Online Sports Betting’s 2015-16 NHL Metropolitan Division Preview
Odds To Win The Stanley Cup: 100/1
The Canes haven’t made it to a single postseason dance in the ’10s and that trend looks to continue this go-around. Young talent like Justin Faulk and sniper Jeff Skinner will be expected to help move Carolina’s rebuild along. Expect trade rumours galore to swirl around captain Eric Staal if/when the team falls out of the playoff picture.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Odds To Win The Stanley Cup: 25/1
CBJ followed-up an exciting breakout season with a disappointing step back in 2014-15. To be fair, Columbus was mauled by the injury bug and look capable of bouncing back starting this fall. One issue the team will have to face regardless of their sick bay situation is fixing up a lousy defense that ranked 25th in goals against. The return of Ryan Murray to the blueline should help immensely.
New Jersey Devils
Odds To Win The Stanley Cup: 75/1
The Garden State will have to embrace life without Lou. Lou Lamoriello is out as GM and Ray Shero is in and that might help the Devils jumpstart a sense of offensive identity. New Jersey scored an anemic 2.15 goals per game and are in desperate need of the lamp getting lit.
New York Islanders
Odds To Win The Stanley Cup: 22/1
Long Island’s in the rear view, as the Isles begin their new life in Brooklyn. Scoring shouldn’t be a problem for the Islanders considering that they boast stars like John Tavares, Ryan Strome and Kyle Okposo. One thing that might be a problem? Shaky D and an ineffective penalty kill. There’s the possibility Garth Snow will have to deal one of his young assets to improve the blueline.
New York Rangers
Odds To Win The Stanley Cup: 10/1
The Rangers battled their way into the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight season, but came away emptyhanded in 2015. The goaltending’s on point and their homegrown talent is still as fearsome as ever in 2015-16. One has to wonder if the Rangers are doomed to tread water if they don’t bring in another key player (apologies to recent signing Jarret Stoll) or is it merely a case of being patient with the bulk of the current young roster as is? We’ll get something resembling an answer in this year’s playoffs.
Odds To Win The Stanley Cup: 75/1
The Flyers have gone from reliably competitive to a bit of a mess in the ’10s. Philadelphia definitely has enough talent on the roster to be competitive, but the execution’s been lacking. It’s tempting to blame Philly’s problems on goaltending, although that requires overlooking the lack of goal production up front. New bench boss Dave Hakstol has been tasked with getting the most out of the Flyers this season.
Odds To Win The Stanley Cup: 14/1
The Pens are currently up for sale, but the team had no problem getting a bargain deal on Leafs castoff Phil Kessel. The American forward joins Crosby and Malkin as the pillars of Pittsburgh’s offense as they aim to return to their previous glory. The Penguins will need their tune-ups to the bottom six to pay off and for the enigma that is Marc-Andre Fleury to show consistently strong play if they’re really going to revive themselves in 2015-16.
Odds To Win The Stanley Cup: 18/1
The Capitals appear to be on the upswing. Holtby’s doing great work in goal, Ovechkin’s meshed with coach Barry Trotz and young talents like Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson point to a real bright future in the District of Columbia. Can Washington continue to boast the best power play in hockey with Mike Green off in Motown? It’ll be tricky, but the Caps look like they can make the adjustment. The arrival of T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams could also have a big impact.
Our Pick For Division Champ: Washington
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