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Montreal Canadiens Odds - Smaller, older, faster but not better

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/24/2012 11:46:29 AM
NHL oddsMontreal Canadiens odds are among the toughest to forecast for the 2009-10, as the Habs were so busy this offseason that they look like an entirely different team. General manager Bob Gainey spent money like crazy, adding lots of speed and skill. But the big question for NHL betting fans is: Did the Habs actually get better?

Montreal Canadiens odds: Offseason spending spree will make them competitive, but not better

  • Habs have speed to spare up front, but the forwards will get pushed around
  • Montreal now has one of the league’s deepest bluelines
  • A make-or-break year for Carey Price in goal

Montreal Canadiens odds maker breakdown: OFFENSE

You know it’s a wild offseason when a team can introduce an all-new first line in Game 1 the next year. The Habs spent and dealt like mad and, while they ate some massive salaries that will weigh them down in the long run, they have to be happy with acquiring Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta and Michael Cammalleri. The trio joins with Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn to form what should be the fastest group of forwards in the NHL.

However, it doesn’t take a betting genius to realize that Montreal is now probably the smallest team in the league up front, at least in its top six. Its diminutive group will take a beating from the bruising bluelines in Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto.

Montreal Canadiens odds maker breakdown: DEFENSE

Even though the Habs lost stalwart Mike Komisarek to free agency, they should be better defensively in the short term. Newcomers Hal Gill, Jaroslav Spacek and Paul Mara join Andrei Markov and Roman Hamrlik to give Montreal a deep, veteran group that brings a little bit of everything – size and physicality mixed with adequate puck-moving skill.

Montreal Canadiens odds maker breakdown: GOALTENDING

Sigh. How could any sane sportsbook bettor really know what the Habs have between the pipes in 2009-10? This season will be crucial for Carey Price. In his third campaign, he must show better dedication on and off the ice and more consistency. If he doesn’t, the critical Habs faithful could further turn on the man they once heralded as the next Patrick Roy.

Montreal Canadiens odds maker breakdown: SPECIAL TEAMS

What happened to the Habs’ once-amazing power play? Management got cocky, that’s what. Sheldon Souray filled the net as the “boomer” from the point two seasons ago; Montreal cast him off. Then Mark Streit flourished; Montreal let him walk. The thinking was that anyone could succeed in that role – almost like NFL running backs in Denver under Mike Shanahan. Last season, however, showed that the power play can’t work when the trigger man can’t really shoot the puck. Andrei Markov is a good quarterback, but the Habs arguably didn’t address the “boomer” void unless you think Spacek can handle the job. Montreal’s mediocre penalty kill could get a slight boost thanks to Gill’s long reach and the addition of big checking forward Travis Moen.

Montreal Canadiens odds maker breakdown: SEASON OUTLOOK

The Habs added enough high-impact personnel that it’s tough to imagine them taking a huge step back. However, this is suddenly an old, small team that should get pushed around in the rugged Eastern Conference. Montreal will fight tooth and nail for a playoff berth, but whether it finishes eighth or ninth is anyone’s guess.

For Montreal Canadiens betting and other sports betting tips, read the Betting Edge at right through to the Stanley Cup final.

Who better to offer great sports betting and hockey tips than a native Canadian? Like any good Canuck, Don Melrose eats, sleeps, breathes and bets hockey, making him the perfect NHL handicapper. Thoughts or questions?



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