Subscribe to Bourne's Blog Grab My Feed!Subscribe to Bourne's Blog Subscribe to Comments

Isles Playoff Hopes “KO’ed”, Stanley Cup Betting Odds



We’re postponing today’s scheduled mind-dump for one fun thing and a second not-so-fun thing. 

Fun thing: checking out the NHL’s Stanley Cup Betting Odds

Not-so-fun thing: discussing the Islanders injury problems.  Yes, before the season starts.

Before we get to that though, I had a friend of the blog write me and say he feels like he’s missing a lot of my best stuff because (A) I don’t update the headers at the top of my blog, like, ever, and (B) If I link to my daily article, it’s all the way at the bottom of the blog.  So basically, my (lazy) solution is that from now on, as soon as you open a blog, the first thing you’ll see will be my column from that day.  For today, they’re right here:

The Hockey News: The Isles Need To Buy Tavares Someone On His Offensive Level To Play With

USA Today: Pre-season predictions (and the jinx goes too……)

and later…

Puck Daddy: The Evolution of Coaching


Let’s get the Islanders tear-fest over with to start….

Fuck.  Are you kidding me?  The Islanders have lost both of their assistant captains to major shoulder surgeries before the puck has even dropped on game one.

Mark Streit is out FOR THE YEAR on this piddly, every day scrimmage bump from 30 goal scorer Matt Moulson:

(It’s at the start of the video)

…and Kyle Okposo is listed as “out indefinitely” with his own shoulder deal.  Not sure what happened to him, but this is extremely bad news - temporary reasons aside, when you start having shoulder problems that young, it can be a lonnngggg career full of recurring injuries.  My buddy (and country music star, buy his album!) Chad Brownlee pretty much hung them up because his shoulders were such a wreck.

Opo wore the stupid bubble in college

Honestly, I’m heart-broken by those two injuries for two reasons:

One, I harboured real hopes that Islanders could be sneaky good this year, like Phoenix last year.  They were looking like a team coming into their own, with some nice pieces in place.  I was even thinking they could sneak into playoffs if they could just get some breaks.  By “breaks,” I didn’t mean limbs.

And two, because the team just isn’t deep enough to lose their only all-star from last year (Streit), as well as a guy (Okposo) who was on the fast track to becoming one of the top all-around effective forwards in the league.  I mean, to be that strong and talented, that young?  He’s my fave guy on Long Island right now, so I’m super bummed about him going on IR.  I seriously thought he was going to have a stat-splosion in 2010-11.

I just don’t see any way the team can maintain playoff hopes if Kyle is out for an extended period of time, unless Snow gets aggressive and tries to patch the holes.

One more thing, before we move on – in quick defense of my Hockey News piece today, about which I got some heat from a couple Islanders fans:  If you read my piece, you’ll see that I asked for an addition (help for Tavares), and made no mention of subtractions (THE REBUILD! THA REEEBBUIILLLLDDDD!).  Nowhere in there do I suggest we trade any of the core guys from The Rebuild (there’s some fat to trim at the bottom of the roster still, I promise).

Pending: face-off play or make-out session?

The Penguins were horrible and “rebuilt,” but if you remember it took some acquisitions to put them over the top.  They didn’t exactly draft Sergei Gonchar.  If Isles fans recall, Matt Moulson wasn’t a draft pick either – they signed him because they thought he could contribute offensively (and boy did he ever).  You need these additions to make your rebuild complete.

Stamkos had studs to work with on his line, and that inflated his stats – Martin St. Louis drew coverage and made plays that created opportunity for Stamkos.  My point is, right now Tavares is making plays and creating opportunities for Moulson and other linemates.  The Isles need someone to do that for him if he hopes to develop into the offensive juggarnaut we all know he can be.

And as for the “but who’s available?” question: There were plenty of players they Isles missed out on this summer by being cheap, which inspired the column.  The help doesn’t have to come immediately (though after the KO thing, it feels more pressing), but whether that means cashing in at the deadline by trading picks (we have enough “potential” already) , or signing players next summer, John Tavares can’t be a one-man show in circus tent of hopefuls for much longer.


