NHL Hockey Betting : Florida Panthers at Ottawa Senators

NHL Hockey Betting :  Florida Panthers at Ottawa Senators&h=235&w=320&zc=1

For the past few years, the Florida Panthers bounced between ‘bad’ and ‘mediocre’. Nothing good seemed to be happening on the ice but it was also clear that management was committed to rebuilding the team the right way, through draft and development. There were signs that things were on the upswing last season as defenseman Aaron Ekblad won rookie of the year–a rarity for a defenseman. That was just two years after forward Jonathan Huberdeau won the Calder Trophy. And this season, everything has come together in a big way. With a mix of talented young players and veterans like goaltender Roberto Luongo and ageless legend Jaromir Jagr the Panthers have shot to the top of the Atlantic Division. At one point, it looked like the Montreal Canadiens were going to run away with the title but now Florida leads by 3 points. Not losing helps, and Florida enters this contest on a ten game winning streak.

So all of a sudden the Panthers have gone from a ‘promising young team’ to a serious contender and a handful for their opponents to play. The next team to take a crack at derailing the Panthers’ freight train will be the Ottawa Senators who host Florida tonight at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Senators have been treading water lately going 4-5-1 in their last ten games and are currently in a fourth place tie with the Boston Bruins. The Eastern Conference is still wide open–with the exception of the division leaders Florida and Washington the 13 teams are separated by a combined ten points. In the wildcard race, nine teams are vying for two spots separated by six points. Ottawa is currently tied for the final wild card spot but loses the tiebreaker to Boston.

One of the most futile things to do in sports betting is try and predict when winning or losing streaks will end. Hockey is especially difficult–there’s so much parity in the league. At the same time, hockey is a game of momentum. When teams are going well they have a tendency to keep going well. Florida will lose eventually, but probably not tonight.


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