It's time to feast on NHL losers

Apr 7, 2009 5:07 PM
Power Plays by by Mark Mayer |
last week

Next week at this time, we’ll open up the Stanley Cup playoffs. That means bettors could feast on teams with seemingly nothing to play for.

Like the Colorado Avalanche.

The Avs have lost 8 of 9 and until Sunday’s 4-1 win over Vancouver had not scored more than two goals in a game during that span. Colorado is actually making the New York Islanders look good.

Here are the teams that are out and likely candidates for a bad closing week: Colorado, NY Isles, Ottawa, Toronto, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, Phoenix. You may soon add Dallas, Edmonton, Buffalo and Florida to the mix by mid week.

Boston has the No. 1 seed in the East wrapped up, but is battling San Jose for the overall points title. The Sharks began the week one point up on Boston and six ahead of defending Stanley Cup champ Detroit.

Clinching spots in the West are San Jose, Detroit, Calgary, Chicago and Vancouver. Boston, Washington, New Jersey and Carolina are secure in the East.

The hottest team is Carolina, which has won eight straight. Keep that in mind as we deal with the final week of the regular season.

Tuesday, April 7

NY Isles at Carolina: This is the best week to take advantage of the weak teams. So being willing to give the 1½ goals is recommended. Like here. CAROLINA -1½.

Montreal at NY Rangers: A huge game for both sides, especially the Rangers (pictured Rangers' Derek Morris). Three previous meetings resulted in 7, 9 and 8 goals. OVER.

Wednesday, April 8

Buffalo at Toronto: The Sabres have had Toronto’s number, winning 4 of 5. BUFFALO.

Columbus at Chicago: Second of the back-to-back. Sunday’s game was 1-0 Chicago in overtime. Deja vu all over again. UNDER.

Thursday, April 9

Phoenix at San Jose: Good chance for Sharks to gain a victory in chase with Boston for top seed all through the playoffs. SAN JOSE 1½.

Friday, April 10

Dallas at Anaheim: Second of back-to-back games for Dallas, which may be toast by then. ANAHEIM.

Saturday, April 11

Vancouver at Colorado: Canucks battling Calgary for division title. Lucky draw here. VANCOUVER.

Sunday, April 12

St. Louis at Colorado: The Blues might need this victory to make the playoffs. ST. LOUIS.