Sports Notes - April 8, 2008

April 08, 2008 7:00 PM
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FEELING PUCKY? STANLEY CUP IS ON!

Get ready for the NHL’s second season – two months of intensity that is the Stanley Cup playoffs. Defending champ Anaheim hosts Dallas in one of three best-of-7 series that begin Thursday. The others are Boston visiting Montreal and Nashville at Detroit. The Red Wings are 3-1 favorites to win the Cup.

The Pittsburgh Penguins host Ottawa to headline four series that start Wednesday. Also in action are Colorado at Minnesota, Calgary at San Jose and the NY Rangers at New Jersey. The Washington-Philadelphia series opens Friday.

GT hockey analyst Kevin Stott likes Montreal, Nashville, Pittsburgh and Minnesota to win Game 1 along with UNDER 5 in Game 1 of Rangers-Devils. (Cup odds, p.14)

CHAMPIONS SOCCER DOWN TO 8

The Champions League Soccer Title is down to its Elite Eight. Half of the remaining field come from the English Premier League – favorite Manchester United (2-1 at Caesars Palace), Arsenal (4-1), Chelsea (5-1) and Liverpool (6-1). The biggest threat to Man U figures to be Barcelona at 5-2. The remaining teams and odds are AS Roma (75-1), Schalke (50-1) and Fenerbahce (15-1).

Game 2 quarterfinal round matchups are Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday (11:45 a.m.) Chelsea is a -360 favorite over Fenerbahce (+850) and Liverpool (+140) against Arsenal (+180). Wednesday’s 11:45 a.m. slate features Barcelona (-240) vs. Schalke (+600) and Manchester United (-200) against AS Roma (+500). Game 1 winners were Chelsea (2-1), Barcelona (1-0) and Man U (2-0). Liverpool tied Arsenal 1-1.