I was just looking at 5Dimes.eu and noticed that there are NHL futures odds up for which team will win each division in this shortened season. I think I have a pretty good idea of which team will end up atop each division so I decided to write up this quick post outlining my predictions. I’ll look back at it come playoff time to see just how right I was (and how much money I would have made). There is another post like this at NHL Betting Tips if you want a second opinion.
- New York Rangers +120
- Pittsburgh Penguins +165
- Philadelphia Flyers +330
- New Jersey Devils +730
- New York Islanders +3300
I like the Penguins here. They are healthy at the moment and if Crosby and Malkin can each play a full season the division is really there’s to lose. The Rangers are more consistent, but they only won the division last year by 1 point over the Pens, who didn’t have Crosby for big parts. I think this is a solid bet at +165.
- Chicago Blackhawks +160
- St. Louis Blues +180
- Detroit Red Wings +330
- Nashville Predators +650
- Columbus Blue Jackets +6500
Here I like the Blues. They won the division handily last season and I think they could build on this. Both the Wings and Preds lost key pieces so I don’t see them winning the Central. The Blackhawks very well could and I think they are the most talented team, but they aren’t as consistent as the Blues and I think this could prove the difference.
- Boston Bruins -130
- Buffalo Sabres +400
- Ottawa Senators +650
- Toronto Maple Leafs +675
- Montreal Canadiens +700
The Bruins could be the best team in the league right now. Combine that with the Northeast having the least threatening competition in the Eastern Conference and you have a good reason to take the Bruins to win the division. Of course anything is possible, but it is their division to lose.
- Vancouver Canucks -125
- Minnesota Wild +310
- Edmonton Oilers +450
- Calgary Flames +1600
- Colorado Avalanche +1700
The Northwest has been the worst division in the league (minus the Canucks) for the past two seasons. There is hope this year for the Wild to step up after picking up Parise and Suter, and also for the Oilers young guns to hit their stride and compete. Once again though I think both are over hyped. The Canucks will win this division.
- LA Kings -110
- San Jose Sharks +215
- Phoenix Coyotes +650
- Dallas Stars +900
- Anaheim Ducks +1000
I saw the Sharks at +280 at another sportsbook, but I am still going to lean to them at +215 here. The Pacific has always been the Sharks division and I think they are being underestimated by a lot of NHL ‘experts’. They still have one of the best top 6 forwards corps in the game. If Niemi can play well they could definitely give the Kings a run for their money here.
- Carolina Hurricanes +200
- Washington Capitals +275
- Tampa Bay Lightning +275
- Florida Panthers +675
- Winnipeg Jets +750
This is a similar situation to the Pacific in my opinion. The Caps have owned this division and I will admit they aren’t the same team and the others have improved, but I still think its their division to lose. Too much hype is surrounding the Hurricanes at the moment and I have to see them in action before I buy into it.
Check out the post at Bet Far to see another post I wrote about the Stanley Cup winner odds and who I like as well!
There hasn’t been much progress towards an NHL season over the past couple weeks and for this reason I have turned my attention towards the AHL to see how the NHL’s farm teams are doing and check out some up and coming players. The big story is Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins playing in the AHL for the Oklahoma Barons, but to this point in the season they haven’t been took effective and the team only has 4 wins in 3 games. That being said Taylor Hall hasn’t suited up for a game yet, but should be ready soon. The real story on Oklahoma is Justin Schultz who is currently leading the AHL in scoring with 12 points as a defenseman. That looks to be a great pick up for the Oilers and we will see if he can translate this early AHL success into NHL success when the league gets back.
The big story in the AHL last season was the Norfolk Admirals winning the Calder Cup with ease after finishing the regular season on a 28 game winning streak (they actually won 43 of their last 46 regular season games) and carrying this momentum into the playoffs losing only 3 games on route to the Calder Cup, including another 10 game winning streak to close out the Championship.
The Admirals are now the big favorites to win the Calder Cup again according to SportsInteraction.com, who currently has Norfolk at +275 to repeat as Champions, ahead of even the Oklahoma Barons (+600) who have the Oilers young stars on the team.
But should Norfolk be the favorites? Absolutely not!
Why you may ask when they had such a dominant finish to last season.
The answer is simple really, the Norfolk Admirals have an ENTIRELY different team this season.
