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  • At the start of the 2018-19 NHL season the Pittsburgh Penguins were at their usual spot on the pro hockey futures board as a top choice to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup come the month of June. But the Penguins have been inconsistent for most of the season and are trying to hold on to one of the two wild card playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. The Philadelphia Flyers flopped out of the gate after making the post season last year, which cost general manager Ron Hextall and head coach Dave Hakstol their jobs. Although it took a while for things to kick into gear new Flyers coach Scott Gordon leads one of the hottest teams on the board. Most important of all Philadelphia is back into Eastern Conference playoff contention.   More

  • Monday, February 18th, 2019

    NHL Odds Boston vs Vegas

    By Rock Westfall The Boston Bruins have caught fire to such an extent that they lead the Toronto Maple Leafs by a point for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins remain one of the top defensive teams in the NHL and boast one of the best veteran goaltending tandems in the league. Goal scoring was an issue during a brief slump but has picked up thanks in large part to one of the top power plays in the NHL. The Vegas Golden Knights hold the third playoff sport in the Pacific Division. Vegas has lacked the consistency that made the Western Conference champions one year ago. A drop off in goal scoring has been the biggest problem for Vegas.   More

  • Friday, February 15th, 2019

    NHL Odds NY Rangers vs Pittsburgh

    By Rock Westfall Just two years ago the Pittsburgh Penguins were en route to their second consecutive Stanley Cup championship. But since reaching that height the Penguins have been in slow decline. Last year they were finally overtaken by their arch rival Washington Capitals in the second round of the playoffs. And now this year the playoffs themselves are in doubt. Pittsburgh is trying to hold off the upstart Carolina Hurricanes for the final post season spot in the Eastern Conference. On the other hand, the New York Rangers are not feeling such pressure. The Broadway Blueshirts surrendered their contender status one year ago at the Trade Deadline. Indeed New York in in full rebuilding mode.   More

  • When Connor McDavid was announced as the top overall NHL Draft selection in 2015 it was considered to be the ultimate transfusion for a once proud franchise that had fallen into a generation of failure. Just two years ago McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers made the playoffs and were looking like one of the up and coming powers of the NHL. But this NHL season has turned into an epic disaster in which head coach Todd McClellan and general manager Peter Chiarelli have both been fired. And now there are concerns about McDavid’s talent going to waste. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Penguins have gone from perennial power to a team barely staving off the Carolina Hurricanes for the final Eastern Conference Playoff spot.   More

  • Friday, February 8th, 2019

    NHL Odds St Louis vs Nashville

    By Rock Westfall After a terrible start that cost head coach Mike Yeo his job the St. Louis Blues have been ignited under replacement Craig Berube to now reside just one point out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Berube has been able to piece together the right combinations that were needed after roster transition over the summer. Yeo had the aura of being a dead man walking as coach and Berube commands the respect of the locker room. Meanwhile the Nashville Predators share the lead of the Central Division as a team that was considered to be a top tier Western Conference playoff contender from the start.   More

  • For the Boston Bruins this new quicker and more offense-oriented NHL has been a challenging adjustment. The Bruins were always built from the goal out with an emphasis on size, physical play and goaltending. But this year it has been a lack of consistent goal scoring that has put their playoff hopes in jeopardy.   More

  • The Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals opened the 2018-19 regular season at the Capital One Arena where the Caps raised their first ever Stanley Cup championship banner and bombed out the visitors with a 7-0 nationally televised win. Since that time the Capitals have shown bad habits of their pre-Stanley Cup past. Too many shifts have players taking off from responsibilities on the defensive end of the ice. The full 200-foot game played under former head coach Barry Trotz had been abandoned under new bench boss Todd Reirden. As for Boston defense and goaltending has proven to be their strength. Instead the Bruins inability to light the lamp has been a drag on their wagering value.   More

  • Monday, January 28th, 2019

    NHL Odds Tampa Bay vs Pittsburgh

    By Rock Westfall At first glance it would come as no surprise that the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning would potentially meet in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Bolts have been a perennial top tier contender in the East since making the Stanley Cup Final in 2015 while Pittsburgh hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2016 and 2017. Both teams bring plenty of skill and scoring capability. Each has one of the top coaches in the game. But Pittsburgh has been fighting inconsistency and has been less than stellar on the back end. Tampa Bay on the other hand is looking like the best team in hockey and as the top threat to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup come the month of June!   More

