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NHL Northeast Division Betting Predictions – Teams Line Up To Challenge Bruins In Northeast Division

Posted by Don Melrose on 1/9/2013 6:47:40 PM

The National Hockey League is back, and that means the renewal of some of the great rivalries that make the game what it is. While those rivalries certainly aren’t limited to one division, there is no group that has produced more intense competition than in the Northeast division, where the storied histories of the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Boston Bruins have collided with the more recent histories of the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators. Each of these matchups have produced some incredible stories from over the years, and it will be interesting to see which teams can challenge the big, bad Bruins atop the division in 2013.

Boston will once again be the sports betting favorites to win the Northeast at +1,100 odds, after finishing first in the division a year ago. The Bruins following up their Stanley Cup win with a division title and return the playoffs, but will be looking for much more this season as they regroup to make another run. Tuukka Rask will take over as the team’s No. 1 goaltender after a brilliant season last year, as Boston will once again be the biggest and most physical team in the NHL. The shortened season may work against them as the other teams from the division aren’t as fatigued, but that only means that the Bruins will need to work harder.

While the Senators were the only other online betting team from the Northeast to compete for a playoff spot last year that will change in 2013. Both the Canadiens and Maple Leafs have made changes that will improve their chances of getting in, and the shortened schedule will give them that much more leverage if they can start fast out of the gate. Montreal has the advantage of a young team that took a step forward last season and overcame a ton of injuries, as well as franchise goaltender Carey Price. Toronto was on pace to make the playoffs before a late skid curtailed their hopes of getting in, but another fast start could be enough to make the difference. Ottawa will be in tough to repeat with higher expectations, and are listed at just +4,000 odds to win the Stanley Cup, exactly the same number as both the Canadiens and the Maple Leafs.

As for the darkhorse in the division, the Sabres could be the team nobody is talking about that ends up getting in. Buffalo is listed ahead of the Senators, Canadiens, and Maple Leafs at +2,800 to win it all, and if Ryan Miller is healthy they will be hard to stop. The Sabres made a splash in free agency last online sportsbook season but lacked the chemistry required to make a run, with Miller battling concussion symptoms for most of the year. That won’t be the case in 2013, when it could be Buffalo that unseats the Bruins atop the Northeast division. The rivalries within the division are what make it so exciting, and that will only intensify in a lockout-shortened 2013 season.

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