The following are the odds in Vegas (courtesy Vegas, hat-tip to reader Andrew) on teams to win the 2011 Stanley Cup.  Lets discuss.

Team Open Current
Pittsburgh 6/1  6/1 
Washington 6/1  6/1 
Chicago 5/1  7/1 
Detroit 8/1  10/1 
Vancouver 12/1  12/1 
San Jose 8/1  12/1 
Philadelphia 12/1  14/1 
New Jersey 15/1  15/1 
Los Angeles 15/1  18/1 
Boston 20/1  18/1 
Montreal 30/1  25/1 
Buffalo 25/1  30/1 
Calgary 30/1  35/1 
Anaheim 30/1  35/1 
Ottawa 40/1  35/1 
Tampa Bay 45/1  35/1 
Phoenix 35/1  40/1 
Colorado 45/1  40/1 
Nashville 40/1  40/1 
St. Louis 40/1  45/1 
Carolina 35/1  50/1 
N.Y. Rangers 45/1  55/1 
Toronto 60/1  60/1 
Dallas 60/1  60/1 
Florida 75/1  80/1 
Minnesota 75/1  80/1 
Columbus 75/1  80/1 
Atlanta 75/1  80/1 
N.Y. Islanders 60/1  80/1 
Edmonton 100/1  100/1 


From his email:

“Aren’t the Caps and Pens at 6:1 just a horrible bet? If the Pens didn’t improve greatly over the summer, I’m not sure I like them at 20:1. (Bourne: Yup, anyone at 6:1 just isn’t worth your gamble)
Isn’t any team at 6:1 (save for the Oilers in the 80s and your dad’s teams in the 70s) a horrible bet? (Oops, you were going to say that, I see)
I like Boston at 18:1 and Philly at 14:1 and Buffalo in a long-shot at 30:1 .”
(I like Boston more than Philly – better goaltending, better odds.  No reason to believe Buffalo will be better than last year, is there?)

Great email, thanks.

Off the top, I gotta say, I don’t like any of these bets, since I feel like the rewards are too low.  You kiddin’ me?  I NAIL a  $20 pre-season prediction on the Roberto Luongo and the Canucks overcoming the Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals and 24 other teams, and you give me $240 bucks back, a $220 profit?  Eat me.  You should get 50-1 odds on something like that, minimum.

But for the fun of discussing it, here are my thoughts: The three best and worst bets, as a balance of chance-to-win versus getting-a-worthwhile-payout.

Best Bets: 

New Jersey at 15-1
Tampa Bay at 35-1
St. Louis at 45-1 (but LA is 18-1?)

Worst Bets:

San Jose at 12-1 (fourth best team in their conference)
Montreal at 25-1 (possibly the worst bet you could make)
Florida at 80-1 (dead money)

What do you think?


27 Responses to “Isles Playoff Hopes “KO’ed”, Stanley Cup Betting Odds”
  1. Nadeau says:

    It will be intresting to read your coaching article as I have moved over to that side of the game and I am loving shoulda made the switch sooner

  2. pokerface says:

    Vegas odds makers are getting pretty jumpy over that Samsonov injury…….

  3. potvinrocks says:

    I did have the Islanders at the 8 or 9 spot, then Streit was injured and I bumped them back 10 or 11. Now with the injury to Okposo, I’m looking at 1st or 2nd in the draft. The Islanders are jinxed. Will we ever win another playoff series?
    Tavares does need someone to play with. I’m hoping that 7/1 we make a pitch to Zack Parise. We have a lot of good 2nd line players and right now we only have 2 first line players; Okposo and Tavares. Well them and maybe Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

  4. Urrgh. Anyone else get the feeling the 2010-2011 Islanders are going to be worse than last year’s Oilers? Hell, the way their preseason is going, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear DiPietro hurt himself on that Sim-takedown…

    Nice article Justin. Keep pumping them out!

