NHL Picks: Canadian Teams to Make Playoffs in 2014-15

David Lawrence

Thursday, July 10, 2014 1:51 PM UTC

Thursday, Jul. 10, 2014 1:51 PM UTC

The NHL Draft and free agency have been quite a whirlwind for hockey fans. Now that things have quieted down a little bit, let’s take a look at some props for 2014-15. Bovada’s has some odds up on whether the Canadian teams will make the playoffs and there appears to be some good value on the board.

Montreal Canadiens
NHL Playoff Prop Odds: Yes -200, No +150
The Canadiens should be in good shape to return to the postseason. With an All-Star goaltender in Carey Price and a young corps that went to the Eastern Conference final return, this team will surely be one of the top eight in the East. The conference is weak, so don’t expect the losses of Brian Gionta and Josh Gorges to hurt this team too much.

Toronto Maple Leafs
NHL Playoff Prop Odds: Yes -120, No -120
The East is wide open, so it wouldn’t be crazy to see the Leafs in the postseason. Remember, they were atop the East at the end of November (last season) with a record of 10-4-0. They need to find a way to improve on defense and prevent their goaltenders from taking so many shots. If they can do that, they can sneak in with a bottom-four spot.

Ottawa Senators
NHL Playoff Prop Odds: Yes -120, No -120
For a second straight offseason, the Sens have traded away their captain. This time, Jason Spezza is gone. It’s hard to guess what Ottawa is capable of. Two years ago, they were a fantastic defensive team with an impeccable one-two punch in net. Nowadays, Craig Andersen looks like he’s in the twilight and Robin Lehner is coming off a rough season. They look like they’ll still be competitive but this team needs to good breaks to make the postseason. The -120 on the ‘no’ looks better than the ‘yes’ for Ottawa.

Vancouver Canucks
NHL Playoff Prop Odds: Yes -120, No -120
The Canucks are a mess right now, which makes you wonder why their odds on the ‘no’ are merely -120. They are clearly in rebuilding mode and will have a very tough time making the postseason. Yes, they have Ryan Miller but he can’t save a bad team by himself (see his time with the Buffalo Sabres). They traded away Ryan Kesler after scoring the second-fewest goals in the NHL last season. ‘No’ is a great bet here at -120. This team won’t come near the playoffs.

Winnipeg Jets
NHL Playoff Prop Odds: Yes +250, No -400
The juice is high on the Jets for ‘no’ but it’s the right pick. They were dead-last in the Central Division last year, even finishing behind Nashville. That means the Jets entered the offseason as one of the worst teams in the NHL and the best part is they’ve changed nothing. Evander Kane wants out, Dustin Byfuglien probably does too. This team will not be one of the top eight in the West next season.

Edmonton Oilers
NHL Playoff Prop Odds: Yes +200, No -300
The Oilers are in rebuilding mode…still. It’s hard to say whether it’s heading in the right direction. Sure, they have plenty of young, talented forwards but they don’t score as much as you’d think and they can’t make up for a horrible blue line and goaltending situation. The Oilers finished with a West-worst -67 goal margin. The character additions of Benoit Pouliot, Mark Fayne and Keith Aulie should help somewhat but they aren’t game-changers. The Oilers should be happy if they finish anywhere but last in the West.

Calgary Flames
NHL Playoff Prop Odds: Yes+300, No -500
Calgary is a team that finished off the 2013-14 campaign on a 19-13-0 run. In the offseason, they solidified their goaltending position with the addition of savvy veteran Jonas Hiller. They did lose Mike Cammalleri, who led the team with 26 goals, but they appear to have enough young, up-and-coming talent to make up for it. The Flames likely aren’t a playoff team in 2014-15 but don’t be surprised if they finish with the most points of any Canadian team in the Western Conference. 

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