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2013 NHL Betting Preview: Eastern Conference

2013 NHL Betting Preview: Eastern Conference

2013 NHL Betting Preview: Eastern Conference

The NHL should have started in October, but due to the lockout, there will be 48 games starting from Jan. 19 going through late June and the Stanley Cup Finals. Here is a brief look at each team, their key off-season moves and their betting odds (from Bovada) to win the Cup.

Boston Bruins:
Stanley Cup Odds: 12-1
2011-12 Record: 49-29-4
Key Arrivals: D Aaron Johnson (FA)
Key Losses: G Tim Thomas, D Joe Corvo, D Mike Mottau, LW Benoit Pouliot
Keys for success: Tuukka Rask replaces Tim Thomas as the starting netminder. He's replacing a two-time Vezina away winner. Young D Dougie Hamilton is 6-4 and just 19 but a big-time talent. Is ready for prime time? Tyler Seguin is just 20 and primed for a big year. Boston could be heading towards a Cup if Rask can fill Thomas' shoes.

Buffalo Sabres:
Stanley Cup Odds: 30-1
2011-12 Record: 38-32-11
Key Arrivals: C-W Steve Ott, D Adam Pardy, D John Scott, C Kevin Porter.
Key Losses: C Derek Roy.
Keys for success: The Sabres traded C Derek Roy to Dallas which means more responsibility for Cody Hodgson. They need Thomas Vanek to score 35+ goals again and for the team to find a way to play better o the road (18-20-3).

Carolina Hurricanes:
Stanley Cup Odds: 22-1
2011-12 Record: 33-33-16
Key Arrivals: C Jordan Staal, RW Alexander Semin, D Joe Corvo, G Dan Ellis.
Key Losses: C Brandon Sutter, D Bryan Allen, D Brian Boucher, D Jaroslav Spacek (retired).
Keys for success: The Canes made a huge move getting Stahl, who will join his brother Eric, who scored 24 last year. The key is Semin, who is capable of scoring 40 goals if he can stay healthy. He had 16 points in 20 games in the KHL this season.

Florida Panthers:
Stanley Cup Odds: 40-1
2011-12 Record: 38-26-18
Key Arrivals: D Filip Kuba, C Peter Mueller, RW Jonathan Huberdeau.
Key Losses: D Jason Garrison, RW Mikael Samuelsson, C John Madden, LW Wojtek Wolski.
Keys for success: The Panthers needed some offensive help and they hope that Mueller and Huberdeau will help. He has the speed that they need but is that enough in a tough Southern Division?Thomas Fleischmann has to repeat what he did last year (27 goals).

Montreal Canadiens:
Stanley Cup Odds: 35-1
2011-12 Record: 31-35-16
Key Arrivals: D Francis Bouillon, RW Colby Armstrong, RW Brandon Prust.
Key Losses:  D Chris Campoli, RW Brad Staubitz.
Keys for success: The Canadiens hired a new coach in Michel Therrian and new GM in Marc Bergevin. It will be tough to implement a new system in such a short time. The Habs need Lars Eller to continue to ris from a 16-goal scorer last season to 25+ goals. Two of the team's better players, David Desarnais and Brian Gionta are shorter than 5-8.

New Jersey Devils:
Stanley Cup Odds: 33-1
2011-12 Record: 48-28-6
Key Arrivals: LW Krys Barch..
Key Losses: LW Zach Parise, LW Alexei Ponikawrovsky. 
Keys for success: The Devils have to replace Parise and that's a big loss. They do have Ilya Kovalchuk back after he scored 37 goals last year. David Clarkson added 30 goals last season. But how long can Martin Brodeur be an elite goaltender at 40?

New York Islanders:
Stanley Cup Odds: 75-1
2011-12 Record: 34-37-11
Key Arrivals: D Lubomir Visnovsky, RW Brad Boyes, D Radek Martinek, D Matt Carkner.
Key Losses: RW PA Parenteau, G AJ Montya, Ds Milan Jurcina and Mark Eaton.
Keys for success: The Isles have a decent collection of younger players but they are still have a ways to go. Their time might be 2015-16 when they move into the Barclays Center. They need F Josh Bailey to elevate his game and score 20+ goals.

