Frozen Assets: Division of Power – The Atlantic

Posted by Ari in Frozen Assets on November 13, 2009 — 2 Comments

One-quarter of the way through the NHL season, the Atlantic Division has emerged as the top division in the NHL

The Penguins, Devils, Flyers, and Rangers all look like playoff-bound teams, and the New York Islanders have exceeded expectations.

Here is what the Atlantic Division odds looked like before the start of the season:

Atlantic Division

Team………………………………Odds

Pittsburgh Penguins…………..-125

Philadelphia Flyers……………+320

New Jersey Devils……………..+700

New York Rangers…………….+750

New York Islanders……………+6600

Ari’s take – Philly +320: While the Pens are the best team in the division, do they really have >55% to win this division? If they get solid goaltending the Flyers could emerge as the best team in the Conference – I would take them at +320 to win the division.
What’s one thing have we learned about each team the first 20 games of the season?

1. The Jacques Lemaire era is back in New Jersey

New Jersey is tops in the league in goals against average, allowing an average of 2.06 goals/game. The Lemaire style has helped the Devils jump out to an incredible 9-0 start on the road, where they allowed only 15 goals in 9 games.

2. The Pittsburgh Penguins are not Invincible

It all started on the California trip, where the Pens were 1-13 with one tie since 1999. After defeating the Ducks, Pittsburgh lost to Los Angeles and San Jose, before losing in Boston and finally losing last night to the Devils at home. Of most concern is the fact that the Penguins have scored one goal in their last three games.

3. Ray Emery has been the answer in net for the Philadelphia Flyers

20 games into the season, Emery has the Philadelphia Flying "high" in the East

20 games into the season, Emery has the Philadelphia Flying "high" in the East

Sure 60 games is plenty of time for a meltdown, but Ray Emery has been spectacular this season. In his return from the KHL, Emery is 10-3-1 with a .918 SV% and a 2.18 GAA. In Emery’s most recent game he exacted revenge on his former team, the Ottawa Senators, with a 5-1 win.

4. The New York Rangers Believe in John Tortorella

It has been somewhat of a bumpy ride for the Blueshirts this season, as a 7-1-0 start has faded to a 10-8-1 record. Nevertheless, players continue to work hard for Torts. Recent losses have been due to bad luck, injuries, and untimely penalties.

5. The New York Islanders Have a Young, Exciting Team

They will almost certainly miss the playoffs this season, but there is reason for optimism on Long Island. John Tavares has 14 points in 18 games, and the Tavares-Moulson-Okposo line has emerged as a legitimate number one scoring line. The Islanders are 6-6-6 and have only lost 4 games this season by more than one goal.

Here are the updated Atlantic Division Odds from November 13 (Courtesy of Ladbrokes):

Atlantic Division

Team………………………………Odds

Pittsburgh Penguins…………..-162

New Jersey Devils……………..+360

Philadelphia Flyers……………+550

New York Rangers…………….+600

New York Islanders……………+6600

Who do you think is the best bet to win the Atlantic Division? I like the Flyers even more now at +550 than I did at +320 before the season started.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com dave

    If you were able to lock the Devils in at +700, I bet you’d have to be pretty happy.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Ari

    They were even higher (+1000) between the beginning of the season and now.