You see the Tampa Bay Lightning decided to drop Norfolk as their farm team and moved all of their players to the Syracuse Crunch. The Crunch were the Anaheim Ducks farm team and as such, the Ducks affiliated with Norfolk and moved all of their players to the Admirals. So what you have is basically a full team swap between the Norfolk Admirals and the Syracuse Crunch. The only thing that stayed the same about either team was their name.
For this reason I like the Syracuse Crunch to win the Calder Cup this year. They should at least be favorites, or at least one of the favorites. The Crunch currently are listed at +2500 on SportsInteraction.com, which is pretty long odds for a team that dominated the way they did during last season.
Norfolk did start the season off strong with a (5-1-0) record through 6 games and this has likely masked the fact that Norfolk is an entirely different team to fans that don’t follow the AHL. Syracuse also has a very strong (4-1-2) start and if this year is anything like last they will turn it on late in the season.
Take advantage of this knowledge at SportsInteraction.com! Sports Interaction is the best online bookie for Canadians and they offer a great mobile betting platform that allows you to place wagers even when you are away from your computer.
Written by: Niko de Jonge
The NHL is currently in lockout mode and the preseason has been cancelled, but there is still some hope lingering that the season can start on time or at least a portion of the season will occur this year. The worst thing that can possibly happen is for the league to lose another entire season with the last lockout still pretty fresh in every NHL fans mind. Even with the uncertainty of the season I decided to go ahead and make my Eastern Conference 2012-13 standings prediction. So here goes. These are my predictions regardless of the amount of games played in the NHL this season. Of course the more games in the season, the larger the sample size, which would take out some of the chance as to which teams make the playoffs, but these are my predictions as of right now:
1. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pens have three of the best forwards in the league (Crosby, Malkin and Neal) and one of the best defensemen (Letang). If these four players stay healthy all year the team will finish atop the Conference.
2. Boston Bruins
I still consider the Bruins one of the most dangerous teams in the league. I have the Pens and Bruins as by far the two biggest threats in the Eastern Conference to win the Stanley Cup this year and they will get their points in the regular season as well. Missing Tim Thomas will not be a problem.
3. Washington Capitals
The Caps had an off year last year and lost Alex Semin, but the fact remains that somebody has to win the Southeast Division. The bottom end of that division will be much better this year, similar to last, but the top end will likely still finish with around the 5th most points in the East, but they will win the division by a bit over the Lightning and Canes.
4. New York Rangers
The Rangers are a hard working team that know how to win tight games. They will need to have Rick Nash by in to the team first philosophy to possibly have a great deal of success. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have the second most points in the East, but they are still in the same division as the Pens.
5. Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers are in a similar situation to the Rangers. They finished 5th in the East last year with the 3rd most points in the Conference. I expect a similar fate this year. The Atlantic division is just too good.
6. Ottawa Senators
The Sens lost Kuba last year, but other than that their team has been pretty much kept together and this group will improve from last year. They should become more consistent and not have the 5 game losing skids that hurt them last year. Karlsson and Spezza are two of the biggest stars in the NHL and will get this team into the playoffs. I do expect a drop off in points from 5th place Flyers to 6th place Senators however, but a first round matchup with the Caps would be the perfect situation for Ottawa.
7. New Jersey Devils
The Devils did lose Parise, but they still have Kovalchuk and many players who are in the last year of their contracts which can result in big performances (Elias, Zajac, Zubrus, Clarkson, Henrique, Zidlicky). This is the last chance for this group and even without Parise they should at least squeak into the playoffs.
8. Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning added Lindback in net and Carle and Salo on the point. These are big moves for a team that allowed by far the most goals against last season (281), which is 19 more goals against than the Blue Jackets who allowed the second most and finished by far last in the league. The Lightning still have the goal scorers up front and if they can keep the puck out of their net a little more they should return to the playoffs.
9. Carolina Hurricanes
The Hurricanes made some big moves (Jordan Staal and Alex Semin) which should help this this season, but I see them missing the playoffs by 1 or 2 points. They will be in it all year though.
10. Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo came on strong in the second half last season, but I don’t see them leapfrogging the Sens or Devils and the Lightning and Hurricanes should improve. This leaves the Sabres as an odd man out.
11. Florida Panthers
The Panthers will be a decent team again, but I’m not sure Brian Campbell can do as much for the team as last season. They really just don’t have the top quality players that other teams in the East have so even though they will compete I don’t see them getting over the hump to the playoffs again.
