place works harder than Imperial Palace to promote the National Hockey League,
so starting the Stanley Cup playoffs this Wednesday and Thursday was a touch of
“I think people have come to look for
our Wednesday night NHL promotions during the regular season and we had a nice
response,” said Jay Kornegay, race and sports book director at Imperial
“We didn’t plan anything special
for Wednesday because we weren’t sure when
the playoffs would start,” Kornegay said. “But, I know we’ll do something
to make everyone happy.”
The two-month grind to hockey’s Holy
Grail is a 16-team battle to win 16 games. Each round is best 4-of-7 games
starting with four series in both the Eastern and Western Conference.
Kornegay, a Denver native and Colorado
Avalanche fan, opened archrival Detroit as a 4-5 favorite to win the Cup. The
Red Wings led the NHL with 116 points and are the top-seeded team in the West.
The Boston Bruins led the East with 101
points to edge Toronto (100) for the top seeding in that conference. Defending
Stanley Cup champion Colorado tied Dallas in the final regular season game to
gain a point and clinch the No. 2 seed in the West.
The Imperial Palace plans to run
proposition bets on the Stanley Cup as the competition progresses into June.
“The top three teams in the West
figure to be Detroit, Colorado and Los Angeles,” Kornegay said. “The real
surprise was that Dallas did not make the playoffs. The Kings are the team to
watch. They beat Detroit last year and took the Avs to seven games.”
Although the Maple Leafs finished just
behind Boston for No. 1 in the East, they should be energized with the return of
injured starting goalie Curtis Joseph.
“Getting Cujo back could lift Toronto
all the way to the ÂÃ‚Âfinals,” Kornegay said. “I wouldn’t even be surprised
if Boston lost to Montreal.”
Kornegay admits that the NHL is a
regional sport, which does not receive nearly the betting interest of the NBA.
crowds that show up at our place for the Wednesday night promotions are mostly
from the Midwest and Canada,” he said.