The Pittsburgh Penguins are the defending Stanley Cup betting champions, yet the team finds itself tied with the #8 seed in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoff betting action. Worse still, after dropping a game at home, the series now moves to Montreal with the Canadiens looking to take a lead in the NHL playoff betting series in front of their hometown fans.
This is not exactly the dream scenario the Pens had in mind as they try to defend their Stanley Cup, but things can always be worse and there are plenty of reason to be optimistic if you’re a Pittsburgh hockey betting fan. First of all, you’ve got Sidney Crosby –the defending NHL betting MVP and the regular season scoring champ- on your squad. He’s got 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) through 8 NHL playoff betting games so far in race to the Stanley Cup betting and has been best player in the post season hockey betting.
However, there is also plenty of reason to be optimistic about your team’s NHL playoff betting future if you’re a Habs fan as well. Well, at least one reason …one very good reason: Goalie Jaroslav Halak. The Canadiens have been a one-trick pony so far in the 2010 NHL playoff betting action and that pony’s name is Halak.
He’s been nearly unbeatable and single-handedly put the highly-favored Capitals out of the playoff with his stingy defense of his net. If you look at the regular season of these two teams you wouldn’t even think they belong sharing the same ice. The Pens finished with 101 points (47-28-7), the third best record in the Eastern Conference hockey betting.
In contrast, the Canadiens, stumbled into the playoffs with 88 points (39-33-10), not clinching a spot in the NHL playoff betting until the final day of the season. But the regular season means very little when it comes to earning a spot in the Stanley Cup odds competition. Whoever plays best in the post season gets in and the Canadiens have been playing as well as anyone, regardless of regular season NHL betting records.
The Canadiens did well to take a game in Pittsburgh but the Pens are far too experienced to let one loss set them back and they should come out with a big win tonight, putting Halak on his heels, much as they did in Game 1 of the series.