Stanley Cup Betting

June 23rd Hockey news ... Stanley Cup Betting at

NHL: Philadelphia small favorite to force Game 7

Even the best of players will have an off day. Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant haven’t always dominated every finals game they played in and Sidney Crosby and Steve Yzerman were not always the best player on the ice game after a game in the Stanley Cup finals they played in. After four marvelous outings against Chicago, the Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger had one of those games. He and the rest of his teammates hope to bounce back and even the Stanley Cup Finals series at three games apiece when they host the Blackhawks. Philly is a -120 betting line favorite according to , but all indications are the money is coming in on Chicago.

Pronger, who’s been dishing legal and illegal hits for years, was pounded a few different times by Blackhawks’ players in Game 5 and ended up -5 for his time on the ice in the 7-4 defeat.

Credit Chicago coach Joel Quenneville for creative line switches that appeared desperate before the game and brilliant after it. Quenneville broke up his top scoring line of line of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Dustin Byfuglien after they had totaled one goal and three assists in the first four contests of the Finals, mostly facing Pronger when on the attack.

Each player was placed on a different line and Pronger and the entire Flyers defense was thrown off. The 6’6 blue-liner was singled out since he had been such a pain to Chicago, being on the ice for six of the Blackhawks goals and in the penalty box for the other. Philly is 4-10 after playing a game where nine or more total goals were scored this season.

Pronger has logged the most ice time of any player in the series and having two days off should refresh him, plus Philadelphia is 24-7 at home since the midpoint of the regular season. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette will work to combat his club’s off night and remind them the home team has won every contest in the series thus far, so by just playing Philadelphia hockey, they can extend series one more game.

After Chicago’s overwhelming performance, the sports bettor has to use his polyhistoric references and realize though the Hawks won the last game, realistically, neither team has the momentum.

Chicago as least psychologically feels good having laid out Pronger a few times and possibly shaken the confidence of goalie Michael Leighton, who reportedly is not a sure thing to start in goal for this encounter. Expect to see Leighton between the pipes since he is 6-0 at the Wachovia Center and his teammates are 9-1.

The Blackhawks are 19-3 off a home win scoring four or more goals this season and are starting to feel like they might have found something. “I think we've been looking for that throughout the whole series,” Kane said. “With him (Pronger) on the ice, he's a big guy, but we feel we can get around him and make some good plays.

Though Pronger has been a huge part of the discussion between games, his coach adds perspective. “I think if we look just for Chris Pronger to do it, everybody will be in trouble," Laviolette said. "We are a team that, by all accounts, we win together, and usually it's a team effort. And when we lose, well, we do it as a team. Everybody could have been a little bit better last night. I'm sure Chris will have a big game and lead the way, but others -- we need to make sure that we have all hands on deck."

This all leads to Philly being a -120 money line favorite and they’ve won their last five when handing out -150 or less. Don’t expect Chicago to go quietly since they are 11-2 as underdogs in previous 13 tries and with total Ov5.5, the Hawks are 6-0 OVER in road games after both teams scored four goals or more this year. The Flyers will look to batten down the hatches and are 11-3 UNDER after permitting five goals or more.

NBC and the CBC will have Game 6 at 8:00 Eastern as Philadelphia tries to extend home winning streak over Chicago to 11, dating back to March of 1998. The StatFox Power Line shows Chicago should be a -116 favorite

NHL: Desperation fuels Philadelphia Flyers

Things looked bleak at times for the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals as they faced going down a seemingly insurmountable three games to none. Yet, they persevered and now have the chance to even the set at two games apiece with another home win over the Blackhawks. oddsmakers aren’t quite as confident in Philadelphia’s chances here as they were in Game 3, installing the Flyers as -115 favorites after a -130 price on Wednesday.

Forget about all the other remarkable aspects the Flyers have done just to be in the Stanley Cup Finals, what they had to overcome emotionally in Game 3 was plenty. Down 2-0 in the finals, Philadelphia needed video replay to take a 2-1 lead in the second period. Chicago roared back to take a 3-2 lead in the third period before stunned Philly fans, yet 20 seconds later Ville Leino tied the score at 3-all.

Off they went to overtime knowing any fluky Chicago goal would for all intents and purposes end their season. The Flyers Claude Giroux redirected Matt Carle’s pass past Antti Niemi for the game winner at the 5:59 mark, but only after having video replay confirm an early goal the Flyers crowd had thought had ended the contest at that juncture.

