NHL Betting: Hockey Stock Market Report for 3/18/13

NHL Power Rankings

Hockey teams go like the stock market. Sometimes they’re hot and you have to buy them, and sometimes they’re cold and you have to sell. Our NHL betting tips show the teams that you should hold and the teams you should ditch here at Bang the Book!

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Pittsburgh Penguins: What’s more impressive about the Penguins? We’ve got plenty to choose from. A nine-game winning streak is certainly worth noting. Allowing just a total of five goals in the last five wins is impressive. Putting up 4.11 goals per game in these nine might trump them take. Take your pick. By whatever measure it is that you want to say that Pittsburgh is playing great hockey right now, there’s no denying that this is the hottest and most efficient team in the league, and there’s a reason that it is going to be a favorite on the odds to win the Stanley Cup for the rest of the season.

Montreal Canadiens: Give it up for Montreal! The Canadiens really might end up going basically wire to wire this season with the Northeast Division lead in spite of the fact that once upon a time, they were up a single point on Boston with three more games played. Since that point, the Habs have turned on the energy, scoring five straight wins. Just like Pittsburgh, Montreal has some impressive numbers in here, including outscoring foes 22-10 in these wins. The difference? The Penguins have two lines that are just tearing things up. The Canadiens don’t have a single player on the roster with more than 22 points in 28 games.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Why are we talking about the Blue Jackets here as opposed to a team like the Chicago Blackhawks or the Anaheim Ducks? Because this streak literally came out of nowhere for Columbus. The Blue Jackets, by all accounts, shouldn’t still be in this discussion for the playoffs, but when you’re a team this bad, you take points however you can get them. Recently, they’ve literally taken that to heart. Nine of the last 10 games for Columbus have gone to at least overtime, and four straight have gone to a shootout. The Jackets, as a result are 6-0-4 in their last 10 games, and they have actually clawed back into the discussion for the playoffs in spite of the fact that they are perceived to be arguably the worst team in hockey.

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Florida Panthers: From the penthouse to the outhouse… Florida won the Southeast Division last year, and pretty much every single hockey fan knew that it was a farce. This team didn’t change much from one year to the next, and yet it still just can’t figure out to get out of its own way. Every single team in hockey this year has at least 10 wins… except Florida. The Panthers are 7-16-6 and they are 1-7-2 in their last 10 games. The Southeast Division is bad, but not even these Panthers are going to figure out how to get out of this hole with just 19 games to play.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Don’t print those playoff tickets just yet, Maple Leafs fans. Toronto is still safely in the playoffs right now in the Eastern Conference, and if that holds the course, it will be the first time since before the first lockout that the Leafs have played in the postseason. However, this recent skid of five games is a reminder that this is a team that has a lot of work to do. Whether it is G James Reimer or G Ben Scrivens in net, nothing is working. The Leafs have allowed at least three goals in six straight, and they have just a total of two shootout losses to show for their work in that stretch.

Dallas Stars: The Stars have lost four in a row, which isn’t really the end of the world, but matters are made a heck of a lot worse if you look a little deeper at what has been going on lately. In these four games, which also include one five-minute overtime period, Dallas has scored a total of just three goals. The team doesn’t have a man on the roster with more than 18 points for the season, and the goaltending hasn’t been able to carry the load. The end results are no offense (20th in the league), no defense (22nd in the league), and a lot of games like the most recent defeat at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks. Saturday’s loss was the worst of the season, and the 8-1 collapse at home, regardless of who the foe was, won’t be accepted kindly from the Lone Star State faithful.

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Aaron Ryan

Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.

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