Interaction betting analyst Frank Doyle makes his pick for the 2012 Stanley
It’s time for the playoffs in the NHL and the
Pittsburgh Penguins, Stanley Cup winners in 2009, are the ante-post favorites
with Sports Interaction. Ten bucks will return forty if Sidney Crosby is
holding 34 pounds of silver, history and glory over his head in two months’
Pittsburgh is a team that’s got it all. Not only has
it Sidney Crosby, the best player of his generation, but it’s also got
sufficient talent throughout the operation to keep the show on the road while
Crosby’s been on the IR. To top it all, there’s coach Dan Bylsma, the current
Jack Adams trophy holder.
The biggest problem the Penguins face is in the first
round, when they have to take on the team that wants to beat them the most. The
inter-state animosity the Penguins could deal with, but of real concern is the
fact that the Flyers have the talent upfront to go shot-for-shot with the
Penguins. This is a series that has Game 7 written all over it.
Vancouver is the second favorite, just ahead of the
Rangers in the ante-post hockey betting. Vancouver has won the President’s Cup
again so there’s no case to be made for the Canucks being a bad team, but
nobody knows when Daniel Sedin will be back and the Luongo / Schneider issue
will always be an issue until one of them is traded. Vancouver has the talent
to win the Stanley Cup, but has it the luck?
The team everybody is hoping to avoid in the West is
St Louis. Lots of teams change coaches during the season to know effect
whatsoever, but Ken Hitchcock has turned the Blues’ frown upside-down since he
took over from Davis Payne back in November.
St Louis faces San Jose in the first round, San Jose
who’ve been knocking on the door for so many years but never quite made the
breakthrough. The Blues can take the Sharks, and after that, who knows?
Although the Penguins are the ante-post betting
favorites for the Stanley Cup, they’re only fourth seeds in the East. The No 1
seed in the East is the New York Rangers and the East looks tough this year
with Boston, the Pennsylvanians and the flying-under-the-radar Devils. They’re
all tough, tough outs.
Vancouver is hampered by the lack of Daniel Sedin but
the Canucks didn’t exactly back into the playoffs either. Equally, the Luongo /
Schneider thing could be more a story for the papers than a real factor on the
ice. And talent has to count for something too. Good news, Canada – the
nineteen year wait will end when Vancouver wins the Stanley Cup this year.