NHL Odds: Red Wings Gaining Momentum with Bettors
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 4/21/2011
It wasn’t looking great for the Detroit Red Wings as they entered the first round of the NHL playoffs matched up with the plucky Phoenix Coyotes.
Oh, sure, Detroit had clinched the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, a nice accomplishment for any team. But the Wings had also gone just 8-7-3 down the stretch, prompting many prognosticators to pick them to be upset in their opening-round series with the Coyotes, who in stark contrast entered the postseason with just three regulation losses in their last 16 outings.
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Add to the fact star forward Henrik Zetterberg was sidelined with a knee injury and Detroit seemed to many like a risky betting proposition, despite still boasting other big-name players like future Hall-of-Famers like Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk.
In Game 1 at Joe Louis Arena, Phoenix got off to a great start when Kyle Turris opened the scoring just 2:16 into the first period. But that was about as promising as things ever looked for the Coyotes. The Red Wings came back to win Game 1, 4-2, which they followed up with 4-3 and 4-2 wins in Games 2 and 3, respectively.
On Wednesday at Jobing.com Arena, Detroit took out the brooms and completed the sweep of the Coyotes, winning Game 4 by a score of 6-3 and becoming the first team to shake hands with the vanquished and move on to the second round.
"It was a good series for us," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "Any time you can win four straight, obviously, it's a positive thing."
The sweep of the Coyotes is especially positive news for the banged up Red Wings, with players like Zetterberg and Johan Franzen being granted extra time to get healthy. Moreover, Detroit is one of the older teams in the NHL, so the fewer games it has to play on the road to the Stanley Cup, the better.
Bodog’s giving the Red Wings 11/2 NHL odds to win the 2011 Stanley Cup, down from 6/1 earlier in the week due to the increased action that we’ve been booking. As it currently stands, only the Vancouver Canucks (2/1) and Washington Capitals (5/1) have lower numbers than the Motown team.
The way things are looking, it’s mostly likely that the Wings will face off in the second round with the San Jose Sharks, the same team that dispatched Detroit in five games during last year’s second round. However, it’s worth noting that that series was a lot closer than it sounds, with all four San Jose victories coming by a single goal.
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