12. Winnipeg Jets
The Jets are another team that look to me like the Panthers. Their high end talent just isn’t as high end as other teams they are competing against. This will ultimately be their downfall.
13. New York Islanders
The Islanders will improve slightly from last season as they get a bit older and Tavares becomes an elite NHLer, but they don’t have all the pieces in place just yet.
14. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs are horrible.
15. Montreal Canadiens
The Habs are even worse. It’s not a good time to be fans of two of the NHLs most storied franchises. And the Leafs + Habs fans probably equate to at least 25% of the total fan base for Eastern Conference teams.
Now these predictions will mean nothing if the NHL and NHLPA don’t hatch out a deal. In the mean time you should check out this Australian sports betting website to learn more about betting on Aussie sports as an Australian. At least their don’t seem to be as many lockouts in Aussie Rules football as their does in the NHL.
Written by: Niko de Jonge
My buddies and I are getting geared up for our annual NFL fantasy league so I have been doing a bit of research on players and making decisions as to who I’m going to take with my first pick this year. The obvious choice would Evgeni Malkin after his amazing season last year, with Steven Stamkos and Claude Giroux as close runner ups. That said, if you are in a league where positions matter these may not be your top picks. For this reason this post I’m going to predict who the top fantasy player for the season will be at each position in the NHL (I go by NHL.com for positions).
Evgeni Malkin and Steven Stamkos are the obvious choices based on last seasons production, but then you also have to include Henrik Sedin, Jason Spezza, John Tavares and of course Sidney Crosby in the discussion.
Crosby is often considered the best player in the NHL when healthy, but those two words “when healthy” keep him out of my top 3 centers and far away from my #1 center. I personally don’t even think Crosby has the production to keep up with his teammate Malkin if they were each healthy all season.
Then there is Tavares who in only his 3rd NHL season finished 4th in scoring for centers at 81 points. Will he break out even further in his 4th season? Possibly, but not enough to challenge for the top center ranking.
Spezza had a great season last year, but with the other weapons at his disposal on the Senators he shouldn’t compete for the top rank.
You should give serious consideration to Henrik Sedin who was the top center in scoring in both the two previous years.
Stamkos once again improved and should be right around 100 points once again, and I expect him to once again finish second in scoring for centers, just ahead of Henrik.
That leaves Evgeni Malkin who busted out last year to win his 2nd Art Ross trophy in four years. He once again took his trainer to Russia to work with him, which shows he is motivated to build on last years success.
Top Center: Evegeni Malkin
Claude Giroux is a right wing according to NHL.com. There isn’t really anyone else to truly consider over him at this position. Giroux proved last year that he is one of the most talented players in the league and although he generally plays center if you can get him at RW in your fantasy league based on the NHL.com positions I would do so.
The other players to consider include Kessel, Hossa, Gaborik, Eberle, St. Louis and Perry. Personally I would take Perry after Giroux and expect him to regain his Hart trophy winning form.
Top Right Wing: Claude Giroux
Here the main debate will be between Ilya Kovalchuk, James Neal, Daniel Sedin and Alex Ovechkin.
Kovalchuk was the top LW scorer last season, but the Devils have lost Parise, which means opposing teams will be gunning for him even harder this year. I expect a good season, but slightly lower scoring totals.
Ovechkin used to be a lock for the top right wing scorer, but last year he had a horrible year with only 65 points. I expect a bounce back year, but the Capitals lack the scoring that they used to have and without Semin it may be even harder for Ovechkin to find space on the ice.
For me the pick is between James Neal who will either be playing with Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby which will result in him getting a lot of points by default, or Daniel Sedin who is only one season removed from his Art Ross trophy season.
I think the safer play is Daniel Sedin because you know what you are getting and there is no way he will score fewer than 70 points in a season two years in a row.
Top Left Wing: Daniel Sedin
This is an easy pick and shouldn’t even be talked about. Erik Karlsson was the top scoring d-man last year by 25 points. He may not win by that margin again, but he is the obvious choice.
Top Defenseman: Erik Karlsson
This is between either Jonathan Quick or Henrik Lundqvist because it is likely the Predators will not be as solid this year as last. I like Quick to outperform Hank this season because I think the defending Stanley Cup Champions are as good on paper as they were on the ice last year. They have too much talent to have any kind of Stanley Cup hangover.
Top Goaltender: Jonathan Quick
You can play daily NHL fantasy this year at FanDuel.com. Who knows, maybe we will run into each other one night.
