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Philadelphia Flyers Odds - Goaltending only weakness for this contender

Posted by Don Melrose on 9/16/2009 9:33:08 AM
hockey bet oddsThe Philadelphia Flyers odds should see plenty of action at the sportsbook from anyone wagering on futures right now, as the Broadstreet Bullies are a popular Eastern Conference contender pick. They’re big, strong, fast and brash, but can they keep the puck out of the net?

Philadelphia Flyers Odds: Deep, well-rounded team can go deep in playoffs if goaltending pans out

  • Flyers may have the Eastern Conference’s best forward corps
  • Chris Pronger seriously bolsters an already-respectable defense
  • Ray Emery is another wildcard goalie signing; will Philly ever learn?

Philadelphia Flyers odds maker breakdown: OFFENSE
With an unmatched blend of size, speed and pure offensive creativity, not to mention great depth, the Flyers’ forwards are the Eastern Conference’s answer to the Chicago Blackhawks. Need goals? Jeff Carter has emerged as an elite sniper, Simon Gagne can still find twine when healthy, and Scott Hartnell is an underrated power forward. Playmaking? Daniel Briere has magic hands and Mike Richards can do pretty much anything on the ice. Speed? Claude Giroux should make the team out of camp and stick all season.

Crazily enough, the Flyers have even more help on the way, as prospect James Van Riemsdyk could make the big club. This team can score.

Philadelphia Flyers odds maker breakdown: DEFENSE
Philly already had a solid group of blueliners; now its hockey betting prospects for this season look even better with the Chris Pronger acquisition. At 34 years old, Pronger is still a premiere shutdown defenseman, a brutal checker with a serious mean streak. He skates well enough for his size and chips in plenty offensively too. He’ll combine with Mike Richards to form a great tandem of leaders.

In addition to Richards’ great back checking from the center position, Pronger has plenty of help on the back end. Braydon Coburn has become one of the NHL’s most complete defenders; Kimmo Timonen is a surehanded power-play quarterback; Matt Carle has room to grow; Ryan Parent still has star potential if he makes the team.

Philadelphia Flyers odds maker breakdown: GOALTENDING
The one major question mark for the Flyers is goaltending. This is a recording. The Flyers “addressed” the situation by signing Ray Emery from the KHL. If I’m a Flyers fan, I’m furious right now. Philly has its deepest, most talented team since the Lindros/LeClair heyday and is perhaps one reliable goalie away from a Stanley Cup. What does management do? It signs yet another enigmatic, shaky, unpredictable goalie in the mold of Roman Cechmanek, Robert Esche, Brian Boucher and Martin Biron. It’s amazing how often one team makes the same mistake.

Philadelphia Flyers odds maker breakdown: SPECIAL TEAMS
With their amount of firepower, the Flyers obviously have a top-10 power play and that won’t change this season. They also had the sixth-best penalty kill in the league last year; that rank doesn’t fully reflect how good they were, as they led the NHL with 16 shorthanded goals and thus reduced the damage penalties do to them. That’s a crucial stat for a team that took the second-most penalties in league in 2008-09.

Philadelphia Flyers odds maker breakdown: SEASON OUTLOOK
The Eastern Conference is crowded with contenders, but the Flyers have to be part of that group. They’re deeper than Pittsburgh and more complete than Washington or Carolina. I can’t fault any online betting sharp that picks them to win the East, but bettors should beware that goaltending may hold them back yet again.

Keep reading the Betting Edge at all hockey season for sports betting tips and full Philadelphia Flyers odds.

Don Melrose is's hockey expert.



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