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Handicapping the four NHL teams to win the Stanley Cup

Bet on Hockey

The second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs typically offers the least intrigue, but things are about to pick up on the ice as the final four playoff teams battle for a spot in the Stanley Cup Final. The four remaining teams represent the last four Stanley Cup champions, so we know each side possesses a winning pedigree.

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Pittsburgh Penguins +150

The Penguins know that the time is now for them. With two of the top players in hockey in the primes of their careers, Pittsburgh loaded up at the trade deadline with a Stanley Cup in mind.

Pittsburgh has been lethal on the power play in the postseason, scoring 13 goals with the man-advantage in 11 games.

The team can certainly score, but it’s an unexpected goaltending performance that has the team installed as the favorites here. Tomas Vokoun came off the bench in the opening round to relieve a struggling Marc-Andre Fleury, and he now has a stranglehold on the team’s starting gig.

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Vokoun is 6-1 in the postseason with a 1.85 GAA and a .941 save percentage.

If Vokoun’s strong play carries through the next two rounds, we could see NHL commissioner Gary Bettman handing Lord Stanley’s Mug off to Sidney Crosby for a second time.

Chicago Blackhawks +250

When the lockout ended and the teams got back on the ice, the Blackhawks came out of the gates with such a fire that it was hard to imagine they would find themselves as anything other than the favorites in the playoffs.

The team showed for the first time all year that they have what it takes to fight back from adversity, overcoming a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Red Wings in the second round.

The Blackhawks have made it through two rounds without much production from captain Jonathan Toews. If the team can revert back to their early season form and start firing on all cylinders, they’ll cruise to their second Stanley Cup in four years.

Los Angeles +300

Of the four remaining teams, the Kings are the only team with an undefeated record at home in the postseason at 7-0.

Goaltender Jonathan Quick is making his case for a second consecutive Conn Smythe in as many years with his strong play. Through 13 postseason starts, Quick has posted a 1.50 GAA with a .948 save percentage and three shutouts. [ad-4437448]

It’s easy to overlook Quick’s efforts this postseason after having just seen this same show a year ago, when he posted a 1.41 GAA with a .950 save percentage and three shutouts in the 2012 postseason.

Head coach Darryl Sutter’s system may not produce the most entertaining brand of hockey, but it could have the Kings raising the Stanley Cup for a second consecutive year.

Boston Bruins +500

The Bruins have taken to the same script that saw the team win the Stanley Cup in 2011, with a hard-fought Game 7 overtime win in the opening round, and a quick and decisive series win in the second round.

Tim Thomas won the Conn Smythe Trophy when the team won the Cup in 2011, and while he isn’t around, Tuukka Rask has filled in nicely, allowing only 28 goals in 12 playoff games while posting a .928 save percentage.

Boston has scored 3.2 goals per game in the postseason, up from 2.6 goals per game in the regular season. The team’s top line of David Krejci, Nathan Horton, and Milan Lucic has been unstoppable, with the trio combining for 13 goals and 26 assists through 12 postseason games.

Tyler Seguin remains the team’s X-factor. If he gets going, watch out for the B’s.

With the Conference Finals getting underway on Saturday, bettors will need to get their plays in quickly. Choose wisely.


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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!