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The Beasts in the NHL East

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/27/2013 1:19:22 AM

The online sports book experts now know which eight teams will be involved in the NHL Eastern Conference playoffs, but the exact order of teams has not yet been determined. After some pretty exciting moments in this shortened season, it looks like teams such as the Winnipeg Jets and Buffalo Sabres will be left out of the postseason. But the teams that did make the playoffs all have their own stories to tell and the betting sites are already picking the teams they think will compete for the Eastern Conference championship.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Most of the sports betting experts are picking the Penguins to win the east and with good reason. The team is loaded with savvy veterans and Pittsburgh has been rolling over the top competition in the Eastern Conference the past couple of weeks. Another piece of good news for the Pens is that Sidney Crosby may actually be able to play in the playoffs. It looks like Sid’s broken jaw is healing very well and he may be cleared for contact this week. If Crosby comes back, then the Penguins have to be everyone’s odds-on favorites to win the east.

Boston Bruins

If it isn’t going to be the Penguins, then it will probably be the Bruins. The Penguins and Bruins are lining themselves up to meet in the Eastern Conference finals and that would be an epic battle. The Bruins have all of the goaltending and goal scoring that they need to win games, but they also have that typical Bruins grit as well. This is just a tough team to play and Boston will give the Penguins all kinds of headaches.

Montreal Canadiens

About the only other team that could offer resistance to the Penguins is the Montreal Canadiens. But when Pittsburgh crushed Montreal a couple of weeks ago, it sent the message that Montreal may not be the team everyone thinks they are. Goaltender Carey Price has been extremely shaky lately and it is about that time of the season when Price would usually fall apart anyways. The fans in Montreal know that they do not have a Patrick Roy in net and that means that expectations are tempered in Montreal.

New York Islanders

Never underestimate the power of momentum when it comes to the playoffs. The Los Angeles Kings scratched into the playoffs as an eighth seed last season and won the Stanley Cup. The Islanders do not quite have the same level of talent that the Kings had last season, but The Islanders are the Cinderella team to bet on in these playoffs. If you want to bet on an underdog that has a chance of winning the east, then it would be the New York Islanders.

The Bottom Line

It would take a lot for a team to stop the Pittsburgh Penguins from moving on to the Stanley Cup finals. The smart money in these NHL playoffs would be on the Penguins.

Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins

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