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Tips For Betting On NHL Southeast Division – Hurricanes Could Be Darkhorse Contender To Emerge From Southeast Division In 2013

Posted by Don Melrose on 1/8/2013 6:02:02 PM

The last time there was NHL hockey, the Florida Panthers surprised all of the online betting experts and not only made the playoffs, but they won the Southeast division. With a team comprised largely of free agents on one-year contracts, the Panthers banded together and finished with 94 points, two ahead of the Washington Capitals for the division title. Florida overcame a .500 road record by doing an excellent job on their own home ice, but with many of those key players moving on in the offseason they will be hard-pressed to repeat in 2013. Jason Garrison was among the key pieces that departed from the team in the offseason, and the Panthers’ dropoff is projected by their +4,000 odds to win the Stanley Cup this coming season.

Of course, the Capitals are expected to compete for the Southeast division in 2013, but are still considered a second-tier team in the pursuit of the Stanley Cup at +2,200 online sportsbook odds. Washington will once again be led by captain Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom up front, but will be without Alex Semin after he departed in free agency. The Capitals are hoping the acquisition of center Mike Ribeiro will help offset the loss of Semin and help Ovechkin’s production up front, but Washington still won’t have an easy time locking up the Southeast division this season.

The biggest reason for that is because the Carolina Hurricanes are expected to take a step forward in 2013, and are also listed at +2,200 odds to win the Stanley Cup. Carolina has the best goalie in the Southeast division in Cam Ward, and added both Semin and Jordan Staal to an already talented, young roster for 2013. The Hurricanes will have a lot of work ahead of them to turn things around after finishing at the bottom of the division a year ago, but the talent is there and a strong start could boost them in to the postseason. The numbers are there on paper to think this team certainly has a shot, and they could be a darkhorse contender out of the Southeast division.

The Tampa Bay Lightning feel they have the talent up front to compete for a playoff spot as well, but the biggest issue they face is a lack of elite goaltending. Tampa Bay is listed at +2,800 sports betting odds to win the Stanley Cup and while that is unlikely at this point, steady goaltending could be enough to help them contend for a playoff spot. The same can be said for the Winnipeg Jets, who at +4,500 odds are considered the Southeast division team least likely to win the Stanley Cup. The Jets feel they have a good young core if they can land a couple more key pieces, but it could still be some time before they will be legitimate playoff contenders. Overall, the Southeast division should be improved in 2013, and that will make it tougher on both the Lightning and the Jets to get in.

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