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  • The National Hockey League regular season is now in the push to the playoffs and two of the hottest teams on ice are the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers. The defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins were just one win shy of the Stanley Cup last June and are playing like a team obsessed with completing the mission this time around.   More

  • Three years ago, the Chicago Blackhawks were still a hot item with the NHL betting lines. Consider the fact that the Hawks earned 109 points and were the top seed heading into the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. But since getting swept that year by the eighth seeded Nashville Predators, the once Mighty Blackhawks have failed to return to post season and will miss out for the third consecutive campaign.   More

  • Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

    NHL - Flyers vs. Rangers - Hockey FREE Pick

    By Rock Westfall Alain Vigneault will be judged as one of the better coaches in New York Rangers history. In his five seasons with the Broadway Blueshirts he led them to the Stanley Cup Playoffs four times and a berth in the Stanley Cup Final in his first season behind the bench. Vigneault ended up fired but mostly because the team decided to blow up the roster and go into a massive rebuild.   More

  • It comes as no surprise that the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins are in the top spot of the Eastern Conference. Boston has been steamrolling with the NHL betting lines as one of the most complete 200-foot teams in the game. The Bruins have not gotten over losing game seven of the Stanley Cup Final on home ice to the underdog St. Louis Blues and are fully focused on completing their mission. Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars have been flirting with top spot in the Western Conference.   More

  • Two years ago, the New York Rangers hoisted the white flag of surrender to all. The Broadway Blueshirts admitted it was time to cut payroll, gut the roster and totally rebuild from the front office down to the minor leagues. Last year was a throwaway year for New York with the NHL betting lines. However, this year there are signs that the Rangers may be ready to make a post season bid. For the New Jersey Devils the pressure of climbing back into playoff status is large after their massive fall back to the pack in 2018-19. But the start of the new season has been ominous.   More

  • Two years ago, Taylor Hall and the New Jersey Devils were the talk of the National Hockey League. Hall would lead the Devils to the playoffs en route to the Hart Trophy as Most Valuable Player of the league. Since that time Hart has been battling various injuries and the Devils have lost NHL betting lines value as a result. By contrast the Philadelphia Flyers are feeling rejuvenated with the arrival of new head coach Alain Vigneault. The Flyers are reputed to have one of the best young rosters and goaltenders in the NHL. An opening night win over the Chicago Blackhawks has sparked optimism of a potential playoff season.   More

  • In 2018 the Washington Capitals finally exorcised all demons and won the first Stanley Cup in franchise history. What was most ironic about the accomplishment is that after many times failing as a favorite with the NHL betting lines the Caps won the championship as underdogs. Following their triumph head coach Bruce Boudreau departed for the New York Islanders after the Caps failed to extend him in season and were likely to fire him. Filling the spot behind the bench was Boudreau’s top assistant Todd Reirden. Play slipped last year, especially on the back end. Last spring it was the St. Louis Blues that filed the void as a Cinderella Stanley Cup champion. And unlike the Caps the Note re-signed head coach Craig Berube.   More

  • Thursday, September 26th, 2019

    2019-20 NHL Futures Betting Odds Analysis

    By Rock Westfall Last year brought one of the most surprising results with the NHL betting lines in history. On New Years Day the St. Louis Blues had the worst record in all of the NHL. In fact, the Blues were written off for dead and were facing the desperate situation of calling up a rookie goaltender that had been toiling on loan in the depths of the minor leagues. While that was going on the Tampa Bay Lightning were coasting towards the Presidents Trophy as the best regular season team in the league. Yet come playoff time the Lighting were bounced in a stunning first round loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets while Jordan Binnington became a sensation and Stanley Cup champion with the St. Louis Blues. All of which illustrates the unpredictability of the NHL. Let’s take a look at the 2019-20 Stanley Cup Futures.   More

  • So far, the 2019 Stanley Cup Final has been a road team affair. And that was never more evident than on Sunday night in game five. In that situation the Boston Bruins were facing elimination while the St. Louis Blues were on the brink of clinching their first ever Stanley Cup in franchise history in front of their home fans. After a tight first two periods in which Boston led 1-0 the dam broke in the third period and the Bruins forced a seventh game with a 5-1 win. Now the series shifts back to Boston for the seventh, final, and deciding game of the series.   More

