NHL betting online expectations is much higher for the Nashville Predators as they enter the 2009-10 seasons with newfound respect after making the playoffs last year.
Nashville was one of the biggest surprises in NHL betting last year as they were not expected to contend for the playoffs but finished with an overall record of 47-29-2-4 and was a pest to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks in a 6 game playoff loss.
The Predators finished in the middle of the league rankings for both offense and defense which means that they had little margin for error. They had only one bona fide offensive threat last year with right wing Patric Hornqvist, who had 30 goals and 21 assists to lead the team. The Preds featured incredible offensive balance as at least 9 players had 11 goals or more in the ultimate case of team play.
Can They Maintain Momentum?
Nashville surprised their fickle fan base and handicappers at Sbgglobal with their impressive run last year but the big question is whether or not they were a flash in the pan or a one hit wonder. This is a franchise that has teetered on the brink of bankruptcy and relocation and has no margin for error.
The One and Only
One significant NHL betting online asset that the Predators have is head coach Barry Trotz, who is the only coach in the history of the franchise. Trotz understands the Nashville market, the limitations, and the possibilities and has been stellar at getting the most out of what he is given by management. Trotz refuses to allow the team to use the “small market excuse” and demands that they find a way to win.
The Problem for the Preds is that their small market and limited revenue status makes it difficult to retain key performers. This has been a continuing problem for them and has hurt their credibility with the hometown fans and NHL betting handicappers. Defenseman Dan Hamhuis, the Preds 2001 top draft pick, and Captain Jason Arnott are the latest players to depart Music City. While general manager David Poile acknowledged the big losses on the roster he has proven to have a knack at finding effective replacement parts through the years.
On the positive, goaltender Pekka Rinne is signed for two more seasons after a contract extension.