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NHL Predictions: 2014 Pittsburgh Penguins Season Preview and Futures Odds

Bet On NHL Hockey: Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins enter this season with a new brain trust in place, and while the key pieces on the roster have gone unchanged, new head coach Mike Johnston will bring some philosophical changes to the program in an effort to prepare the team for a full 82-game schedule.

NHL Predictions

Pittsburgh Penguins
Odds to win the 2015 Stanley Cup: 12-1
Odds to win the 2015 Eastern Conference: 9-2
Odds to Win the 2014 Metropolitan Division: OFF as of presstime

2014-2015 Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Preview:

Johnston’s system has seen the team hit a few speed bumps in the early going as they adjust to the new style of play. The team is looking to press more, using as few passes as possible to get out of their zone, counting on their defensemen to move the puck ahead.

Offense

There isn’t much known about what to expect from the team’s line combinations. Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz figure to occupy the top line, while Evgeni Malkin will be a fixture on the second line, but each of those players has been dealing with injuries in camp and in the preseason.

Winger Pascal Dupuis began camp in a red no-contact jersey as he finishes his recovery from a torn ACL. Newly added Patric Hornqvist is expected to play a major role after coming over from the Nashville Predators.

It’s not yet known if that means playing alongside Crosby or Malkin, though that figures to be a major boost over any of his linemates in Nashville.

The Penguins will also be breaking in new forwards Blake Comeau, Steve Downie, and Nick Spaling. Hornqvist is expected to take the spot of the departed James Neal on Malkin’s right wing, while Dupuis re-claims his spot on the top line along Crosby and Kunitz.

After that, Beau Bennett could play to the left of Malkin and Hornqvist, replacing Jussi Jokinen, though Comeau, Downie, and Spaling figure to get a shot at that role. With Malkin and Crosby missing so much time in camp and in the preseason that’s difficult to gauge.

Defense

The picture isn’t any clearer on the Penguins’ blue line, thanks to an injury to Olli Maata. Maata was paired alongside Matt Niskanen last season, but Niskanen will be playing his hockey for the Washington Capital this season.

New addition Christian Ehrhoff figures to play a prominent role and has to be a prime candidate for a bounce back year after disappointing in Buffalo. He’ll likely be the guy partnered alongside Maata once he returns.

Returning star Kris Letang is also without a partner. Previous coach Dan Bylsma had intended to pair Letang with Rob Scuderi, though he could find himself partnered with Paul Martin. Letang and Martin saw time alongside one another in the postseason.

The team’s goaltending situation has altered greatly whenever the postseason rolls around, though that wasn’t the case this season as Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his game and posted a 2.40 GAA and a .915 save percentage in 13 postseason starts.

The team now enters the season without having to be overly concerned with Fleury’s play in between the pipes. He went 39-18-5 with five shutouts during the regular season a year ago.

FREE Penguins NHL Predictions 2014/2015

The Penguins once again enter the season with one of the most talented groups in hockey. The key will be finding that extra gear come playoff time, something they have had difficulty doing in recent seasons. A new coach and a new offensive philosophy could be what puts them over the top.

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About Gino Bottero

Gino is new to CappersPicks.com but NOT new to the online gambling industry.He's got an AMAZING knack for discovering hidden gems when it comes to betting on sports. Stick with him as he predicts when a team will have a letdown! Check Gino out for NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB betting articles all season long!


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