’s breakout start, Bryan Bickell, was key.

Why not to bet the Blackhawks: It goes without saying, no team will carry a bigger target on its back than Chicago. The Blackhawks essentially won wire-to-wire last season but will be hard-pressed to duplicate that effort in 2013-14. How hungry will the ‘Hawks be after raising the Cup in two of the last four years.

Season point total pick: Under 112.5

St. Louis Blues (2012: 29-17-2)

Odds to win division: 5-2

Season point total: 103.5

Why to bet the Blues: With a strong blue line and a balanced attack up front, the Blues are poised to take another run at the Blackhawks. Re-signing Alex Pieterangelo was critical, as was filling the void left by a retiring Andy McDonald. Derek Roy should fit in nicely as a second-line center.

Why not to bet the Blues: Who will be St. Louis’ go-to guy? Only three players reached double-digits in goals scored a year ago, and not much will change this season. The goaltending tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott looks good on paper, but both have been streaky.

Season point total pick: Under 103.5

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25919 Followers:33
10/01/2013 04:36 PM

NHL
Dunkel

Toronto at Montreal
The Canadiens open the season at home tonight and look to take advantage of a Toronto team that is 3-13 in its last 16 Tuesday games. Montreal is the pick (-135) according to Dunkel, which has the Canadiens favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Montreal (-135). Here are all of today's picks.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 1

Game 1-2: Toronto at Montreal (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto 10.730; Montreal 12.190
Dunkel Line & Total: Montreal by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Montreal (-135); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Montreal (-135); Under

Game 3-4: Washington at Chicago (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington 12.347; Chicago 11.262
Dunkel Line & Total: Washington by 1; 6
Vegas Line & Total: Chicago (-170); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Washington (+150); Over

Game 5-6: Winnipeg at Edmonton (10:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Winnipeg 10.731; Edmonton 12.397
Dunkel Line & Total: Edmonton by 1 1/2; 5
Vegas Line & Total: Edmonton (-150); 5 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Edmonton (-150); Under




NHL
Armadillo's Write-Up

Tuesday, October 1

Hot teams
Season is starting tonight, so not a lot of info yet; we'll have knowledge here every night from now until the Stanley Cup is hoisted next spring.......

Cold teams

Series records
-- Road team won eight of last ten Toronto-Montreal games; Maple Leafs won five of their last six visits here.
-- Eskimos are 4-2 in last six games vs Winnipeg, winning last two 5-3/5-3.
-- Blackhawks lost three of last four games with Washington.

Totals
-- 14 of last 19 Toronto-Montreal games stayed under the total.
-- Four of last five Jet-Oiler games went over the total.
-- Last five Washington-Chicago games went over the total.

Back-to-backs




NHL

Tuesday, October 1

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Trend Report
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7:00 PM
TORONTO vs. MONTREAL
The total has gone UNDER in 15 of Toronto's last 21 games when playing Montreal
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Toronto's last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Montreal's last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Montreal's last 13 games at home

8:00 PM
WASHINGTON vs. CHICAGO
Washington is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Washington's last 7 games when playing Chicago
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Chicago's last 7 games when playing Washington
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Chicago's last 6 games when playing at home against Washington

10:00 PM
WINNIPEG vs. EDMONTON
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Winnipeg's last 5 games when playing Edmonton
Winnipeg is 2-6-1 SU in its last 9 games ,when playing Edmonton
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Edmonton's last 5 games when playing Winnipeg
Edmonton is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing Winnipeg


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NHL

Tuesday, October 1

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Maple Leafs at Canadiens: What bettors need to know
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Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens (-130, 5.5)

With new divisions, new rules and dozens of players with new teams, it's nice for fans to have something familiar from the get-go. They'll get just that Tuesday night as the Montreal Canadiens host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the season opener for both teams - and the latest chapter of one of hockey's oldest rivalries. Both teams exceeded expectations a season ago, with Toronto halting a lengthy playoff drought and Montreal recording the second-best record in the East.