  • The NHL has found a winning formula for its All-Star Game format in which each of the four divisions comprise an All-Star team that makes for an entertaining four team tournament taking place in a single evening. Fans and gamblers have taken to this now four-year-old experiment that has given new life to what was a hopelessly bad stretch of All-Star Games prior to the change. This year the San Jose Sharks are the host team for the 2019 NHL All Star Game and their fan base has long proven to be one of the best in hockey. Saturday night’s All-Star Tournament is not to be missed.   More

  • The Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup last year because they committed themselves to playing a full 200-foot game for then head coach Barry Trotz. However right after winning the Cup, Trotz took advantage of the fact that the Capitals were leaving him twisting in the wind without a contract before their playoff run that ended in an unexpected championship. The New York Islanders backed up the truck to sign Trotz and Washington tapped their top assistant Todd Reirden to take over. Reirden is simply not getting the same buy-in for defense that Trotz was able to command. Meanwhile the Toronto Maple Leafs have cooled off considerably after a hot start. As one of the most public teams on the board the Leafs are causing considerable pain to gamblers with their recent woes.   More

  • Friday, January 18th, 2019

    NHL Odds Washington vs Chicago Sunday

    By Rock Westfall The defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals have had some incredible ups and downs this season and currently they are back down, as was the case at the start of the season which reeked of a Stanley Cup hangover. Washington won their first ever Stanley Cup because they gave former head coach Barry Trotz a full buy-in on the defensive end of the ice. That has not been the case for new head coach Todd Reirden, who was Trotz’s top assistant before taking over after the head man departed for the riches of the New York Islanders. Meanwhile the Chicago Blackhawks are also playing for a new head coach that followed a Stanley Cup champion behind the bench. But since Jeremy Colliton replaced Joel Quenneville things have only gotten worse in the Windy City.   More

  • The Boston Bruins have been one of the hottest teams on the NHL board recently and have closed to within just a couple of points of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division standings. And in this era of more speed and attacking offenses the B’s do things the old-fashioned way. They shut it down. Overall Boston is one of the best defensive teams in the NHL. In comparison the Philadelphia Flyers are an unmitigated disaster. Indeed, this will go down as a lost season on Broad Street for a team that nobody fears or respects anymore. This once proud franchise is now at bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.   More

  • At the conclusion of a debacle of a season last April the Montreal Canadiens were in complete disarray and their fan base was in total rebellion. Le Bleu Blanc Rouge had fallen to new lows that few could possibly imagine. General Manager Marc Bergevin was facing the torches and pitchforks of Habs Nation, who demanded his firing. But Bergevin was spared the guillotine only because it would have been too expensive to send him packing. Incredibly enough neither Bergevin nor head coach Claude Julien were fired. Most important of all Carey Price is back in goal after an injury plagues 2017-18 season. And Montreal is now in playoff position. The Habs will face the Boston Bruins in a renewal of their ancient rivalry Monday night.   More

  • Monday, January 7th, 2019

    NHL Odds Nashville vs. Chicago

    By Rock Westfall A six-game losing streak did much to kill the holiday spirits of the Nashville Predators but they have since recovered and are back on track to fight the Winnipeg Jets for the top spot in the NHL Central Division. Nashville rates as one of the top defensive teams in the league but has been plagued by an   More

  • The NHL Winter Classic began on New Year’s Day of 2008 as something of a novelty and experiment. The outdoor game at Buffalo between the hometown Sabres and visiting Pittsburgh Penguins became an instant classic when the Penguins won the game in overtime on a goal by the great Sidney Crosby.   More

  • What began as a fully advertised rebuilding season has gone better than expected for the new-look New York Rangers. Indeed, the Broadway Blueshirts were fully up front and honest about their plans and prospects for the 2018-19 season. However, the law of gravity is starting to work against New York as their youth and lack of experience is catching up with them. The Pittsburgh Penguins were inconsistent for much of the season but have recently ignited with their best stretch of the year. In fact, the Penguins have again become one of the most popular teams on the NHL board. The Pens and Rangers meet Wednesday on NBCSN.   More

