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Top 3 NHL Playoff Surprises for 2010

Written by Matt Stevens   
Monday, 31 May 2010 20:03

NHL Finals Betting Odds and StatsAs the Stanley Cup betting and the World Cup betting continue to heat up, we can look at the three teams that made the 2010 NHL playoffs that made a surprising run and how they can keep that momentum going. The Chicago Blackhawks leading the way in the NHL betting this season was not a surprise, but there were three teams this year that surprised us all and have the potential to surprise everyone next year as well. 

Nashville Predators

The Nashville Predators did not have the best season of their history in 2009-2010. Their 100 regular season points is only third best in the team’s history, but the future can look bright for this southern expansion team. 

The Predators are being forged in steel as they are in the same division as the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks. The team finished third in the division and seventh in the conference. The Predators were knocked out in six games by the Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs. So why is the future so bright for the Predators?

 

The Predators took the Blackhawks to six games, and then the Blackhawks seemed to cruise after that. The Predators scored 15 goals on Chicago goalie and playoff hero Antti Niemi. If the Predators can get some bigger defensemen to keep the net in front of Pekka Rinne and work on keeping their goals against down, then they could be very dangerous in 2011. 

Colorado Avalanche

Now that the Blackhawks Flyers betting is in full swing for the Stanley Cup finals, everyone seems to be forgetting goalie Craig Anderson and the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche took the San Jose Sharks to six games in the first round of the playoffs, including a spectacular 51 shot shutout by Anderson in game three.  

The Avalanche definitely have some scoring punch with players like Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk, but Colorado needs to add another scoring threat to be a real contender next year. With two good scoring lines and some younger and more aggressive defensemen, the Avalanche could definitely be a power to reckon with in 2011. 

Phoenix Coyotes

Just to show you how long the NHL playoffs can be, it seems like years ago that the upstart Phoenix Coyotes lost in the seventh game of the first round to the Detroit Red Wings. The Coyotes brought in players like Lee Stempniak and Wojtek Wolski to make a run at the 2009-2010 President’s Trophy for the best regular season record. The Coyotes never made into the upper echelon of the NHL elite, but they did finish fourth in the Western Conference.  

The only thing the Coyotes lack is experience. They have solid goaltending with Ilya Bryzgalov, a young core of forwards that can score at any moment and a strong defense led by veteran Ed Jovanovski. Just give this team some time to play together and they will move up the ranks and challenge in next year’s playoffs.

 
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