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Golden Knights' debut season? Lean toward Over

By Alan Denkenson  (Special to 

October 3, 2017 09:22 PM
And the Golden Knights in their debut season will go . . . Over, says Alan Denkenson.
© USA Today Sports Images

Alan "Dink" Denkenson, longtime Las Vegas-based professional gambler, taps out his team-by-team thoughts on the Western Conference.

Chicago Blackhawks: Points last year 109.... over under 99 1/2  I remember when everyone was calling for the Hawks to miss the playoffs early last year yet they managed to be the #1 seed...They are old but not too old, at least not yet...Saad and Sharp return, not sure if that is a plus or a minus..Debrincat might be a good rookie forward and the veteran forwards are strong ...Goalie is fine ..Defense is OK...Not sure why they should regress 10 points ...OVER.

Minnesota Wild: Points last year 106... over under 97.... was by far the best team in the West until the wheels fell off the bus in March... The playoff loss to the Blues was due to an incredible performance by the opposing goalie as they were the better team... they are very good everywhere but without extraordinary talent...Parise is hurt and likely never going to return to his peak...I like them... 9 point bounce may be excessive....OVER SMALL.

St. Louis Blues: Points last year 99.....over under 94 1/2 ...If video killed the radio star then injury killed this years Blues... Fabbri done...Steen, Sanford, Berglund and Bouwmeester out for various periods of time..There is still some talent, Tarasenko is a star, but they likely overachieved a little last year too...Allen is still a bit of a question mark as he sometimes gets lost for a period of time.....UNDER. 

Anaheim Ducks: Points last year 105...over under 103.... Another team devastated  by injuries..Kesler is long term and he became the heart of the team...Lindholm and Vatanen out at least a month weakens a good blueline ...Perry got old....Getzlaf and Perry lose Rakell on the wing and he really picked them up... I really don't expect much early from this traditionally slow starting group.....UNDER BIG.

Edmonton Oilers: Points last year 103...over under 104 1/2.... McDavid is the best player in the game and Draisaitl is special...Talbot was a warrior in the net ..The defense top 4 is fine and the other top 6 forwards are solid...Best team in hockey ??  I think so OVER. 

San Jose Sharks: Points last year 99....over under 951/2.... They are a year older and lose Marleau but there is quality depth and goaltending here and Burns is a superstar dman...Vlasic is an allstar blueliner too...I like them to maintain their points more than other pundits ...number seems right ..PASS.

Calgary Flames: Points last year 94....over under 96.... Another tough team starting with the goalie who plays great some games and seems lost on others and they come randomly instead of in streaks... I have no idea if Jagr will help them or not, but it should make them an over team as far as the day to day total... Hard to predict, at least for me so it's an easy .......PASS.

Nashville Predators: Points last year 94 .... over under 96 1/2 The best defense although the long term loss of Ryan Ellis really hurts them...I think the forwards are somewhat below par and lack depth and I think Rinne is a sub-par goalie { another unpopular opinion} .. They caught fire in March and kept it going throughout the playoffs...I see regression here even though I am a defense first handicapper............UNDER.

Winnipeg Jets: Points last year 87.....over under 93..... they are good.... really good offensively.....they are bad...really bad defensively.....Changing goalie from bad to bad is not going to help.. Laine is a superstar and they will score and be scored upon...It worked for the Penguins but they are not the Penguins... I think 93 is about right but one thing for sure they are fun to watch.......PASS.

L.A Kings: Points last year 86  ....over under 90..... the new hockey is all about speed and standing in front of the net and screening the goalie.....The Kings are the slowest team in the league but they so get plenty of gritty goals....Still think their speed may make them a bottom feeder in the West as I don't see any reason for improvement ........... UNDER.

Dallas Stars: Points last year 79........over under 98........ they must have had major injuries last season since they are projected to improve 19 points...Not really the case tho...They just kind of stunk for no reason...Addition of Radulov gives them even more offensive power and the new goalie, Bishop, should help if he can stay healthy.. { he won't }... Still I can see them easily approaching this number if they can find some chemistry............PASS.

Arizona Coyotes: Points last year 70.... over under 76..... I love the coaching change...Tippet just got stale and played to win every single game which burnt out the team...Now they have Tocchet, who once was arrested for being an agent to a Jersey bookmaker and you can't have any better credentials than that....Seriously this team is on an upswing, they have decent young players, removed some old players, have a stud defenseman in OEL and made an upgrade in goal in my opinion...Watch them howl.....  OVER BIG

Colorado Avalanche: Points last year 48..... over under 70...... 48 points from a team with talent was ridiculous....Johnson injury hurt but this team seemed to dog it every night... I am not going to promise  they will hit 70 points but there is enough talent here to think they might do even better as 70 is a very small number ....OVER SMALL

Vancouver Canucks: Points last year 69  ..over under 74..... I almost forgot them and they are quite forgettable...They are old and added an old player to their oldest line [ Vanek] ..the goalie situation is grim and the defense is meh...Can they improve 5 points ? yes....will they ?   maybe ...PASS.

Vegas Golden Knights: Did not exist.......over under 68.... It seems low...They drafted for the future and that will hurt them this year although there is some talent here ..Think Fleury will crash and burn with the vastly inferior team in front of him but 68 in the inferior West should be doable...They certainly got some decent talent here so let's go......OVER Small.

You can find Alan on Twitter at @dinkinc. If you do well using these plays, you should know that Alan's favorite charity is the Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue.

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