  • Once again, the Tampa Bay Lightning are the dominant team in the Eastern Conference and the odds-on favorite to make the Stanley Cup Final. Tampa Bay was just one-win shy of making the Final last year but lost in the seventh game of the Eastern Conference Final to the Washington Capitals. The Bolts last made the Final in 2014 but have been in the conversation ever season since. The Philadelphia Flyers are far removed from the Stanley Cup conversation for this season. In fact, they have launched a second start to what was a lost campaign with new head coach Scott Gordon, who replaced the fired Dave Hakstol last week.   More

  • Monday, December 17th, 2018

    NHL Odds Penguins vs. Capitals

    By Rock Westfall At the start of the season, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals stumbled out of the gate. The defending Stanley Cup champion Capitals seeded to be suffering from a Stanley Cup hangover. Meanwhile, the Penguins were getting terrible goaltending and weak secondary scoring. But now it appears as   More

  • The Chicago Blackhawks dynasty is over. In retrospect it ended in 2016 when they were bounced in the opening round of the playoffs for the first of two consecutive seasons. That was followed by last year’s debacle in which the Hawks finished with a losing season and failed to qualify for the post season. This year Chicago stumbled badly out of the gate so management tried the Hail Mary of firing long time head coach Joel Quenneville, the most successful coach in franchise history with three Stanley Cup championships. Since then things have gone from bade to worse. The Blackhawks are in free fall. On Wednesday they will host the inconsistent but capable Pittsburgh Penguins.   More

  • Two years ago, the St. Louis Blues were riding high as one of the top picks win the Western Conference. With head coach Ken Hitchcock behind the bench the Blues had one of the most respected leaders in the NHL and a proven champion. But just a couple of months later Hitchcock was fired in a desperation move by the Blues. And things have never been the same since. The Edmonton Oilers have flopped badly despite the presence of 2015 top NHL Draft pick Conner McDavid. Oilers management is feeling the pressure having to fill their new state-of-the-art arena and the demands of fans to make the most of McDavid’s presence. As a result, they picked up Hitchcock to right the ship behind the bench.   More

  • Just one year ago Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray was a hero after backstopping consecutive NHLStanley Cup championships in 2016 and 2017. But since last spring Murray has not been himself. Now he is out indefinitely with a lower body issue that may actually turn into an opportunity   More

  • Last February at the NHL Trade Deadline the New York Rangers publicly waived the white flag of unconditional surrender. With great fanfare they sent a letter to their fans clearly admitting that a massive rebuild was about to begin. With that in mind the recent success of the Rangers has been quite a surprise to gamblers. The Philadelphia Flyers on the other hand were a playoff team last year that was expected to return to the post season next spring. But a terrible back end and goaltending problems continue to plague them. The Rangers and Flyers will meet on Black Friday.   More

  • For the Chicago Blackhawks their dynasty that included three NHL Stanley Cup championships from 2010-15 is over. Last year when the Blackhawks missed the playoffs, they had a reasonable excuse in that top goaltender Corey Crawford missed the second half of the season due to a concussion.   More

  • Barry Trotz is the only coach that the Washington Capitals have had in the Alex Ovechkin era that could get the Great Eight to fully commit to a full 200-foot game and be play responsible defense. And make no mistake about the fact that Trotz was a key component in the Capitals finally getting their first ever Stanley Cup championship that has completed Ovechkin’s Hall of Fame resume. But days after hoisting the Stanley Cup Trotz cashed in with a huge new contract to coach the New York Islanders. And his departure is being felt by the Capitals as they have reverted back to old habits. Now Washington has the added problem of hosting the NHL’s highest scoring team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, on Wednesday night.   More

  • Last year the Vegas Golden Knights had the advantage of ambushing the rest of the National Hockey League as a first-year expansion team that ended up as Western Conference champions. However, this year the Golden Knights are getting everyone’s best shot. No longer do opponents treat   More

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