Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I Heart Hockey & Odds

Just taking a moment to reflect on how much I am enjoying hockey this year. It was so tough to go through the last year with the CBA, the lockout and all. I truly missed the game but I kind of forgot how much I loved it. My favorite rule change of this year is the shootout. I was worried that it would make the game artificial but I have found that shootouts are so much fun for the fans to watch. I have even seen a shootout win for my Avs in person and it was a blast. Its nice when a professional sports league can take the fan's persepctive every once in a while and do something to enhance their experience.

Here are some odds courtesy of on who is favored to win the 2006 Staley Cup, minus those teams with no hope of making the playoffs.

7-2 Ottawa Senetors
9-2 Detroit Red Wings
7-1 Carolina Hurricanes
7-1 Dallas Stars
8-1 NewYork Rangers
10-1 Philadephia Flyers
10-1 Calgary Flames
20-1 Buffalo Sabres
20-1 Colorado Avalanche
20-1 New Jersey Devils
20-1 Tampa Bay Lightning
20-1 Vancouver Canucks
30-1 Nashville Predators
35-1 San Jose Sharks
40-1 Anaheim Mighty Ducks
40-1 Emonton Oilers
40-1 Los Angeles Kings
45-1 Boston Bruins
50-1 Montreal Canadiens
60-1 Atlanta Thrashers
70-1 Minnesota Wild

My take on these odds: Clearly there is room for major upsets because of the logjam of teams between the 20-1 and 40-1 range. Of that bunch, New Jersey and Tampa Bay at 20-1 are a bit generous for those fading teams and San Jose at 35-1 is insane for a team currently 11th in the standings and 8 points out of the 8th and final spot in the playoff seedings. Nashville should be given more credit for their season and at 30-1, those are good odds. Anaheim, Minnesota, Boston and Atlanta are going to have a tough time even qulaifying for the playoffs so I wouldn't take a bet on their Stanley Cup hopes.