Why have Chicago and San Jose reached double digit points so quickly this season? For those betting NHL hockey, according to Sharks coach Todd McLellan, his team at least looked inwardly. McLellan’s team and the Blackhawks were both eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last year. Each was well known for puck possession and carrying the action, yet both were beaten by teams which had players that were shot-blockers.
This is about preventing the puck from even reaching the goaltender and keeping the sphere in play and changing possessions. Without drastic roster changes, each club has improved the depth of the defense and asked its players to participate as shot-blockers like they possibly would in the postseason, but maybe not so much in the regular season.
There is no way to know, yet with San Jose and Chicago installing this style of play, you are only asking the team to do this for 48 games, which should alter the mindset in preparation for the playoffs. It’s early; however, if these squads can stay defensive-minded and still maintain the goal scorers they have, there is money to be made backing these outfits.
It is hard to say how good the defending Stanley Cup champions really are. When the Los Angeles Kings won the Cup, the general consensus was this team underachieved with the talent on hand and began to play together at the right time. While the roster is mostly the same, the Kings have played like a team which was playing very similar hockey about a year ago and it was not pretty. L.A. has the ability to turn it around, yet does it have the right mentality to take everyone’s best shot nightly? Oddsmakers are not impressed, having yet to make the champs more than -140 favorites.
We thought this could be a rough year for Phoenix and so far it has been coyote ugly. The Yotes are loose in the defensive end, allowing the light to be lit four times a game. Phoenix cannot afford to play this wide open, lacking the necessary weapons to win 5-4 very often. The Coyotes will probably improve; yet making the playoffs again seems like a wishful thinking.
Washington has Adam Oates as their new coach and without training camp; they definitely look like a squad searching for answers. The Capitals main offensive threats have been heard from less than Dave Coulier (Think Joey – Full House). Until the Caps players and coaches figure this out, it is going to difficult to back Washington as a favorite unless the risk is quite low.
NHL Betting News – After a slow start, AG Sports has blown up to take a commanding lead as Sports-Watch’s top hockey handicapper.Traditional hockey wise guy Blueline is off to a fine start and is in second place, while selective pucks sharp Big Reno Rick has begun a perfect 4-0. Filling out the top five are Hammer The Book and Robert Ferringo.