The Early Bird Gets The Worm

by Ben Burns

Regardless of sport, it's much easier to have a profitable season, if one gets off to a winning start. It's also much easier to get off to a winning start if one is properly prepared. 

Over the years, I've become known for my "fast starts." Currently, I'm off to a quick start with my basketball selections. I attribute much of my success to my offseason preparation. While each sport allows for a different type of study, by the time the season begins, I want to have devoured as much information as I possibly can. 

On that note, I'll point out that NHL returns on January 13th. I know it seems like last season just ended (Tampa hoisted the Cup on Sept. 28th.) but the league hopes to get back to its normal schedule, in time for next year. This condensed 56-game schedule allows them to do so. 

Due to travel restrictions, the divisions have been realigned. We've now got the North, West, Central, and East. The North is an "All Canadian" division, featuring the seven Canadian teams. The 24 American teams are divided equally among the other three. 

As I write this, on December 28th, the Avs are favored to win the Cup. While I'm not advising making any future bets, I do find it helpful to know what each team's expectations are. Current future odds, for the "top 10" teams, courtesy of Pinnacle, are listed below. 

Remember, you've got roughly two weeks to prepare for the upcoming season. When they drop the puck, make sure you're ready to go. Good luck and an early Happy New Year!

Colorado +536
Tampa +743
Vegas +753
Toronto +1254
Boston +1292
Edmonton +1531
Philadelphia +1873
Washington +1988
Pittsburgh +2104
Dallas +2104

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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