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PHT Oddsmaker: Let’s gamble on the NHL

Dec 7, 2011, 7:05 PM EDT

Luongo and Thomas Getty Images

PHT Oddsmaker will be a regular feature where we set pretend odds and pretend to gamble on them. If you’d like to bet real money, meet us in the alley and we’ll talk.

Odds of a Boston-Vancouver Stanley Cup rematch (25/1)

A month ago, these odds would’ve been considerably longer. But both teams have put their sluggish starts in the rearview mirror, and that’s an understatement. Boston is 14-1-1 since opening 3-7-0; Vancouver is 7-1-0 since starting 9-9-1. At last glance, one online bookmaker had the Bruins at 5/1 to win the Eastern Conference and the Canucks at 5/1 to win the Western Conference. Thus, the 25/1 odds they’ll meet in the final. It’s a long shot, but put me down for a few bucks on this one. The Penguins are the only team in the East that might (read: might) be favored to beat the B’s in a series. And who would you favor to take out the Canucks in the West? Detroit? Maybe. Chicago? Not with the goaltending they’re getting now. San Jose? Nope.

Odds Carolina finishes last in the NHL (+250)

At least for the moment, the Hurricanes have to be considered the league’s worst team. Carolina is 3-13-1 in its last 17 games and hasn’t won in over two weeks. Columbus is still in 30th place with 19 points, but the ‘Canes are only one point better. The Blue Jackets are also playing relatively well lately. Long story short, my five contenders to finish last are Carolina, Columbus, NY Islanders, Anaheim and Colorado. And out of that group, I kind of like the ‘Canes at +250. Biggest factor for me is Cam Ward. When he’s not standing on his head (and he’s not) and the defense is playing too soft in front of him (and it is), then it’s pretty hard to keep the puck out of the net (and it’s going in a lot).

Odds Craig Patrick is named general manager of the Blue Jackets by the end of the regular season (+300)

For this to occur, two things would have to happen. First, Scott Howson would have to be fired. Second, Patrick would have to be offered the job. (Obviously.) But in order to answer those questions, we have to guess who pushed for Patrick’s hiring in the first place. Howson says he’s the one who recruited Patrick, but did he recruit Patrick because he wanted to or because ownership persuaded him to? It’s worth noting that Patrick will be working out of Pittsburgh, not Columbus, so it’s not like he’ll be able to secretly meet with ownership every lunch. I think I’ll pass on this one. Wouldn’t be surprised if it happened eventually, but not before the end of the season.

  1. lonespeed - Dec 7, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    I don’t think Carolina finishes last. Two years ago they started god-awful and ended up making a run to almost make the playoffs. I think they’ll eventually pull it together. They won’t make the playoffs, but they’ll finish middle of the pack.

    They are the worst team in the league right now, but right now and March are a long way apart.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Dec 7, 2011 at 8:31 PM

      A run to almost make the playoffs, means as much as the worst team in the NHL winning their last 2 games and finished on a high note. Means nothing

  2. loinstache - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    I’m a Canuck fan but I’m hesitant about the West, judging purely by how things are right now. We have a poor history against the Wild, and if they keep the success of their trap game going I can quite plausibly see them grinding the Canucks out, especially if key players on the Wild get their game going more than it is (looking at you Friend-Murderer)

  3. petriskriko - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    $100 on Bruins-Canucks. Can buy Luongo a plane ticket to Brazil if he screws it up again.

    • taytay099 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:15 PM

      Not sure how people still blame Luongo. I’m not a fan of his, but he did pretty amazing to get the Canucks into game 7 when they only scored 8 goals. Yeah, what a screw up he is.

      • danphipps01 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:11 PM

        You’re blaming the forwards for the fact that Tim Thomas is the second coming of Christ? How the hell do you figure a team that emptied HUNDREDS of shots into Boston’s net wasn’t trying hard enough offensively? The combination of Thomas being an invincible death-engine and having Boston’s extremely high-quality defensive corps in front of him kept Vancouver to a low number despite them attacking pretty much all the time. Those first two games were won by a goal each, granted, but you forget that Boston was under siege for the whole of both barring rare breakouts. Until game three, the best defensive team in the league was standing on its head trying just to survive the sheer firepower hitting them – and they fared pretty fucking well, to their credit, but they only managed to get two goals of their own in response because they barely got to leave their own end before being driven right back in again. Don’t blame the forwards in Vancouver for not scoring. Worship at the altar of Tim Thomas for actually being able to STOP them.

        Meanwhile, in Vancouver’s end, practically as soon as Boston’s forwards actually managed to get in and stay in for longer than five seconds, out broke the seven-goal blowouts. Yes, this was more or less every player’s fault in part, but don’t credit Luongo for good play when he was lit on fire pretty much as soon as Boston started getting more than one or two scoring chances a period. As soon as their guns started firing, Luongo fell over and died.

  4. danphipps01 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    … you know, I’ll wait on Bruins-Canucks. Chicago’ll manage to get a quality goaltender before season’s end, be it in the form of a Crawford who’s remembered what a save looks like or an outside acquisition. And they’re looking a lot better this year than last – and even last year’s barely-in-the-playoffs Blackhawks forced a game seven and wrecked Luongo’s shit in three consecutive games.

    The Sharks, I’m not worried about. Nor is anyone, really. Detroit would be interesting, but I can see the ‘Nucks winning that sooner than the Wings. Assuming Chicago can’t fix their goaltending, the ‘Nucks have best odds, but that’s a mighty big assumption and one I’m not willing to make.

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