This is how everything is done hockey-wise in Philadelphia these days.

“Like I said this morning (Wednesday), 2-0 for us is comfortable,” coach Flyers Peter Laviolette said. “We’re OK with that. We know how to battle through it.” Philadelphia is up to 13-7 in the postseason after the victory.

Chicago has been fantastic in stopping the Flyers top scoring unit led by Mike Richards, who have all but invisible. The Hawks should start turning attention to Leino, Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell line, who are doing most of the damage for Philadelphia.

The Blackhawks seven game road winning streak was snapped and though beaten, they are hardly down, knowing they could have just as easily been up 3-0 in the series.

“Right now it looks like they have the momentum in the series,” Patrick Kane said. “But if we take Game 4, then we put ourselves in a great position to go back and play in front of our home crowd and hopefully win it there.” Chicago is 8-1 on the road if the opponent has won 60 percent or more of their home games.

has Philadelphia as -115 money line favorites to even the series, with total once again Ov5.5. The Flyers are 11-1 in their last dozen favorite roles and 7-1 UNDER after a home game where both teams scored three or more goals this season. Chicago enters next contest as a treacherous road underdog with 11-1 mark and 20-9 UNDER off a loss.

Philadelphia has defeated Chicago nine consecutive times in the City of Brotherly Love and is 7-0 after winning previous game in overtime.

The VERSUS Network will have Game 4 at 8:00 Eastern. The StatFox Power Line shows Chicago -112, indicating an upset is possible.

NHL: Philadelphia to test Montreal’s mettle again

Going into Monday’s potential Eastern Finals clincher, the Philadelphia Flyers already know a couple of different things. The first is with a win, they will be playing for the Stanley Cup championship and second, who their opponent will be, the Chicago Blackhawks. However, before thinking too far ahead, Philadelphia has to take down the peskiest team in the tournament, Montreal. The Flyers are -180 home favorites to do so according to .

“With each series, it obviously gets harder and harder, but I don’t think you can look past that next game and that next win,” Philadelphia defenseman Chris Pronger said. “You’ve got to focus on closing out a team and being closers. We’ve got a team now down 3-1. We’ve got to get that fourth win.

“We’ve got to understand what it’s going to take, because they’re obviously a team that’s had their backs against the wall throughout the course of this playoff, through Washington and Pittsburgh, and they’ve been able to rally and come back. We obviously want to stymie that and make sure we’re putting our foot on the throat.”

The Flyers have won 21 of their last 28 home games and can advance to the Cups Finals for the first time in 13 years with a fourth and deciding victory over the Canadiens. Philadelphia is well aware the danger Montreal presents, having seen them come from behind against the Capitals and Penguins to win series and their 5-0 record in elimination games.

“We have to be careful,” Flyers forward Danny Briere said. “If there’s a team that would know that, it’s us, with what we were able to do in the previous round to the Bruins, and also what Montreal did to Washington and Pittsburgh. We’re definitely not going to take them for granted. There’s still one big win.

“We always say the fourth one or the last one is always the toughest to get against a team. We expect them to come out with a lot of desperation in Game 5, but at the same time, yes, we know we’re getting closer.” The Flyers know a thing or two about desperation, having trailed 3-0 to Boston before winning the next four.

Philadelphia has now won seven of last eight and shutout Montreal three times in the series with domineering defense and the fine goaltending of Michael Leighton, who only had to face 17 shots in last contest (one in the second period).

“One of our main goals was to play better defensively and I don't know how many times they came down the wing trying to fire pucks at me, and we had our 'D' men who stuck their stick out and it went up in the crowds," Leighton said. "We talked right before the game and said we want to block as many shots and stop them charging the net and we did. We definitely showed up to play."

For the Habs, the situation certainly appears bleak, but it is far from over as far as they are concerned, with their 9-4 record off a home loss by three or more goals. “We put ourselves in this hole and it is what it is. We’ve got to go and win a game,” Montreal defenseman Hal Gill said.

has Philly as a -180 money line favorite with total Ov5 and they are 20-7 as home ice favorites. They will arrive at Game Five 10-4 UNDER in home games after a win by two goals or more this season. Montreal will try and manufacture one more miracle and is 11-5 after being defeated by three or more goals and is 10-3 UNDER on the road after scoring one goal or less this campaign.

