According to casinos, the Pittsburgh Penguins are again the betting favorites to win the Stanley Cup. As training camps begin across the NHL, the Pens are an 8-1 favorite to hoist Lord Stanley’s chalice for a third consecutive year.
The Penguins are followed by Edmonton at 9-1, then the Chicago Blackhawks at 12-1.
If you like to bet on favorites, take Edmonton. They look like the Penguins, circa 2008: a young team with a ton of talent and hungry for a splash on the big stage. They’re the best in the West, easily. They have enough in every facet of the game. Oh, and Connor McDavid.
I wouldn’t touch the Penguins at 8-1. The payoff isn’t good enough for the risk. I certainly won’t touch the Blackhawks at 12-1. As Thomas Wolfe wrote, you can’t go home again. The Blackhawks are trying to reassemble their championship teams with Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp. But anyone who watched Nashville dispatch them in Round 1 last year knows–Chicago has more than a few shortcomings against good opponents. There are a lot of miles on the ‘Hawks tires.
**Quick reminder, betting odds have less to do with actual favorites to win and more to do with the amount of money being bet on any team. If nobody bet on the Penguins, they would be a 1000-1 pick, to attract wagers.
There are a few longer shots to consider. The Toronto Maple Leafs at 15-1 are a solid choice. The Columbus Blue Jackets at 20-1 are a nice bet, too. The Blue Jacket longer odds fit the nearly great team which will have great competition. The Blue Jackets had 108 points last season, and if not for the Penguins and a sluggish series from Sergei Bobrovsky, the Blue Jackets very well could have won the East.
My favorite long shot pick is the Ottawa Senators. Last season’s Eastern Conference runner-up is 33-1. Consider, the Senators were a knuckle puck shot in a Game 7 double overtime away from playing for the Stanley Cup. I think they would have beat Nashville. A team like Ottawa knows how to strangle a skating team like Toronto or Pittsburgh. They’re strong up the middle and gritty on defense. They’re 40-1 because no one bets the unsexy team in the middle of nowhere…
Betting advice is purely for entertainment purposes!
Website Update: We’re Going Legit
It’s no secret we want to create a sustainable, legitimate media outlet. This summer we’ve been the first to report the Danis Zaripov connection to the Penguins and we were the first to report the poorly kept secret of when Rick Tocchet would actually sign-on in Arizona. We’ve also had free agent news that no one else had.
Since our launch in late April, our traffic has reached mainstream levels. Actually, our family of websites has pulled insane traffic, into seven figures per month. We are hiring an editor and, I believe, we’re about to hire at least one recognizable writer to provide more content. We hope to be THE go-to source for hockey news, analysis, and opinion.
Our writers appear on every sports station in western PA. Bob Grove, Mike Necciai and I have covered the airwaves with hockey talk. Our sister site, Pittsburgh Sports Now has also covered the airwaves and routinely breaks national recruiting news.
We’re not doing it with investors or the help of a national network. We’re doing it with back-breaking work. One reader, one sponsor at a time.
And now, the TV show is set to launch in less than one month on The CW network. I’m happy to say, pending any more unforeseen craziness, Andrew Fillipponi of 93-7 the Fan will be my co-host on this adventure. Andrew killed it during our first test show.
Your continued support and help are needed now more than ever! Thank you for everything!
As we reach for the stars, we’ve also come up against several unforeseen conflicts. Some are the business type, some are the personal type.
Unfortunately, I must spare my friends and respected colleagues from the messiness of creating a new media outlet. I will no longer cover the Pittsburgh Penguins for 93-7 the Fan.
That hurts me, deeply.
I may appear still appear as a guest, but I can no longer perform the job I fell in love with: Reporter.
I love the smell of the rink, the quiet calm of the barn at 5:30 pm, trading stories and opinions at the lunch table, ribbing players or getting ribbed in the media scrums. And my informal locker room competition with Matt Gajtka–who could ask the best question and get the best quote.
Until I return, I will miss my routine. Putting on a suit at 5 pm, sharp. A quick buff of the shoes. Off to the bus stop (now the T) and the walk to the arena. Teasing my buddy Dave, one of the ushers who has been there since the beginning of Penguins hockey. And stuffing my little notebook full of notes on the coaches tactical changes, player mistakes, great plays, and observations.
It’s our fervent hope that PHN will be an official media outlet, at some point this season. We’re working with the NHL to begin to make this a reality. If/when the lawyers finish the paperwork, we’ll make an announcement.
In the meantime, Pittsburgh Hockey Now will be cranking out more hockey analysis and news. (We’re all over a couple stories. One reported. One not, yet)
To my friends at CBS, thank you. Really. I hope it’s not long before we see each other again.