  5. Derek says:

    The Streit injury hurts more this season, but in the long run the Okposo injury is much worse. Like you noted, shoulder injuries almost always are recurring. And a guy like Okposo needs his shoulders to play. If he were a little shifty guy it wouldn’t be as big a deal, but being physical is part of what makes Okposo special. If he can’t play that way he’s in big trouble. Let’s hope this is the end of his shoulder issues, as I am a huge fan of Okposo’s game.

  6. Liviu says:

    So with Tavarez’s injury, your first column is…much less relevant. Unlucky timing there, JB.

  7. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the “hat tip”, Justin. Would have killed you to give me a shout-out to my blog? Kidding… kinda.

    I’ll defend my comments here. Buffalo may not be better this season than last, but 30:1 and a great goalie? A relatively decent gamble. Fully agree that there aren’t any true great bets, but that’s why Vegas is rich and we’re not. Also, I’m a Philly fan so I’d like them at 2:1.

    Great call on NJ, St. Louis and Tbay as the best bets.

    I missed the 25:1 odds on Montreal, which is surprising because I hate them so much. I would take the following teams with worse odds over Montreal, even if the odds were even:
    Buffalo, Anaheim, Ottawa, Tbay, Phoenix, Colorado, St. Louis and maybe even the Rangers.

  8. Char says:

    I’ve never placed a bet on anything before, but where can I put money down on Boston?

  9. Steve C. says:

    Best Bets:
    Philadelphia at 14-1
    Los Angeles at 18-1 (just a goalie away)
    Colorado at 40-1

    Worst Bets:
    Detroit at 10-1 (that’s just throwing $$$$ away)
    San Jose at 12-1 (their odds should be much higher)
    NY Islanders at 80-1 (not to win the Cup but to finish ahead of Edmonton)

  10. MattyJ says:

    Oh no, JTBourne! It’s ‘alternate captain’ not ‘assistant captain’!

    My money goes to Tampa Bay as the dark horse, once they pick up a new goalie come mid-November.

  11. jtbourne says:

    Really, assistant/alternate matters to you? Okay…In your defense, I first wrote alternate, then decided it makes no sense. Alternate implies “only if #1 isn’t around,” where assistants are always allowed to talk to the ref regardless. Assistant!

  12. Derek says:

    Just read the Puck Daddy article. Good stuff. There is a lot more to coaching that most fans don’t seem to realize. It’s mind blowing to me how slow some NHL staffs have been to figure this stuff out. Having worked in the video department for an NHL team and a College team, I was shocked to see that the College team put way more thought, effort and emphasis on video coaching in comparison to the NHL team. That NHL team has since fired their old school coach and replaced him with a younger guy. Not sure how the new staff does stuff, but the team improved after they fired the coach midseason last year.

  13. MattyJ says:

    But the C and the A don’t share the ice at the same time. The A functions as a temporary replacement for the C.


    I think about the coaches. It’s an assistant coach because they coach at the same time from the same post.

    Congratulations, though. How long have you been blogging and you finally just made your first mistake? :) Ha ha.

    Love the blog and all the other outlets you write in. Keep up the good work, dude!

  14. jtbourne says:

    Wait, the A and the C don’t share the ice at the same time? …since when? Should we check the NHL to see if any C’s and A’s “share the ice?” Ill accept either phrases, even though alternate has clearly become the go-to over assistant. Thanks for the rest :)

  15. mikeB says:

    As for Okposo I have him in two pools and expected him to score me a lot of points (we do PIMS, SHP, GWG) so he was a late round ace…. Now nothing.


    -St. Louis.

    Only bets worth money. The sad part is all 3 of those teams could conceivably miss the playoffs.

  16. Deirdre says:

    I think Alternate is winning because Assistant sounds like it’s subordinate to the Captain, which the As so totally aren’t.