  • At the beginning of the Stanley Cup Final the Boston Bruins were a decided favorite against the St. Louis Blues. Boston had the reputation of being a dominant team that has vastly more playoff experience than the Blues. St. Louis entered the series as something of a Cinderella team. In fact, the Blues were a worst to first story as a team that had the worst record in the NHL on January 3 only to be rallied by a rookie goaltender to end up in the Stanley Cup Final. In fact, St. Louis needs only one more win to hoist hockey’s Holy Grail. History can be made in the Gateway City Sunday night!   More

  • Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

    NHL Odds Blues vs Bruins Game 5

    By Rock Westfall There is one constant about the St. Louis Blues and their quest for the franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup. Just when you count the Blues out, they will storm back and surprise you. Gamblers that have been banking on the Blues death have lost a lot of money this year. It all began on January 3 when the Blues were the last place team in the entire National Hockey League. At that moment they were pronounced dead and buried. Since that moment they have the best record in the NHL. And Monday night they again showed resiliency. St. Louis recovered from a 7-2 blowout loss in game three to earn an impressive 4-2 victory in game four.   More

  • Following the Boston Bruins dominant 4-2 win in game one of the Stanley Cup Final the underdog St. Louis Blues were considered a long shot at best. Indeed, the Bruins steamrolled the Blues as that first game progressed and carried the play for the final two periods. As a result of that opener, highly impressed gamblers bet the Bruins up for game two. But the Blues corrected their many errors from that first game and prevailed 3-2 in overtime to even the series Wednesday night. With the win St. Louis took home ice advantage away from Boston. With both teams coming off a bad and good game to start the series the handicapping challenge is more pronounced.   More

  • The big worry for the Boston Bruins and gamblers taking a flier on them was their 11-day layoff between clinching the Eastern Conference championship and game one of the Stanley Cup Final. The ultimate question heading into game one was “will it be rest or rust?” As it turned out the answer was “both”. The St. Louis Blues jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. But midway through the second the Bruins steamroller kicked into high gear. A combination of St. Louis mistakes and Boston power propelled the B’s to a 4-2 win.   More

  • At the beginning of the season the Boston Bruins were among the betting favorites to win the 2019 Stanley Cup. Some of that was based on their consistency as a top tier contender almost every year. But much of it too was based on their name brand and Original Six pedigree. Much like their Boston brethren of the Patriots, Red Sox and Celtics the Bruins are a marquee and historic brand with fans and gamblers. On January 3 NOBODY was predicting a Stanley Cup for the ST. Louis Blues. At that time, they had the worst record in the National Hockey League. But from that point forward they have been the best team in hockey.   More

  • Monday, May 20th, 2019

    NHL Odds Sharks vs Blues Game 6

    By Anonymous History beckons at Enterprise Center in St. Louis Tuesday night. If the St. Louis Blues can defeat the San Jose Sharks, they will advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970. However, if the Sharks prevail this Western Conference Final series will head back to San Jose for a seventh and deciding game on Thursday night. This means that the pressure will be on full blast for Tuesday’s game. The city of St. Louis has lost its mind and will pack the Enterprise Center to the rafters. The hopes and dreams of an entire city and its NHL franchise will be on the line in game six!   More

  • Thursday, May 16th, 2019

    NHL Odds Sharks vs. Blues Game 4

    By Rock Westfall The Stanley Cup Playoffs have again proven to be the best post season in all of professional sports. Offsetting that however is the perpetual officiating controversies that are becoming a plague. In game three of the Western Conference Final between the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues an otherwise outstanding game was marred by an illegal hand pass that figured into the overtime game winning goal for the Sharks. In a league in which so many trivial items are subject to video review the illegal hand pass was not on the list. And all four officials blew the call. This sets up a pivotal game four on Friday night.   More

  • The Carolina Hurricanes got a stark reality check in game one of their Eastern Conference Final series against the Boston Bruins. Unlike their first two playoff opponents, Washington and the New York Islanders, the Bruins play a complete game and roll four effective lines all game long. Compared to the erratic and undisciplined Capitals and the popgun offensive attack of the Islanders the Bruins are 200-feet of excellence. As for Boston they learned that they must show up with their boots on and lunch buckets packed. Carolina led the first game 2-1 before Boston woke up to score four third period goals. Now the series shifts to Carolina where the fans are true energizer.   More

