Beginning this week, DeadHitSports will regularly look at the National Hockey League as teams drive for the 2018 Stanley Cup in June. We’ll look at hockey betting, NHL news and notes, and insight into which teams and players are taking off.
2018 NHL Playoff Betting Advice
Ducks are surging
The Anaheim Ducks are starting to round into form. It took almost 60 games to do it, but we’re now seeing the team that got to the Western Conference Final last season. They’ve won four games in a row and have vaulted into the playoff picture in the West. Sure, it’s a crowded mix for 8 postseason berths. But Anaheim has the pedigree, the talent and the depth to make it happen.
Currently, they are 20-1 NHL betting odds to win the Cup. They opened the season at 15-1, so it’s a bargain to grab them now.
The mark of a good team is to win or stay afloat even when injuries pile up. Anaheim has had the most injuries in the league. Yet here they are, ready to load up and fight for the cup. They have scoring from all four lines, two good goalies and a coach who’s won it all. I like their hockey odds right now.
Erik Karlsson won’t be moved at the NHL trade deadline
The Ottawa Senators were a goal away from going to the final last year. And now they’re liquidating players. Crazy. Some folks believe that captain Erik Karlsson will be on the move. Are you kidding? This is a franchise that struggles to sell out and that needs a new arena. Unless they’re given a king’s ransom for their best player, don’t look for them to move him. If they do decide to part with him, look for the NHL Draft to be the place that it happens. You can’t just integrate a top flight defenseman into a team and not expect some chemistry issues for a while. The offseason makes much more sense.
Taylor Hall is good
When you pick up a point in every game that you player in 2018, you’re good! Taylor Hall has been outstanding for the Devils. He simply can’t be stopped right now. Some experts think he should be in the conversation for MVP. I couldn’t agree more. The front runners like Kucherov of the Lightning or Malkin of the Penguins have MUCH better supporting casts. Hall creates most of his own chances as a winger, which isn’t common. I really think that he deserves to be in the MVP conversation. Just because the Devils aren’t a sexy team to follow doesn’t mean that Hall hasn’t been one of the top 3 most important players to his team this season.
The Montreal Canadiens are in the midst of their worst season in a few years. All the warning signs were there. They lost key defensive and offensive pieces last offseason, but didn’t really replace them adequately. That, and they have the worst collection of centermen in the league – and it’s not even close! How will they rebound and contend again any time soon? They have a small pool of prospects and a lot of salary tied up in older players. Yikes. It’s a rough time to be a Canadiens fan right now.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Follow him @MatthewWords.