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New York Rangers Odds - New faces, same mid-tier result for Rangers

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/24/2012 11:45:38 AM
NHL bettingOpening New York Rangers odds look very similar to start this year as last season. They have solid goaltending, but their defense and offense are question marks. There have been a lot of moving parts up front, though, and if that equates to more scoring, the Rangers could be a Stanley Cup threat. Otherwise, expect another disappointing season in the Big Apple.

New York Rangers Odds:

  • Will changes equate to more scoring?
  • Rangers must improve 29th-ranked power play
  • How big of a difference will John Tortorella make?

New York Rangers odds maker breakdown: OFFENSE

Online betting cappers aren’t sure what to make of the Rangers offense. Gone are players like Scott Gomez, Nikolay Zherdev and Nik Antropov, who underachieved for the most part. In their stead is a cast of new faces including Marian Gaborik, Chris Higgins and Alex Kotalik.

On paper, Kotalik and Gaborik could combine for 80 or 90 goals this year, but both players struggle to stay healthy. Vinny Prospal was a nice addition and he could be a sneaky source for points, while growth from Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callaghan will be expected. With holdovers Chris Drury and Sean Avery, the Rangers do have enough scoring, grit and toughness up front, but can they stay healthy and play up to expectations?

New York Rangers odds maker breakdown: DEFENSE

The sportsbook odds makers feel that the Rangers blue line is the weakest aspect of the team. With Daniel Girardi, Wade Redden, Michael Roszival and Marc Staal as the top four defenders, the Rangers have a fairly anonymous group. Nobody will mix any of these guys up with Niklas Lidstrom. But in general, this unit is unspectacular but reliable. None of their top six defensemen finished with a plus-minus rating better than -1 but they also didn’t embarrass themselves.

Redden was a particular disappointment on the power play for the Rangers last year so, if this team is in contention, don’t be surprised if they make a move at the deadline to get a No. 1 defenseman.

New York Rangers odds maker breakdown: GOALTENDING

NHL betting analysts rate Henrik Lundqvist as a top-five goalie in the NHL, and he’s often the one cleaning up his defenseman’s mistakes. With a better unit in front of him, Lundqvist might be considered the overall best. As the ideal No. 1 goalie, Lundqvist can carry the Rangers at times, steal them wins in the playoffs, and act as a humble team player. Backup Steve Valiquette isn’t a threat to his job whatsoever but he is reliable at least.

New York Rangers odds maker breakdown: SPECIAL TEAMS

One thing that could shoot the Rangers up the standings is their power play. The Rangers ranked second-to-last in power play last season, and Redden’s struggles were a big part of that. Without a power play quarterback the Rangers were sluggish moving the puck up ice, and they also lacked finishers when they got there. Kotalik, Gaborik and Prospal figure to help the latter problem out, if they can all stay healthy.

As far as penalty killing goes, it doesn’t get much better than the Rangers. They led the league by killing 87.8% of their shorthanded situations last year.

New York Rangers odds maker breakdown: SEASON OUTLOOK

The Rangers look good on paper, but the games are played on ice. If Gaborik and Kotalik stay healthy; if Tortorella motivates this team instead of grinding its gears; if the power play shoots up and if the defense is reliable, then the Rangers could be a surprise team in the East. What's more likely is this team finishes with a mid-tier playoff spot, wins a round, and then skates into the sunset after failing to meet expectations again.

For regular sports betting and handicapping information, visit the Betting Edge throughout the entire NHL season.

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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