NHL Picks: Eastern Conference Update

David Lawrence

Friday, February 8, 2013 1:47 PM GMT

Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 1:47 PM GMT

Since we’re only going to see 48 games of regular season action, the NHL is actually approaching its quarter-point. That means we already have a pretty good idea of who’s who.

NHL Betting: Eastern Conference Update

Let’s take a look at which teams have disappointed on the NHL odds so far and which teams have impressed in the East:

SURPRISES

Tampa Bay Lightning

Although they’ve lost three straight, Tampa Bay has still been a pleasant surprise this season. With Carolina, Washington and Winnipeg struggling, the Lightning are likely good enough to win the Southeast Division.

While goaltending is still an issue, their offense has led the way. They’ve scored 42 goals, which is the most in the NHL. Goaltender Anders Lindback is still young and needs playing time. If he can improve as the season progresses, Tampa Bay could be a dark horse in the playoffs.

Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens have lost two straight but have still been quite impressive at 6-3-1 this season. After all, we are talking about the team that finished last in the Eastern Conference last season.

Head coach Michel Therrien is getting early nomination for the Jack Adams trophy and why not. His team is playing excellent defense as they’ve allowed just 24 goals through 10 games. Goaltender Carey Price is playing like an All-Star once again and the team is doing the most with the parts that they have. They currently have 13 points, which is three shy of the East-leading Pittsburgh Penguins.

DISAPPOINTMENTS

Washington Capitals

Many bettors weren’t sure what to expect from the Washington Capitals this season. They looked to be at least a playoff contender considering how well they played in the playoffs last season – particularly goaltender Braden Holtby – but this team has completely fallen off the map.

Holtby has a GAA of 4.52, which is just awful. Alex Ovechkin has just two goals (and five points) through 11 games and has basically been a non-factor. As for head coach Adam Oates, he’s already on the hot seat because the Capitals are dead last in the NHL with just five points. They are simply pathetic right now and should be a fade consideration when making your NHL picks.

Philadelphia Flyers

If I would have told you Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov would have a 2.24 GAA and a .923 save percentage this season, you probably would have figured that Philadelphia would be a genuine Stanley Cup contender. Instead, the Flyers have just four wins in 11 games this season. What’s shocking is that the culprit for their failures has been a lack of goal scoring. They have just 25 goals this season, which is one better than the worst in the East.

One would think that would turn around but for now, the Flyers have been a disappointment.

New York Rangers

The Rangers were the Stanley Cup favorites heading into the season but they wouldn’t even qualify for the playoffs if they started today. Wondering why they’re struggling? You guessed it: goal scoring.

If you thought Rick Nash would alleviate their goal scoring woes, you were wrong. The Rangers 24 goals are the fewest in the East and that’s why they are failing once again.

Go to the Western Conference Update right here~
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