Six bets we’ll close before the NHL season kicks off on Tuesday night – The Athletic
Starting from 2021 to 22 NHL The season is just a few days away from opening day opening night on October 12 closer. Firstly Tampa Bay Lightning will raise their newest banner before using Pittsburgh Penguins. The second match came with a different pattern and circumstances in Las Vegas. NS Golden Knight organization Kraken in Seattle’s first regular season game.
There are many unknowns about to enter the new year. Will Lightning have enough gear to win a third Stanley Cup in a row? Ability. Will Toronto finally get out of round one? Probably not (I’m okay being wrong here). Can Seattle recreate some of the expansive magic that Vegas had a few years ago? Who knows. Luckily, there are odds to all of this, and I’ve picked out six futures to help you navigate last-minute betting last season.
Anaheim Ducks – Trevor Zegras to win the Calder Memorial Trophy at +550
History isn’t exactly on Zegras’ side here, as the two most recent Calder winners were on playoff teams. But The Athletic’s Eric Stephens has rated the 20-year-old midfielder as Anaheim’s breakout star this season and I’m right there with him. Zegras showed his prowess in college – he had 25 assists as a freshman at Boston University – and that creativity and playstyle carried over to the NHL when he moved from the wing to center and had 10 assists in his first 24 games with the Ducks. His 13 points last year brought him to a pace of 44 points in 82 games. Considering Anaheim committed the NHL’s worst offense a year ago, there are likely to be plenty of opportunities for Zegras to skate as a top-six striker. If the production is comparable to its ice age, Zegras should have a spot in the Calder Trophy.
Colorado Avalanche – Darcy Kuemper to win the Vezina Trophy with +1300
Kuemper is one of the rare instances in the past decade when being in Arizona has benefited a player’s career. The thing is, he was never given the chance to be a real top scorer until now. Colorado acquired Kuemper after Philipp Grubauer signed with Seattle. We saw Kuemper’s potential clearly in the 2018-19 season, when he made 55 starts and ranked 5th in Vezina’s poll. He finished seventh the following year while tearing the net. In three full seasons with Prairie wolf, Kuemper is 53-42-13 with an average of 2.35 goals allowed, 0.922 saves and nine saves. With backup Pavel Francouz After 3-4 weeks, Kuemper will have the opportunity to make an early statement with a heavy workload.
Hurricane Carolina – Below 95.5 points at -130
Carolina has been out of the 99-point campaign for a couple of years and has won an average of 37 games over the two shortened pandemic seasons, a pace that could hit 96 points if the situation were to go. The keyword here is if. The hurricanes benefited greatly from their geography last year, lumped together into a redesigned division with Tampa Bay, Florida, and a series of rebuilding crews. But it’s back to the Metropolitan Division for 2021-22 and Carolina’s notable season moves – parting with Dougie Hamilton, Alex Nedeljkovic and Petr Mrazek; add Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Ethan Bear, Antti Raanta and Frederik Andersen – doesn’t seem enough to repeat its success from a year ago.
New York Islanders – Win the Eastern Conference with +1000
The third time must be a charm, right? After a comeback in the Eastern Conference Finals / Stanley Cup Semifinals, the Islanders are back stronger than they were a year ago. It’s a cast that’s almost identical to the one that brought Lightning to seven games, minus Nick Leddy and Travis Zajac. Anders Lee is back after tearing the ACL in March and New York will have a full season too Kyle Palmieri while adding Zdeno Chara and Zach Parise. The biggest questions at the moment are Semyon Varlamovthe state of readiness for opening night and how well the Isles handled it in their 13-game season opener trip. The second problem is obviously more, but Barry TrotzTheir team has 50 lane wins in the three seasons since he took over. The Islanders own the sixth-shortest odds in their conference, which seems a bit low for how consistent they’ve been compared to the teams up front. It’s highly likely that New York will have to beat Tampa Bay or Toronto next summer to reach the final, but this could be the best shot to do so.
Nashville Predators – Missed the playoffs with -300
The Predator has appeared seven times in a row post-season, but I’m fading in Nashville this year. First and foremost, that streak would very well have ended two years ago without an expanded playoff playing field in the bubble. And while the Predators beat Carolina in the opening round last season, there’s not much to build from there. Dom Luszczyszyn’s model predicts Nashville to earn 86.7 points, which would be the fewest points in an 82-game season since 2002-03. Last season also did not make the Predators much favor. Calle Jarnkrok was introduced by Seattle in the expanded draft, Ryan Ellis has been traded and Pekka Rinne retired, though Juuse Saros has become the main initiator in the network. There are also expiring contracts of Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm. Nashville may choose to trade one or both on the trade deadline, which would deal a breakout blow to Predator if they remain competitive at that point.
Tampa Bay Lightning – Under 106.5, -110
Listen, I know what you’re thinking. The Atlantic Division has been at the top for a few years, and the Lightning is a two-time Stanley Cup defending champion. But this team has won two championships in less than 12 months. You have to wonder how (and when) fatigue plays out this season and who it affects. Tampa’s stars also have a bit of a history of mid-trauma Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Brayden’s point all the time missing in the last few years. Then there’s the whole line of strikers that need to be replaced later Yanni Gourde, Barclay Goodrow and Blake Coleman all went elsewhere during the season. Oh, and there’s a good bet that Lightning will have the most players in Olympic. The fact of the matter is that the Lightning is still one of the NHL’s better teams and will most likely come back in the knockout stages. But 107 points in the regular season would require close to 50 wins over eight or nine losses in extra time. That seems like a period when how much more hockey has been played by the club over the past few seasons.
(Photo by Darcy Kuemper: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images; Athletic may receive an affiliate commission if you open an account with BetMGM via the links included in the article above.)
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