Florida Panthers @ Boston Bruins Free NHL Pick 12/23/11
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The Panthers are very unpredictably in first place in the Southeast Division this year. They have six points on the Winnipeg Jets, but more importantly, they have eight on the Washington Capitals and 13 on the Tampa Bay Lightning, the two teams that were really expecting to contend for the Southeast Division crown. It’s amazing to think that this is a team that is really still hanging in there as we near the halfway point of the season, as Florida was really expected to be left for dead this year. Tommy Vokoun, one of the best net minders in the game, left the team in the offseason to go to the Caps, and the only really notable offseason signing came in the form of Sean Bergenheim, a man who was never really heard of before last season’s playoff run with Tampa Bay. Of course, we are tremendously concerned over the fact that the Panthers have just four more goals scored all season long than allowed, but they are the only team in the Southeast that can say that they have scored more than they have conceded.
The Bruins are going to be awfully sad to see the first half of this season go. They aren’t going to want to take even a few days off in a row. They started off the season at just 2-7-0, and since that point, they are a whopping 20-2-1 in their last 23 games, and they have outscored opponents by the aggregate score of 90-39. If there was ever any doubt as to whether last year’s run to the Stanley Cup was legit or not, you only need to look at this stretch of 23 games to know that, without really much doubt, that this is the best team in hockey. When Boston is on its game, it just doesn’t get beaten under any circumstance. With the Montreal Canadiens down this year, there probably isn’t a team that is going to challenge the B’s in the Northeast Division, and though right now, they would only be the No. 2 seed in the conference, we have no doubt that they are going to go flying past all of the teams in the Atlantic Division and end up with the President’s Trophy when the season is said and done with.
Florida Panthers @ Boston Bruins Pick: The Bruins are clearly the better team, but we just can’t bring ourselves to laying more than -200 in a hockey game. Florida has played well this year on the road, going 10-7-2, and even though Boston is as hot as it comes, we have no choice but to take the Panthers at this price, knowing that they are probably winning this game at least one out of three times.
Free Hockey Pick: Florida Panthers
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