Hockey gambling handicappers will get yet another Versus telecast on Friday afternoon as Minnesota and Carolina begin the NHL gambling season in Europe.
The Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild will begin the NHL season with a matchup on Thursday at noon Eastern as the two teams begin the new and long 2010-11 NHL campaign from Finland in back to back games that will include another Versus telecast for Friday, also at noon Eastern.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will inaugurate their sparkling new arena with a regular season opener against intrastate rival and defending Eastern Conference Champion Philadelphia on Versus at 7 PM Eastern time before the up and coming Colorado Avalanche host the Chicago Blackhawks at 10 PM on Versus to conclude a huge opening day of action with the NHL odds.
Versus goes right back at it on Saturday at noon eastern with the Boston Bruins and Phoenix Coyotes also opening the season in Europe.
The Flyers and Penguins matchup should have plenty of intrigue for handicappers as the Pittsburgh Penguins are again one of the favorites with the hockey lines to win the Eastern Conference with the Philadelphia Flyers still cannot garner respect from handicappers or oddsmakers despite winning the Eastern Conference last year.
The Flyers post season run last spring is still considered to be a fluke among many in hockey circles. With superstar Sidney Crosby, who has already won a Stanley Cup ring and Olympic Gold Medal, the Penguins should remain among the elite but must tighten up their defense for a legitimate title run.
The Phoenix Coyotes were among the biggest surprises in the NHL last year as they went from a team that was bankrupt and a leading candidate for relocation to a team that ended up in the playoffs with one of the best defenses in the league. The big hockey gambling concern about Phoenix is their offense, which had little output last year.
The Coyotes are still under ownership of the NHL and looking for a full time buyer that will keep the franchise in the desert. Boston is looking to get over their heartbreaking and humiliating playoff loss to Philadelphia last spring in which they blew a 3-0 series lead.