The East Final has a 7:00 Eastern start on VERSUS and CBC and if Philadelphia does emerge victorious, one person who deserves a lot of credit is Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette.

It took him until the last few weeks of the regular season to convince this team how good it can be and he never let them get down on themselves in the Bruins series. After tonight, Philadelphia might be thinking about bringing home first Stanley Cup title since 1975.

StatFox Power Line – Philadelphia -174

NHL: Montreal finally a playoff favorite

The NHL’s goalie of the moment, and maybe the player most responsible for the Philadelphia Flyers' unexpected run toward a Stanley Cup, arrived in Montreal with one simple wish for his 29th birthday. “Just get some rest,” Michael Leighton said Wednesday with a big laugh. OK, but not much. As busy as Leighton has been in registering consecutive shutouts by stopping all 58 shots Montreal has fired at him in the first two games of the Eastern Conference final, the Canadiens are vowing to make it even tougher on him. For Thursday's Game 3, the host Canadiens are listed as -125 favorites.

A day after a 3-0 loss at Philadelphia, Canadiens coach Jacques Martin spent much of a 45-minute meeting attempting to erase 120 minutes of futility by stressing to his players the importance of getting more traffic in front of Leighton as the best-of-seven series shifts to Montreal for Game 3 on Thursday.

Defenseman Josh Gorges is buying in because at this point, scoring a goal— just one—has become the Canadiens primary objective, no matter how it comes. “Even if it’s one of those ugly ones, off someone’s behind or deflecting in off of one of their guys, we’ll take it,” Gorges said. “First of all, I think that would give us a boost, a little confidence to know that he’s not invincible.”

The Canadiens have been resilient this postseason. Seeded eighth, they’ve already rallied from series deficits to knock off both top-seeded Washington and defending champion Pittsburgh in seven games each, however, is 12-21 in home games playing with double revenge.

The seventh-seeded Flyers pulled off maybe the greatest comeback in NHL history just to get here, coming from three games down against Boston and three goals down in Game 7 to beat the Bruins and they are 20-9 off a home win.

The latter part of this journey is doing it with a journeyman goalie. Claimed by the Flyers off of waivers in December, Leighton has grabbed the spotlight since taking over the starting job after Brian Boucher hurt his knee in Game 5 against Boston. Leighton has now won four straight, and has been invincible this series.

Leighton became the first goalie to register two consecutive shutouts in the NHL playoffs since Detroit’s Chris Osgood did it against Pittsburgh in the 2008 Stanley Cup final. His shutout streak of 165:50 is second among Flyers goalies, behind only Boucher, who went 184:45 without allowing a goal in the 2000 playoffs.

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette initially balked at answering a question about who the star of his team might be, saying “we’re not a one-guy team.” Laviolette then made an exception regarding Leighton’s performance on Monday. It was a game in which the Flyers led 1-0 after 20 minutes despite being outshot 16-6.

“Michael Leighton gave it to us last night and kept us in that game,” Laviolette said. “So there’s your answer.” This all gave the Flyers their sixth consecutive win.

With a shutout on Thursday, Leighton would become only the seventh player to do it in three straight games, and first since Anaheim’s Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s triple-blanking in the 2003 Western Conference finals against Minnesota. “Well, obviously, I’m trying to enjoy it. But I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself,” Leighton said. “I haven’t really accomplished too much yet.”

The Flyers are 16-0 in their history when leading a series 2-0, and are now two wins from their first trip to the Stanley Cup final since 1997. They are 5-1 on the road and 5-0 playing with a day between games.

Given how topsy-turvy the East playoffs have been the Flyers aren’t taking anything for granted. “That would be the worst mistake we can make,” center Danny Briere said. “This is far from over. … I’m hoping we’re not going to fall into that trap.”

The Canadiens, meanwhile, are looking forward to playing their first game at home in 10 days. The trouble for Montreal is its offense has been far too one-dimensional, even before it hit the Leighton Wall. Of the 39 goals Montreal has scored this postseason, 19 have come from two players: Mike Cammalleri has 12 and Brian Gionta seven.

Center Tomas Plekanec, who had a team-leading 70 points in the regular season, has managed just four assists in his past 10 games. Play-making forward Scott Gomez has a goal and 10 assists this postseason, but hasn’t scored a goal in his past 15. The Habs are 10-4 on home ice if they have been away for a week or more.

