Stanley Cup Betting – Could we see Penguins-Red Wings III?

NHL BettingIf you’re into Stanley Cup betting, you’re probably praying to avoid a third straight season of Pittsburgh and Detroit in the Stanley Cup finals. One of those teams should get back to the finals, but who will it be?

Washington is the overall favorite to lift the Stanley Cup at +200, but we can’t put any faith in their shaky goaltending situation. We know that the offense, led by Alex Ovchekin and friends, can light the lamp, but can they stop anyone consistently? Pittsburgh is next at +500 in your best online sportsbook, and the defending Stanley Cup champions are probably the best bet to represent the East. Sidney Crosby has been phenomenal all season, even taking out time to score the winning goal in the gold-medal game for Canada in the Olympics, but he needs help, and it appears as though Evgeni Malkin is finally healthy after a subpar season by his standards. If anyone is going to upset the top two, it would be New Jersey at +1000, and Buffalo at +1200. The Devils have Martin Brodeur in goal, and the duo of Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise can score with the best of them. Meanwhile, the Sabres have Miller, the probable Vezina Trophy winner who has had a brilliant season, along with the MVP award in the Olympics in a losing cause.

In the West, it’s okay for hockey betting players to be skeptical over San Jose, who has NHL odds of +500. The Sharks have built up a deserved reputation as an underachiever in the playoffs, and we’re not sure that the addition of Dany Heatley is enough to put San Jose over the top. Chicago is up there at +500 as well, but the young Blackhawks, like Washington, have questions at the back on defense and in goal. The Red Wings are listed at +600 after a torrid post-Olympic stretch, and with their veteran experience and leadership, it would be foolish to count them out. However, Vancouver is the most balanced of all these teams and with odds of +1000, the Canucks offer decent value. However, this isn’t just a value pick: the Canucks can really win it all. Roberto Luongo should be boosted by his gold-medal performance in the Olympics, and they have the NHL’s leading scorer in Henrik Sedin. Their defense was a bit banged up down the stretch, but all in all, the Canucks are in good shape.

In the finals, we’re taking Pittsburgh to reach the finals for a third consecutive year, and win their second straight Stanley Cup behind big performances from Crosby and Malkin, but the matchup of Marc-Andre Fleury and Luongo in goal will be the key. Fleury has been up and down during the stretch run, but he’ll show up in the postseason. Go with the Penguins in your sportsbetting picks.

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