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Saturday’s Fearsome Foursome ON ICE!

Saturday’s Fearsome Foursome ON ICE!

Saturday’s Fearsome Foursome ON ICE!
by: Scott Rickenbach

Looking for value on a Saturday card? Of course we all know about the College Football card as that’s where most bettors turn at this time of year. However, those that are looking to pad their bankrolls with even more profits realize that value can be had on a deep Saturday card of NHL action. With 13 games to choose from on a Saturday that promises to be full of “Puck Bucks” let’s take a look at four potential “investment opportunities” and what we will term our “Fearsome Foursome”:

COLORADO @ DALLAS – Many people are not surprised to see the Avalanche get involved in high scoring games. Their first four games this season have totaled thirty goals for an average of 7.5 goals per game. However, what on earth is going on in Dallas? The Stars first four games have also totaled thirty goals for an average of 7.5 goals per game. Of course, when ‘craziness’ like this happens we don’t ask too many questions; rather, we simply jump in and take advantage of it! Each of these two teams have gone over the total in three of their first four games and more of the same could be on tap on Saturday in the lone afternoon game on the NHL card! The Avalanche goaltending continues to be a concern as Peter Budaj has struggled. Andrew Raycroft had a strong debut with the Avs Thursday night but Budaj is still expected to get the start Saturday. Things have not gone well for Marty Turco of the Stars early this season either!

MINNESOTA @ TAMPA BAY – Before going on this road trip to face three Southeast Division clubs the Wild seemed very focused on heading down south and picking up six points on this three game road trip. There was just a good feel in the locker-room for this club and, so far, that has proven to be a sign of good things to come! The Wild won the first two games of their road trip by a combined score of 10 to 4 and they now face a Lightning club that is enduring early struggles with all the changes. Bringing in coach Barry Melrose as well as a lot of new faces on the roster has hurt this team’s chances for early season success. As a result, Tampa Bay is still winless on the season and the Lightning are now facing a Wild club that is disciplined and plays in a solid system under coach Jacques Lemaire. The Lightning system is still a work-in-progress and, although all the losses for Tampa Bay have come by one goal, it’s hard to see them getting over the hump here with the way the Wild are rolling!

CHICAGO @ ST LOUIS – In a shocking early season move, Blackhawks coach Denis Savard was fired just four games into the season and it came right after Chicago got their first win of the season! In fact, the Blackhawks had earned three points in their last two games and appeared to be turning things around. However, with all the talent the Hawks have on hand, Chicago management felt that it was unacceptable for the Blackhawks to open up the season winless in their first three games. Look for Chicago to respond on the ice after seeing their coach fired and look for the Blues to be the first victim. The Blackhawks are catching the Blues at the ideal time as St Louis just knocked off the Stars 6 to 1 on Thursday! After a big win over Dallas, it will likely be tough for the Blues to match the hunger and energy that the Blackhawks will bring to the ice. The Hawks have the roster strength to be one of the top teams in the Western Conference while St Louis, despite their 3-1 start, still looks like one of the worst. Could be solid line value here with the Blackhawks who will also be motivated to take down a division rival who, unlike them, is off to a good start this season!

PHILADELPHIA @ SAN JOSE – The Flyers are off to a very poor start this season but it’s often the wounded dog that bites the hardest and Philadelphia could be catching San Jose at the perfect time! The Sharks will be coming off of a tough divisional battle at Anaheim on Friday night and that makes this a tough, back to back spot for the Sharks as they will be dealing with strong, physical teams on back to back nights. Yes, the Flyers are off to an ugly start this season but after Coach John Stevens tirade after Philadelphia lost at Colorado on Friday, you might be surprised at how well the Flyers play on Saturday night! Certainly this is a capable club as they went all the way to the conference finals last season before bowing out against Pittsburgh. The Flyers are 0-3-1 on the season but they had faced the Rangers, Canadiens, and Penguins before losing at Colorado on Thursday. Facing four playoff teams (and facing some of them in tough situational spots) made for a very rough start to the season for the Flyers. Now they are the team with a situational advantage and that could show up in the form of a big upset on Saturday night! Flyers might be worth a look here!

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