Martin was confident in his team. “We’ve earned the right to be here. We know it’s not going to be easy,” Martin said, before noting how the Canadiens rallied from a 3-1 series deficit against Washington. “A lot of people here, after Game 4 against Washington, weren’t too optimistic. And this group proved them wrong.”

placed Montreal in a very unusual situation; they are favored for the first time in 17 games in the playoffs at -125 on the money line with total of OV5. The Canadiens are 10-5 after losing by three or more goals and 5-0 UNDER after falling to same opponent twice by two or more goals in each contest.

Philadelphia will seek a commanding 3-0 lead but is 1-7 after allowing one goal or less in consecutive outings and is 10-3 OVER when playing in the conference finals.

The VERSUS Network and CBC have the Game 3 action starting at 7:00 Eastern. The StatFox Power Line shows Philadelphia -170

Preview: Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Black Hawks NHL Western Conference Semi-Finals.

The Vancouver Canucks finished the regular season with 49 wins and 28 losses. For 103 points.. They also lead the Western Conference in goals with 272. Chicago had a record of 52- 22 good for 112 points. They faced each other four times during the season. They split it evenly 2 wins for each. Each team also won one game on the road.

Vancouver defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-2 in Los Angeles in game six to advance to the semi final round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. One important factor that aided Vancouver was the fact that the Kings were 0-5 in the power play during game 6 thanks to the penalty killing of the Canucks.

Vancouver and Chicago met in the playoffs last year. The Black Hawks knocked off the Canucks four games to two winning the conference title for the first time since 1995. This is going to be a good match up this year. These are the matchups that NHL bettors dream about. The savvy NHL bettor will find the best situations to bet on in NHL hockey.

Henrik and Daniel Sedin the talented twins will lead Vancouver on the ice with their outstanding abilities to both score and pass. Henrik Sedin finished the regular season with 112 points. Daniel had 85 points but only played in 63 games because of a broken foot. Chicago will need to control the Sedin brothers during the games if they want to win and advance to the finals for the Stanley Cup. Henrick lead the NHL in scoring this season and is a finalist for the Hart Trophy, given to the leagues MVP. During the playoffs so far Daniel had four goals and six assists. Henrik scored one goal and seven assists. Mikael Samuelsson had seven goals and four assists. Samuelsson also led the NHL in goals during the first round of the playoffs. Both he and Daniel Sedin made double-digit points. Henrick lead in assists and scored only one goal.

The Chicago Black Hawks are a favorite this year and have the home ice advantage. As far as talent and superstars goes Chicago has Patrick Kane. He led the team in scoring during the regular season. He had 30 goals and 58 assists. Other top producers for the Black Hawks are Duncan Keith who scored 14 goals and had 55 assists and Jonathan Toews with 25 goals and 43 assists. Toews only played in 76 regular season games. Jonathan Toews lead Chicago in the first round with eight points and most of them came in the final three games of the series.

To get to the semi finals the Black Hawks had to defeat the Nashville Predators in six games. Nashville started strong by winning the first game 4-1. The Black Hawks came back to win the second game 2-0. The Predators won game three 4-1 again. Chicago then came back and won the next three games 3-0, 5-4, and 5-3.

This match up is going to be an offensive battle between the Canucks and the Black Hawks and they do have a long history of not liking each other, which adds to the excitement. It should be a very offensive series with plenty of checking and action and probably some drama as these teams have along history of strong dislike for each other. Vancouver will be looking to get back for the defeat from last season that eliminated them. They had lead the series 2 games to 1 . In game four the Black Hawks came back to win in OT and then went on to win the next two games and clinch the series.

Goal tending will also play a big part in this series. Vancouver's Roberto Luongo, who led team Canada in their gold medal victory during the Olympics, was 2-2 against the Black Hawks this year. He gave up 7 goals last season in the final game against Chicago. The rookie Antti Niemi of the Black Hawks was 1-2 against Vancouver with one shut out. He had two shut outs against the Predators in the first four games. This included a power play goal and a couple of assists to help Chicago win game six

The key to winning this series is in the strong offense of both teams. The goalies will be working hard to keep the puck out of the goal. I think it will be Chicago in 7 games. Who do you think will win? Get over to where everybody bets on NHL hockey.