New York Rangers:
Stanley Cup Odds: 8-1
2011-12 Record: 51-24-7
Key Arrivals: LW Rick Nash.
Key Losses: LW Brandon Prust, D Tim Erixon, Cs Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, C John Mitchell.
Keys for success: The Rangers could take the Cup this year. The addition of Nash gives them a bi-time scorer from the left wing. Now the Rangers have 40+ scorers in Nash and Martin Gaborik. G Henrik Lundqvist (1.97) won the Vezina Trophy last season and is the best in the game right now.

Ottawa Senators:
Stanley Cup Odds: 40-1
2011-12 Record: 41-31-10
Key Arrivals: D Marc Methot, D Mike Lundin, LW Guillaume Latendresse.
Key Losses: D Filip Kuba, Nick Foligno, Zenon Konopka, RW Bobby Butler, Matt Gilroy.
Keys for success: The Sens need to improve on defense. They gave up too many goals and good chances. Methot comes in to throw his 227-pound body around. LW Jakob Silfverberg is a rookie of the year candidate. Erik Karlsson (59 assists) is one of the league's best creators. This should be a playoff team this year and possibly more.

Philadelphia Flyers:
Stanley Cup Odds: 14-1
2011-12 Record: 47-26-9
Key Arrivals: D Luke Schenn, Ds Bruno Gervais and Kurtis Foster.
Key Losses: RW Jaromir Jagr, D Matt Carle, LW James van Riemsdyk, G Sergei Bobrovsky, D Pavel Kubina and F Blair Betts.
Keys for success: The Flyershas the talent to compete for a Cup on offense, but what about the defense? D Luke Schenn comes over from Toronto to improve their blue line chances. Claude Giroux is an MVP candidate and that offense is as good as it gets. They also need more consistent goaltending from Ilya Bryzgalov.

Pittsburgh Penguins:
Stanley Cup Odds: 17-2
2011-12 Record: 51-25-6
Key Arrivals: C Brandon Sutter, G Tomas Vokoun.
Key Losses: C Jordan Staal, D Zbynek Michalek, LW Steve Sullivan.
Keys to success: The Pens are a contender thanks to a healthy Sidney Crosby, who has played just 63 games over the last two seasons. The addition of G Tomas Vokoun as the number two goalie was an underrated move. Once again, it will come down to defense, which was exposed against the Flyers last season in the playoffs.

Tampa Bay Lightning:
Stanley Cup Odds: 30-1
2011-12 Record: 38-36-8
Key Arrivals: G Anders Lindback, Ds Matt Carle, Sami Salo and Matt Taormina.
Key Losses: D Bruno Gervais, G Dwayne Roloson, D Brett Clark, D Mike Commodore.
Keys for success: The Lightning brought in Lindback to improve their goaltending. At 24, he has just 38 games of NHL experience so they are taking a chance. Steve Stamkos (60 goals) has 156 goals in three seasons so scoring is not an issue. It's allowing 281 goals last year, which ranked last in the NHL.

Toronto Maple Leafs:
Stanley Cup Odds: 40-1
2011-12 Record: 35-37-10
Key Arrivals: C Jay McClement, Leo Komarov, LW James van Riemsdyk. 
Key Losses: D Luke Schenn, RW Colby Armstrong, G Jonas Gustavsson.
Keys for success: The Maple Leafs have high expectations this season, though the loss of D Jake Gardiner (concussion) in the early weeks will hurt. Phil Kessel scored 99 goals in three seasons in Toronto but needs help from Nikolai Kulemin, who netted 30 goals in 2010-11 but just seven last year.

Washington Capitals
Stanley Cup Odds: 25-1
2011-12 Record: 42-32-8
Key Arrivals: C Mike Ribiero, LW Wojtek Wolski, RW Joey Crabb, D Jack Hillen, LW Eric Fehr.
Key Losses: RW Alexander Semin, D Dennis Wideman, RW Mike Knuble.
Keys for success: The Caps bring in new coach Adam Oates to add more offensive punch and a new system. They need a healthy D Mike Green to play a full season after playing just 83 games the last two seasons. Goaltender Brandon Holtby was very impressive late last year but is just 23 and has only 21 games of NHL regular season experience.

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