Following up on their respective strong seasons will be a tall task. The Maple Leafs face a goaltending controversy before they've even played a game, and will be without their top free-agent acquisition for the first 10 regular-season contests. The Canadiens will ice a lineup similar to the one that won them the Northeast Division crown but ultimately ran out of magic en route to a first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Ottawa Senators.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS

ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (2013: 26-17-5, 5th East): The acquisition of Jonathan Bernier in an offseason trade with the Los Angeles Kings gave Toronto a legitimate netminder to challenge incumbent James Reimer for the starting role. While head coach Randy Carlyle hasn't yet named a No. 1 goalie - or even a starter for the season opener - Reimer looks to have the edge. He posted a .925 save percentage and a perfect mark in the shootout during the preseason, while Bernier had an .891 save percentage and was remembered most for scrapping with Buffalo's Ryan Miller.

ABOUT THE CANADIENS (2013: 29-14-5, 2nd East): After seeing his team hang with the class of the conference during last year's lockout-shortened season, few could have blamed general manager Marc Bergevin for making one or two bold moves for the short-term. But Bergevin is staying the course, favoring minor tinkering over a significant shake-up. The only change of consequence came up front, with Montreal adding veteran winger Danny Briere to a lineup already full of diminutive, slick-skating forwards.

TRENDS:

* Maple Leafs are 5-1 in the last six meetings in Montreal.
* Under is 15-6 in the last 21 meetings.
* Road team is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings.
* Canadiens are 2-5 in their last seven home games.

OVERTIME:

1. Toronto won three of five meetings with Montreal last season, with the home team prevailing just once.

2. The Maple Leafs and Canadiens are part of the NHL's revamped Atlantic Division, joining old division rivals Buffalo, Boston and Ottawa and joined by Detroit, Florida and Tampa Bay.

3. Toronto will be without F David Clarkson until the end of October after he was given an automatic 10-game suspension for leaving the bench during the Maple Leafs' brawl with the Sabres.

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NHL
Long Sheet

Tuesday, October 1

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TORONTO (29-19-0-7, 65 pts.) at MONTREAL (30-17-0-6, 66 pts.) - 10/1/2013, 7:05 PM
Top Trends for this game.
TORONTO is 5-15 ATS (-10.7 Units) on Tuesday nights over the last 3 seasons.
MONTREAL is 31-55 ATS (+92.7 Units) in all games over the last 3 seasons.
MONTREAL is 5-13 ATS (-10.5 Units) in home games first half of the season over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
MONTREAL is 3-3-0 straight up against TORONTO over the last 3 seasons
5 of 6 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+3.7 Units)

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WASHINGTON (30-22-0-3, 63 pts.) at CHICAGO (52-12-0-7, 111 pts.) - 10/1/2013, 8:05 PM
Top Trends for this game.
WASHINGTON is 116-161 ATS (-66.1 Units) in non-conference games since 1996.

Head-to-Head Series History
CHICAGO is 1-0 (+1.0 Units) against the spread versus WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons
CHICAGO is 1-0-0 straight up against WASHINGTON over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Over=+1.1 Units)

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WINNIPEG (24-21-0-3, 51 pts.) at EDMONTON (19-22-0-7, 45 pts.) - 10/1/2013, 10:05 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
EDMONTON is 1-0 (+1.4 Units) against the spread versus WINNIPEG over the last 3 seasons
EDMONTON is 1-0-0 straight up against WINNIPEG over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Over=+1.0 Units)

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NHL
Short Sheet

Tuesday, October 1

Toronto at Montreal, 7:05 ET
Toronto:
Montreal: 5-13 SU in home games first half of the season

Washington at Chicago, 8:05 ET
Washington: 116-161 SU in non-conference games
Chicago: 89-51 UNDER in home games in non-conference games

Winnipeg at Edmonton, 10:05 ET
Winnipeg: 10-20 SU in a road game where where the total is 5.5
Edmonton: 184-127 UNDER in a home game where where the total is 5.5

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25919 Followers:33
10/01/2013 06:15 PM

Tuesday, October 1

Game Score Status Pick Amount

Toronto -7:00 PM ET Toronto -121 500
Montreal- Over 5.5 500

Washington - 8:00 PM ET Washington +152 500 POD # 1
Chicago - Over 5.5 500

Winnipeg - 10:00 PM ET Edmonton -153 500
Edmonton - Over 5.5 500

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: