Nhl Central Division Betting Preview: New-look Stars Make A Run At Blackhawks – 10-02-2014

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Value Underdog Dallas Stars (+750) The Stars have been the talk of the offseason after making a series of impressive moves designed to challenge for the Western Conference crown. Adding Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky to a team already boasting a wealth of offensive talent should vault Dallas into the Top 5 in goal scoring. A lack of defensive depth is a major concern entering the season, but netminder Kari Lehtonen has proven capable of handling large workloads. Live Long Shot Nashville Predators (+1,200) It was a bizarre offseason for the Predators, who cut ties with head coach Barry Trotz while adding a handful of veteran forwards in an attempt to bolster their anemic offense. And while the additions of Olli Jokinen, James Neal, Derek Roy and Mike Ribeiro may not impress when looked at individually, they’ll certainly make Nashville harder to defend. Goalie Pekka Rinne’s return to health should mean good things, and defenseman Shea Weber remains a stud. Over Team Colorado Avalanche Opposing defenses are going to hate facing the Avalanche this season. Few teams boast a Top 6 with the offensive firepower of Colorado, which will roll with Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly, Jarome Iginla, Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Alex Tanguay. Tyson Barrie is one of the league’s top young offensive defensemen, and a lack of blueline depth could lead to a fair share of high-scoring games – particularly in the offense-rich Central Division. Under Team Minnesota Wild Don’t let Minnesota’s marquee free-agent acquisition fool you. Veteran winger Thomas Vanek will assuredly give the Wild offense a major shot in the arm, but he can only do so much for a team that finished tied for 24th in goals last season. source: http://www.covers.com/articles/articles.aspx?theArt=388808

Reloaded and ready: Blackhawks optimistic | The Journal Gazette

But as camp went on, the Hawks gave extended looks to a trio of tough guys. Cody Bass, Pierre-Cedric Lebrie and Brandon Mashinter were regulars in preseason lineups. Mashinter looked like he was destined for a spot on the roster, but apparently Quenneville wasnt convinced he was ready for regular NHL action. Quenneville has never been a guy to trust a kid over a veteran, and Mashinter was no exception. Enter Carcillo, whose first stint with Chicago consisted of injuries, suspensions and otherwise unremarkable play. Last week, the Pittsburgh Penguins released Carcillo from his tryout, and the Hawks wasted no time in bringing him back. If you read this column regularly, you know Im not a big believer in fighting, momentum, the deterrent or message sending, but Ill suspend disbelief and pretend it matters for a second. If the Blackhawks must have an enforcer, why not bring in a guy who can, I dont know, win a fight? Carcillo has spent most of his fighting career as a punching bag. The most memorable hit of his career came in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, when he tried to take a run at then Blackhawk Tomas Kopecky. He missed, and knocked his teammate Jeff Carter to the ice instead. I dont know what Carcillo brings to the table, or why Quenneville is so obsessed with his game. source: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/10/04/zawaski-leddy-deal-adequate-but-carcillo-signing-troubling/

Zawaski: Leddy Deal Adequate, But Carcillo Signing Troubling « CBS Chicago

They made it all the way to the Western Conference final a year ago, where they dropped a classic seven-game series to the eventual champion Los Angeles Kings. The price of that success reached a new level in July, when Toews and Kane each finalized an $84 million, eight-year contract extension that kicks in for the 2015-16 season. The twin deals could force general manager Stan Bowman to make some difficult decisions down the road, adding to the pressure on the current group of Blackhawks for this year. Bowman still has to make at least one more move to pare about $2 million from this years payroll before next Thursdays season opener at Dallas. Even with the sticky salary-cap situation, the Blackhawks did manage to sign veteran Brad Richards to a $2 million, one-year contract over the summer. The team is hoping Richards can center the second line. Here are other things to watch this year for the Blackhawks: That third line The top two lines should be among the best in the league, but its the third line that really could separate the Blackhawks from the rest of the NHL. Bryan Bickell was noticeably lighter when he showed up to training camp this year. The bruising winger is hoping for a better start than last season, when he had just one assist in his first seven games and finished with 11 goals and four assists for the year. Kris Versteeg also looked sharp in the preseason, and pesky center Andrew Shaw set career highs with 20 goals and 19 assists last season. source: http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20141003/SPORTS2004/310039980/-1/SPORTS12

 

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