  • Thursday, May 9th, 2019

    NHL Odds Blues vs Sharks Game 1

    By Rock Westfall At the beginning of the season neither the San Jose Sharks or the St. Louis Blues were considered top tier favorites to win the Western Conference. Yet they are the last two teams standing in the West as they prepare for their best of seven conference final series in which the winner will advance to the Stanley Cup Final. Both teams feature scoring depth, strong defensive corps, clutch goaltending and superior coaching. With all else being equal the question remains what the difference will ultimately be. And the answer just may be as simple and primitive as home ice advantage.   More

  • If there was any doubt about the Stanley Cup Playoffs being the best post season in all of professional sports it was confirmed last Monday night at Denver’s Pepsi Center. Facing elimination in front of their home fans the Colorado Avalanche took at 3-2 lead late into the third period before the Sharks sent the game into overtime with a late goal by Marc-Edouard Vlasic at the 17:32 mark. But 2:32 into overtime Gabriel Landeskog lit the lamp for the Avs to send the series back to the Shark tank for a game seven. And there is nothing on Earth like a Stanley Cup Playoff Game Seven!   More

  • The Colorado Avalanche are a bona fide team of the future with their best years to come. Led by 2013 number one draft choice Nathan MacKinnon the Avalanche have a young foundation that is set to contend for the Stanley Cup. By contrast the San Jose Sharks have plenty of playoff experience and are considered to be a team that has a closing Stanley Cup window. Which is another way to say it’s now or never for the Sharks. Certainly 39-year-old Jumbo Joe Thornton epitomizes that factor as he is trying to win the first Stanley Cup of his 20-year career.   More

  • Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

    NHL Odds Islanders vs. Hurricanes

    By Rock Westfall Somehow despite key injuries and getting outclassed by nearly all NHL statistical metrics the Carolina Hurricanes have a 2-0 series lead over the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference semifinal. Just as impressive is the fact that the first two games were played at New York. Now the series shifts to Raleigh, North Carolina where a raucous college football type of crowd will be ready to blow the roof off of PNC Arena. The question remains about whether Carolina will be able to sustain success with a shorthanded lineup and their top goaltender in questionable status. As for the Islanders their frustration is mounting as their margin for error is down to nothing.   More

  • “Goaltending is 90% of a successful team and 100% of a losing team.” So goes one of the NHL’s old wise tales that has stood the test of time. And it is goaltending that has catapulted the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. For the Stars, Ben Bishop was often a one-man team that kept Dallas in the post season hunt when the offense went dry. For the Blues Jordan Binnington literally saved the season when he took over as a raw rookie at the start of the New Year when St. Louis was dead last in the West. The Blues perpetual search for a bona fide top goaltender looks to finally be over. Dallas and St. Louis meet in game two on Saturday afternoon!   More

  • Two of the top reasons why the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs have been among the best in history are the Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks. In the first round the Avalanche opened as decided underdogs as an eighth seed against the top seeded Calgary Flames yet prevailed in a five-game series upset. Meanwhile the Sharks needed an overtime shorthanded goal in game six at Vegas just to bring home a seventh game. And in that game seven they rallied from a 3-0 deficit midway through the third period to win an overtime thriller that will be remembered for years. Now these two teams have to shake off that first round success as game one of the Western Conference semifinal beckons!   More

  • Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

    NHL Odds Jets vs Blues - FREE NHL pick

    By Rock Westfall For contrarian gamblers the NHL Western Conference Playoff series between the Winnipeg Jets and the St. Louis Blues has had much to offer starting with the fact that the road team was victorious in the first four games of this series. After stumbling badly down the stretch in the regular season and losing the first two games of this series the Jets have begun to show what made them a preseason favorite to win the Western Conference. For the Blues they were one of the best teams in the NHL in the second half of the regular season but there were legitimate worries that they would be running out of gas after expending so much energy to make the post season.   More

  • Among the characteristics that set the Stanley Cup Playoffs apart as the best post season in all of sports is that it is it is an entirely different type of game as compared to the regular season. Despite bottom falling out from both the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights at the end of the regular season the fact remains that none of that matters come playoff time. You can ask the President’s Trophy winning Tampa Bay Lightning or the 2010 Washington Capitals about that. So far in their playoff series the Sharks and Golden Knights have demonstrated their may attributes as top contenders as well as the weaknesses that may ultimately prove to be fatal for their playoff aspirations.   More

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