Written by: Niko de Jonge
LA is up 2 games to 0 in this series after winning both of their road games to open the Stanley Cup Finals. That makes it 4 series in a row where the LA Kings won the first two games of the series on the road. In fact they are 10-0 on the road in these playoffs after those overtime victories in New Jersey. Now the question is whether or not the Kings will be able to win a couple of games at home and sweep the Devils to win the Stanley Cup in dominant style and become the lowest seed to ever win the Cup.
The Kings have gone up 3-0 in all 3 of their previous series’ in these Stanley Cup Playoffs and have swept 1 of those series, while winning the other two on the road in 5 games. That being said the Devils have been a big comeback team in these playoffs and have a decent 6-4 road record themselves. The Devils have been behind in every series they have participated in in these 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs and they find themselves with their backs against the wall again.
If you’ve watched the games you would have to agree that the Kings have not dominated the Devils like they did the Canucks, Blues and Coyotes in the Western Conference Playoffs. Both games went to overtime and like most OT games they could have gone either way. Now the Kings are back at home where they are only 4-2 in these playoffs.
Based on the first two games of the series I don’t expect the Kings to win both of their home games. However, in order for the Devils to get a win they will need to get more than 1 goal past Jonathan Quick per game, which will not be an easy task. Volchenkov’s goal in game 1 was a complete fluke off of a Kings defender, while the Carter goal was a nice tip after the puck was thrown on net. These goals show that the Devils need to continue shooting and getting players to the front of the net to hope for the best. Quick is the best goalie in the world right now and he will be very hard to beat with a pretty goal.
The Devils have been here before and they believe in themselves after two games. They know what it’s going to take to defeat this amazing Kings team and they will at least get 1 win on the board in LA. I personally think the Kings will win this series in 5 games, while breaking the Devils record for most road wins in the playoffs and setting an impossible to break bar of 11-0 on the road in the playoffs. This Kings team has done something special in these playoffs and I think it will be even more special if they win on the road than if they take this series down with a sweep at home.
Look for the Kings to win this series, but the Devils to avoid the sweep.
Check out the BetOnIt.org betting blog to learn more about ways you can bet on this series and other sporting events in the future.
Written by: Niko de Jonge
The Rangers won a tight one over the Capitals on Saturday night to set up the New Jersey Devils vs New York Rangers Eastern Conference Finals. The two teams will have the luxury of heading home after both home and away games in this series because the drive is only about 25 minutes from the Madison Square Garden to the Prudential Center. This should bode well for whichever team does make the finals, although in the West it is two teams from the same division (Pacific) that are also battling it out. The Rangers have home ice advantage in this series, although both teams were great on the road in the regular season (each winning 24 road games) so I don’t expect much of a home ice advantage in this series but rather a long tight checking series that could go either way.
The odds for this series has the Rangers as the series favourites at -130, while the Devils at +120 are not very big underdogs at all. The Devils looked very good against the Flyers and even though they were pushed to the brink in the first round against the Panthers they were by far the better team. The Rangers situation is a little different with both their first and second round series going the distance and almost every game being extremely tight. I think it is safe to say that the Rangers could have just as easily lost to either the Sens or Capitals, but they have found themselves in the Conference Finals and the favourites to advance to the Stanley Cup.
It’s important to look at a variety of sportsbook review sites when deciding to open an account to bet on this series..
I personally expect the Devils to take this series based on how each team has performed thus far. The Flyers showed how much offensive ability they have in the series with the Penguins, but they couldn’t get much going against the Devils at all, losing 4 straight games after winning game 1 in overtime. If the Devils are able to crack the Rangers team defense, which is very similar to their own, they should be able to outscore New York.
New Jersey finished with only 3 fewer wins than the Rangers after the regular season so it isn’t fair to say that the Rangers had a significantly better regular season. The one aspect where the Rangers are superior to the Devils is in goal. Martin Brodeur has played fairly well, but he isn’t as consistent as he was in his prime, while Lundqvist very rarely has a bad game. The Rangers will win this series if Brodeur can’t find his rhythm, but if he plays like he is capable of for the entire series then the Devils should have the edge.
One thing is for sure, the Kings and Coyotes know how long their flight will be if they make the Stanley Cup Finals. The only question that remains is if they will be heading to MSG or the Prudential Center. My money is on them flying to Newark.
