NHL Future Bets To Avoid
Teams Not To Back In Futures Market
By Bob Duff
A new year has dawned and the drive for playoff positions in the NHL is heating up dramatically. The wheat is steadily being separated from the chaff, though there are still some teams that can pull the wool over your eyes and make you believe that they are legitimate contenders when in fact, they are not.
These are the teams you should look to avoid if you are still planning on playing a Stanley Cup future book wager, with Stanley Cup odds courtesy of Bovada.lv:
A 12-game winning streak brought Minnesota to the brink of first overall in the NHL’s Western Conference and people were just wild about the Wild. But the same maladies that have held this team back for years will again prove to be their downfall in 2016-17.
There just isn’t enough depth of talent on the Wild roster and too much is asked of key players such as defenseman Ryan Suter, who has averaged 27:11 per game. The outcome is they run out of gas by the time the playoffs get underway. And as great as Devan Dubnyk’s numbers are right now, his playoff digits are disastrous – 6-10 with a 2.84 goals-against average and .896 save percentage.
A franchise-record 16-game winning streak got everyone in hockey talking about the Blue Jackets but let’s not get carried away. Heating up in November and December is vastly different than igniting in April, May and June.
Sergei Bobrovsky is definitely a world-class goalie and the Blue Jackets are a team on the rise but their time is not now. They are the youngest team in the NHL and remember, this is a franchise that’s made the playoffs twice in their history and has never won a playoff series. To expect Columbus to roll all the way to a Stanley Cup title this spring would be a foolhardy wager.
Another young team on the rise, everyone was all over the Oilers when they burst from the starting gate in October with the pace of Secretariat. But like the Belmont Stakes, the run to the Stanley Cup is a long, arduous race and already the Oilers are starting to show signs of running out of steam.
Like the Blue Jackets, the Flyers utilized a long run of success – a 10-game winning streak in November and December – to get people fired up about their chances. And with talent up front like Claude Giroux, Josef Voracek and Wayne Simmonds, there’s plenty to admire about Philly.
The problem comes when the Flyers don’t have the puck. Keeping it out their net is a significant issue, and teams that can’t do that don’t last long in the playoffs. At .898, Philadelphia’s goalies own one of the worst save percentages in the NHL.
Not so long ago, you could get +6600 on the Flames, and that was a more realistic price on the chances of them winning the Stanley Cup. But a 9-4 December and a stellar run of success from career backup goalie Chad Johnson, who went 11-2 from Nov. 15-Dec. 10, got people all excited about Calgary.
A word of caution – Johnson lost his last four December decisions and Calgary closed out the month with three successive losses. The Flames are about to come crashing down to earth like an Apollo command module.