Our NHL consultant shares his thoughts on four teams he’s staying away as NHL picks. Go inside to find out why he advises say to avoid Columbus, Detroit, Toronto, and Ottawa.
Columbus Blue Jackets (98.5 points)
Columbus was the hottest team in the NHL down the final stretch of the 2014-2015 NHL regular season campaign. However, that torrid run wasn’t good enough to qualify for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Jackets sabotaged themselves with a horrible first half of the season, and dug a hole they couldn’t quite climb out of. There’s definitely enough talent on this roster to justify the NHL odds pertaining to this number. The question marks I have are simple. Will we see the same team that roared down the stretch a season ago, or the one that vastly underachieved during the early months? There’s just too much uncertainty for me to make a confident wager either way.
Detroit Red Wings (97.5 points)
The Red Wings have been the model of stability for a NHL franchise on and off the ice for two decades now. There’s no questioning the mix of talented young players and a core group of veterans can exceed this point total. My hesitation in pulling the trigger is a legitimate conundrum when assessing Detroit for this upcoming season. How will the veterans react, and the young players respond without long time successful head coach Mike Babcock behind the bench. There’s sure to be some type of transitional period. I’m not willing to use one of my NHL picks on predicting the Red Wings future at this juncture.
Toronto Maple Leafs (68.5 points)
Speaking of Mike Babcock, he’s the new head coach in Toronto. This epic NHL franchise has suffered through some lean years over the past decade. I’m not enamored whatsoever with their current roster, and if they hired just about anybody else besides Babcock this past offseason, I would unload on going under this number. I still have an inkling of a doubt that’s caused by the small chance that Babcock can get this sorry group to overachieve. I’m steering clear of this team like they were carrying the Bubonic Plague.
Ottawa Senators (94.5 points)
My thinking here is similar to what I discussed pertaining to Columbus. The Senators also had a terrific late season surge, and it resulted in them making the playoffs. They even upset the Montreal Canadiens in six games during the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. There’s no doubt that a young team attaining that type of success goes a long way in terms of confidence. My personal experiences say to stay away from clubs like Ottawa that overachieved the season before. Things can go sideways in a hurry if they encounter some unexpected adversity.