With the dawning of 2018, thought now would be a great time to look get the crystal ball out and attempt to look into the future for several hockey teams the rest of the way.
We will break it down in various elements and try and offer insights that can help you with NHL picks are the season progresses.
First let's starts with the five Best Bets so far this season and what their future might look like.Vegas +18.4 unitsTampa Bay +12.6New Jersey +10.2Washington +4.6Nashville +4.5
In truth, there might not be a better sports story in 2017 than Vegas. The Golden Knights were expertly built for an expansion team and have played like angry cast-offs from Day 1. Vegas has been nearly unbeatable at home (15-3 SU) and has captured the imagination of Sin City. Only one problem, instead of trading some of the best assets for the future, they probably cannot now, which hurts them down the line.
Tampa Bay is the best team in the NHL and unless the injury bug comes into play, when looking at the NHL odds daily, you have to think about betting on the Lightning frequently.
If it were not for Vegas, New Jersey would be the best positive story in the league. This young team gelled faster than anyone imagined and given their lack of experience, they have played terrific on the road (10-7 SU). The Devils probably will not win the Metropolitan Division they currently lead, but just making the playoffs would be outstanding.
It was no surprise Washington started slowly, but they have come around. The Capitals at this point are strictly a team that can win in the regular season and crumble when the playoffs arrive.
As the Western Conference champs, Nashville has slowly been building momentum and is showing signs of being the same crew they were last spring in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
What To Think About the Five Worst Bets in HockeyArizona -19.7 unitsBuffalo -17.6Ottawa -15.6Montreal -9.9Edmonton -8.9
Arizona and Buffalo are in complete rebuild mode. There is nothing this season that suggests any sort of turnaround, though both are capable of winning three of five over a short period of time.
Seriously, did Ottawa really push Pittsburgh to a Game 7 in the Eastern Finals and lose in double OT? Hard to believe that happened at this juncture but it is true. There has been too much drama surrounding the Senators and a lot comes ownership making ridiculous comments. Ottawa was not as good as they played in last year's postseason nor are they as bad as they have played this year. Possible Play On material going forward.
Montreal is caught in no-man's land. The speed edge they had a couple years ago has been negated and they lack the size to work the corners and have holes on defense.
Of the five teams that can leave this group it is Edmonton. The Oilers have underachieved all year but still has the talent to make a playoff run. That starts with much improved play on defense and solving their special teams.