Radulov has tweeted that he is on his way to Nashville and barring any obstacles he will be joining the team within a couple of games. The NHL has said that the Predators still own the rights to Radulov because they never acknowledged the deal he had with the KHL so Nashville has the right to allow him to return from “suspension” and rejoin the team for their playoff push. Preds GM David Poile has stated that he always expected Radulov to return at some point because he felt that Radulov was the type of player who wanted to test himself against the best players in the world. After Radulov plays out this season and playoffs he will become a restricted free agent in the NHL and will likely return for good (these last few regular season games and the playoffs will likely determine if he does stay because they will determine his NHL value moving forward). So now that we are fairly certain that Nashville will be adding Radulov the question becomes how much does he help them and does he turn them into a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
Many will argue that having two of the best d-men in the NHL and the few moves they made near the deadline (Gill, Kostitsyn and Gaustad) will have already put them as a Cup contender, but others will also argue that they don’t have the high end skill up front to score the necessary goals in the NHL playoffs. At this time Martin Erat leads the team in points with 56, while Mike Fisher and Patrik Hornqvist each have 23 goals to lead the team. The Preds do have 6 players with 40+ points though and they actually have the 4th more goals for in the Western Conference at this time so the whole Nashville can’t score argument goes out the window. But aside from Erat the highest points per game is Fisher at .71. Radulov was a .72 points per game player in his last season in Nashville and by his play in the KHL he has improved and should add some more spark to the lineup.
Radulov will slot in in the top 6 and I don’t expect him to hurt the Predators league leading powerplay. He could be put on the second unit in that respect in order to allow the top unit to continue clicking at their steady pace, but overall the addition of Radulov should help offensively.
And it’s really a no lose situation for the Predators who have about 10 games in the regular season to see where Radulov fits in and make sure he doesn’t mess with any team chemistry and lines that are already clicking. So far the additions of Kostitsyn and Gaustad have fit in nicely so I would expect Radulov, who should be a higher end player than either to fit in even better.
My personal opinion is that Radulov will help the Predators advance to at least the second round again this year and give them a really legitimate shot of winning the Stanley Cup. Visit SportsInteraction.com to check out the Predators Stanley Cup odds now that Radulov is back.
The playoff races in the NHL are heating up. Some teams have virtually guaranteed themselves a spot, while others are basically out of it and will be selling their players at the deadline (Feb. 27). In this post I’m making predictions on where teams will end up in each conferences playoff positions and what match ups we can then expect in the first round. I might as well include points in these predictions too, just for fun!
- New York Rangers – 112 points
- Boston Bruins – 106 points
- Florida Panthers – 94 points
- Pittsburgh Penguins – 102 points
- New Jersey Devils – 102 points
- Philadelphia Flyers – 100 points
- Washington Capitals – 94 points
- Ottawa Senators – 93 points
You may notice that the main change in the standings I expect is for the Capitals to pass both Ontario teams. I think missing Backstrom and Green has hurt this team severely and the word is that Green could be making his return as early as this season. I was never a believer in Green before, but his teams play without him has proven to me that he is a valuable player for the Capitals. The other change I expect is for the Penguins and Devils to slightly pass the Flyers. The Rangers will continue to dominate, slowing down only a little bit, while the Bruins will continue on their pace for the season. The only team that I see having a chance at possibly pushing one of these teams out of the playoffs is the Toronto Maple Leafs. Any one of the Panthers, Capitals, Senators or Maple Leafs could be the odd team out and these teams will need to battle down the stretch to avoid being the one sitting in that horrible 9th position.
- Vancouver Canucks – 115 points
- St. Louis Blues – 112 points
- San Jose Sharks – 107 points
- Detroit Red Wings – 109 points
- Chicago Blackhawks – 101 points
- Nashville Predators – 100 points
- Los Angeles Kings – 93 points
- Phoenix Coyotes – 92 points
The Canucks have been playing incredibly and I expect this to continue down the stretch leading them to their second straight President’s Trophy. It also helps that a lot of the games late in the season are against teams in their division, which are the weakest in the West. The Blues should also continue to play like they have been and secure second in the West. This will cause the Red Wings to drop to 4th. I expect the Red Wings to give some of their top older players more rest down the stretch which will result in them missing out on some points they otherwise may have earned. The Blackhawks should find their game again and jump back up to 5th, while the Kings and Coyotes will squeak into the playoffs. Actually I don’t expect them to really squeak in because I have no confidence in the Flames, Stars, Avalanche or Wild whatsoever. In fact I think the Ducks are the only team that could potentially take a playoff position away from the Kings or Coyotes, but that is a very long shot.
