Penguins Should Have No Problem Facing the Avalanche
The online NHL betting season has officially kicked off and fans are racing to find the most competitive matchups that have the most lucrative lines. One contest that could offer that opportunity is the matchup between the Colorado Avalanche and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Avalanche will be traveling to Pittsburgh on Monday, October 17th, to take on the defending champions in the PPG Paints Arena. Considering Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup last season, most hockey betting sites are going to favor the reigning champs.
Despite the fact that they won it all last season, the Penguins are coming in with the second best odds to win the Stanley Cup this year. The reason the online NHL betting odds aren’t painting Pittsburgh as the overall favorites is because of the extreme difficulty that winning back to back in the NHL presents. The NHL’s season is one of the longest amongst professional sports, and if teams go all the way that means they are playing much longer than the rest of the clubs. A shorter off-season means less time for your team to rest, hence why repeats are so scarce in the National Hockey League.
But this Pittsburgh team won’t be exactly the same as last year. This off-season they lost defense-men Ben Lovejoy, guard Jeff Zatkoff, and winger Beau Bennett. To help cover those departures the Penguins brought in defense-man David Warsofsky and defense-man Stuart Percy. They did pick up some rookies in the draft but it’s very unlikely that any of them will get legitimate time on the ice. The rookie with the best chance of earning a starting position is goaltender Tristan Jarry, but it’s more than likely that he’ll be backing up Marc Andre Fleury early in season due to Matt Murray’s broken hand.
The Avalanche did not enjoy anywhere near the amount of success that Pittsburgh did last season. Colorado finished the year with a 39-39-4 record and failed to qualify for the postseason for the second consecutive year. Yet, in spite of all of this, Colorado was fairly quiet during the off-season. The biggest change that the Avalanche had to contend was caused by Patrick Roy’s sudden resignation mid-August. To replace Roy the Avalanche brought in Jared Bednar from the minors, a move many online NHL betting fans consider to be high-risk, low-reward. Bednar has led his teams to a championship run in both the AHL and the ECHL. Whether or not Bednar will be able to find success in the NHL remains to be seen, but Colorado fans are hoping for the best.
Colorado also brought in some noteworthy names this season. Such as defense-man Fedor Tyutin and Patrick Wiercioch, both of whom should help strengthen the blue line. Offensively Colorado signed forwards Joe Colborne, Rocco Grimaldi, and Ben Smith. These additions will help add depth to the Avalanche’s roster, but it’s unlikely that they’ll lead Colorado to a breakout year. The best way for the Avalanche to convince bettors of their future success is by knocking of the reigning champions.