    1. Belonging to a lower or inferior class or rank; secondary.
    2. Subject to the authority or control of another.

    Now I need you to come up with a story about a truly low-class A. There’s GOT to be some :-P

  17. SDC says:

    Assistant Captain FTW. A Caps help out their commanding officer. If they were equal alternates, they would all wear C’s.

  18. James says:

    The Isles need to get Langenbrunner (if NJ is shopping him due to the cap) and Brad Richards (if Dallas has budget issues due to ownership issues) to try and shore things up.

  19. MWL says:


    where does Jack Hillen fit in for the isles? I know they have a couple of young studly d-men in DeHaan and Hamonic…is he still going to be getting Ice?

  20. jtbourne says:

    They love Hillen man, I expect him to play a big role. One of the two you just named, I think Hamonic hurt his shoulder I think (seriously) and is going to be out for awhile. I don’t expect either of them to make the team.

  21. MWL says:

    Good deal, thanks for the info. always love seeing the WCHA kids doing well…

  22. Teddy Herman says:

    I agree the Isles (my fav team for 30 years) will go nowhere and do nothing to help Tavares, The Lightning at least try to provide a decent team on the ice, the Isles on the other hand DO NOTHING! Same thing year in and year out the Isles sign old wash ups and has beens, don’t draft big bodies to protect the young guys, my prediction the Isles will be very lucky to get 20 wins, and that’s being generous, I wouldn’t be surprised if they lost 60 or 70 games, the Isles are just under bad management again! At least in 2015 we’ll have a nice arena in Quebec,Vegas,Hamilton, or perhaps Seattle,maybe Kansas City. Well at least we have decent uniforms and no fishsticks.

  23. MattyJ says:

    “Assistant Captain FTW. A Caps help out their commanding officer. If they were equal alternates, they would all wear C’s.”

    Not true. Only one C or A is allowed in the ref’s crease, you never see a C and A there at the same time because it’s against the rules.

    My original comment was really tongue-in-cheek and sorry I’ve been forced to be ‘that guy’, but the official NHL rules (6.1 and 6.2) are very clear on the matter:

    “6.2 Alternate Captains – If the permanent Captain is not on the ice, Alternate Captains (not more than two) shall be accorded the privileges of the Captain.”

    Alternate FTW.

  24. nightfly says:

    Matty – well, if it’s a win, it’s one of those lame SO wins where the other side gets a point too. ;) Some teams do not assign a C at all, and go with three A’s, for example. In that case it would make the most sense to use “Alternate” but when there is a clear Captain, the two guys with A’s assist him.

  25. MattyJ says:

    Gotta take your points anywhere you can get them. :)

    I’m still going with the dictionary definition of the words, which the NHL also does.

    If the captain is not even there, or there isn’t one, how can you be assisting him?

    Closely watch some games this season and make a note of who is wearing the C and/or the A’s. They are almost always on separate lines because when the C is out there, the A is null and void, he has no function. It’s a waste to overlap these guys because you need either a C or an A out there as often as possible.

    You’ll often see an injury to a first line player, and the A from line 2 is moved up. Most of the time he leaves that A behind to someone else on the second line. There’s a clear reason for that and the coaches know it.

    This is the kind of crap I think about. Sometimes it’s a curse (to everyone.) :)

  26. Tom Curran says:

    If I’m rocking an A on my Jersey I’m liking the “assistant” tag. Alternate sounds like your sorta important but not really while assistant sounds like your relied on to give the C some help when the shit flies! Alternate: the guy the hot chick didn’t pick, who’s buddy(the captain)is going to score with!!

  27. MattyJ says:

    “…assistant sounds like your relied on to give the C some help when the shit flies!”

    The thing is, as the A, you’re not helping. As far as the league, rules and ref’s are concerned, when the C is on the ice the A’s do not exist. Once you’re in a position to A the C, you’re on the bench with everyone else so anyone can assist.

    The Alternate is the wingman that leaves the bar with the hot chick when the C is in the toilet.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!