What do you think about these predictions? It is extremely hard to catch up on points in the NHL with all of 3 point games that take place. It will be interesting to see the races develop down the stretch. I constantly check on teams supposed chances of making the playoffs at SportsClubStats.com.
This is likely one of the last matchups the Canadians would have liked in the semi-finals of this years IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships, but it’s the one they got after the Russians defeated the Czech’s in overtime last night. Now the rematch of last years wild final is set to take place tonight at 9:00pm EST. We all remember how last year turned out with the Canadians heading into the 3rd period up 3-0 before allowing 3 quick goals to start the period and 2 more later to lose the game 5-3. This year revenge is in order.
It looks like Scott Wedgewood will be getting the nod in net for the Canadians, which I believe is a good decision, not only because he has been the better goaltender so far in the tournament, but also because Visentin was the one who allowed the 5 goals last year to the Russians and putting him back in the same situation could prove costly. Wedgewood has been great, but so has Russian goaltender Vasilevski who stopped 38 of 39 shots against the Czech’s last night.
Sports Interaction currently has the spread in the game at 2.5 goals with Canada as the favourites, while Bodog has the spread at 2. This may be because SportsInteraction.com is primarily a Canadian sportsbook, but this makes it a great place to wager on Russia. If you do sign up at SportsInteraction.com be sure to leave the Sports Interaction refer a friend code empty in order to receive the 100% up to $125 bonus.
The moneyline at Sports Interaction is -500 for Team Canada and +300 for Russia. I don’t think the two squads are as far apart in quality as these lines suggest, but I do expect Team Canada to pull this one out. Therefore I like the +2.5 puckline bet at Sports Interaction on Russia with odds of -130. Vasilevski should be able to keep the Canadians to a reasonable number of goals and the Russian snipers should provide a little bit of offense in order to keep the game close.
Expect Team Canada to wear down the Russian defense with the strong forechecking game that Canada has become known for in this tournament and employed for a great deal of success over recent years. The winner of this game will surely go into the Finals on Thursday with the label of favourite, so this is a huge game for both teams. The loss last year should be enough to keep Canada from getting complacent this time around if they are able to build a lead.
Visit SportsInteraction.com to bet on this Canada vs Russia semi-final!
Teemu just announced that he will be rejoining the Ducks this season and Ducks fans everywhere must be letting out a huge sigh of relief. Take away the Ducks top 4 forwards and they are a poor team. Reduce that amount to 3 high end guys, including their 2nd leading scorer from the season and a guy who scored a goal per game through 6 games of the playoffs and they aren’t looking too great. With Selanne the Ducks once again have a shot at making the playoffs, although they need many more pieces if they want to go far. That being said the Ducks need the Selanne circa last season, not a slower ‘Finnish Flash’ who isn’t at 100% after knee surgery.
But if Teemu says he’s ready to play, you better believe he’s ready to play. Putting up 80 points in 73 games at 41 years old is unheard of. In fact Gordie Howe and Johnny Bucyk, with Howe being the only to finish in the top 10 in scoring (Selanne was 8th even after missing 7 games). In the playoffs he kept up to speed scoring 6 goals and adding an assist in 6 games. Not to mention how many late game-tying goals he scored in the final stretch when Anaheim was gunning for a playoff spot.
If the Ducks can get anything close to the Selanne of last year they will be laughing. Personally I don’t know why a player would retire after one of the best seasons of their career. Obviously he still has gas left in the tank and the ability to help his team. He might as well pad his stats and cement his place as one of the top NHL players in the history of the game.
I expect Selanne to start up right where he left off last season, scoring goals and amazing fans. Not to mention those fans will be in his home town of Helsinki because the Ducks open their season off there (that might have helped push him in the right direction towards returning to the team).
If Selanne can stay healthy I predict similar numbers to last year. Something along the lines of 29 goals and 45 assists I would expect, with at least half of those goals being on the powerplay. I still don’t plan on placing a division winners bet on Anaheim to take the Pacific this season, but if Selanne’s return will likely make many online sports bettors at least take a second glance at the Ducks Stanley Cup betting lines various online sportsbooks will be offering.
If nothing else fans around the NHL are thankful that they get to watch the skill and finesse of the Finish Flash for at least one more season. I for one am much more likely to stop at the channel at a Ducks game now that he has confirmed his return.