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Canes Struggle For Playoff Berth

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/8/2013 7:24:24 PM

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Carolina Hurricanes – Tuesday April 9, 2013 7:00PM EST

If you are betting on the Carolina Hurricanes making the playoffs this season, then you may be in for a disappointment. The Hurricanes are all but eliminated from playoff contention as the Winnipeg Jets and re-surging Washington Capitals are running away with the Southeast Division. Only one team will make the playoffs from the Southeast and it will be the division winner. Right now that is the Washington Capitals with an eight-point lead over the Hurricanes. Carolina would need a lot of help from Washington and Winnipeg to make the playoffs, but the Canes would also need to help themselves as well.

With captain Sidney Crosby lost until next season with a broken jaw, the Pittsburgh Penguins will have to go all out in the final few games of the season. The team will, once again, have to learn how to survive and win without its captain. The online sports book experts do feel that the additions of veterans such as Jarome Iginla will help the Penguins to adjust to the loss of Crosby. But other teams can forget about the notion that, now that Pittsburgh has secured a playoff spot, the Penguins will coast into the playoffs and start resting players.

Why the Hurricanes Will Win

In order to make the playoffs, the Carolina Hurricanes will have to win all of its remaining 11 games and hope for a complete collapse by the Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets. The sports betting experts do not see the Capitals collapsing any time soon as Alex Ovechkin is on fire and the team is following his lead. The Hurricanes that are playing now are pretty much playing for a job next season and there will be a lot of openings when the season ends for the Caroline Hurricanes.

Why the Penguins Will Win

The Pittsburgh Penguins have gotten so used to playing without Sidney Crosby that this is a team which is ready to win a championship. It is a team loaded with veterans and some very promising young players as well. The recent problems experienced by veteran netminder Tomas Vokoun are a concern to the team because Pittsburgh does not want to have to rely on an inconsistent Marc-Andre Fleury in the playoffs. But if there is any team in the league that can pull itself together and overcome adversity late in the season, it is the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Bottom Line

The Penguins are not consciously chasing the Chicago Blackhawks for the President’s Trophy as neither team probably wants to win the playoff kiss of death anyways. The Penguins just want to keep winning and have a nice groove going as the playoffs arrive. While the Hurricanes are not mathematically eliminated from the playoff hunt yet, the team is really not playing for anything except next season. This will be a tough game, but it should be a game that Pittsburgh can win.

Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins

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