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2013-14 NHL Team Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins Predictions – Odds

Bet On NHL Hockey: Penguins

The now-perennial favorites to win the Stanley Cup Pittsburgh Penguins enter this upcoming season in a familiar position – expected to challenge at year’s end with arguably the best lineup in the game.

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Odds to Win Stanley Cup: 15/2
Odds to Win Eastern Conference: 13/1
Odds to Win Metropolitan Division: 5/6

Added motivation should accompany Pittsburgh into the season – they are just a few months removed from being swept in the Eastern Conference final my Boston in a series the managed just two goals. Pittsburgh decided to stay with Coach Dan Bylsma not-so-surprisingly and they will inexplicably lean on Marc-Andre Fleury between the pipes. The injury issues that plagued this team last year are a thing of the past – its all-systems-go heading into the 2013-2014 season.

Needless to say Pittsburgh will be the hunted this year as per usual in a “Stanley Cup-or-bust” season.

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How’s this for a group of forwards? Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis. Jussi Jokinen, James Neal and Brandon Sutter make up an impressive group up front for Pittsburgh – Crosby and Malkin are top 5 players overall in the NHL (if not the two best). Both of these two were held pointless against Boston in the playoffs and caught a fair amount of criticism for it. You can bet that Crosby and Malkin will be motivated to shut the haters up and a statement right off the bat will go a long way toward that end.

Backing these two up is James Neal who has five straight 20 goal season, Kunitz who had 22 in a shortened season last year and Pascal Dupuis who had 38 points last year. Brandon Sutter is a blooming superstar and a terrific compliment to the talent on this team. [ad-4437448]

The Pittsburgh defense was slightly exposed last year and it figures to be one of the weaknesses of the team this year. Kris Letang is sticking around thanks to a $58 million contract extension and Rob Scuderi was a nice re-addition to a team desperate for guys to suck up meaningful minutes. Paul Martin and Brooks Orpik make up an OK second pair – they would likely be a third pair on any one of the more defensive minded teams. Names like Matt Niskanen, Simon Despres, Robert Bortuzzo and Deryk Engelland may appear on the radar – they provide OK depth for a team that is going to get it down with their top 4 all season long.

Perhaps one of the biggest head-scratchers is Pittsburgh`s desire to hold on to Marc-Andre Fleury. He has absolutely wilted two years in a row in the playoffs – not sure if the team trusts him to be their go-to guy. He made just four starts in last year’s postseason, recording an .883 save percentage and 3.52 goals against average before coaches decided to make the switch to Tomas Vokoun for the rest of their run. Vokoun has some blood-clot issues and could be out a while leaving Jeff Zatkoff to spell Fleury. Scary indeed!

Betting Prediction: The Penguins are simply elite once again this year – Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis alone should take this team to a Metropolitan Division crown.

But, and that is a huge BUT, defense and goaltending, which are an absolute essentials in the playoff will likely come back to haunt them again. With the Bruins and the Rangers Taylor-made for playoff type hockey I can’t see the Pens coming out of the East. Blame Fleury once again and watch at GM Ray Shero lose his job for his ill-fated decision to keep the netminder!

CappersPicks.com NHL Betting and gambling site provides the BEST Online hockey predictions for you to bet on for the 2013/14 NHL hockey season! Stick with us all season long!



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Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.