PHT Oddsmaker: Let’s gamble on the NHL

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PHT Oddsmaker will be a regular feature where we set pretend odds and pretend to gamble on them. If you’d like to bet real money, meet us in the alley and we’ll talk.

Odds the 2013 Winter Classic is held in Detroit at Comerica Park (-120)

Ask most fans where an outdoor hockey game hosted by the Red Wings should be played and they’ll say Michigan Stadium, aka the Big House. Last December, the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans played in front of an announced crowd of 113,411. It was quite the spectacle. But here’s why I’d bet on Comerica Park, the home of MLB’s Tigers – the Ilitch family owns the Tigers and Red Wings, and it operates Comerica Park. The baseball stadium’s also downtown, not 45 miles away in Ann Arbor. Of course, for Comerica Park to host the Winter Classic, Detroit has to be awarded the game first. But based on the speculation, that’s all but a done deal.

Odds Boston’s Brad Marchand has a fight Saturday versus the Canucks (+300)

We wrote about the upcoming Stanley Cup rematch earlier today, making specific reference to the Marchand angle. Vancouver has all the motive it needs to go after the Bruins’ pesky forward for repeatedly jabbing Daniel Sedin in the face at the end of Game 6. Though Marchand isn’t a frequent scrapper, he’s dropped the gloves twice this season, once with PK Subban, the other with Matt Niskanen. Who could he fight on the Canucks? Kevin Bieksa would love to beat on Marchand and maybe he’ll try, but that would be a mismatch. Dale Weise fights, but he’s new to the Canucks. Keith Ballard is a potential candidate. Heck, Maxim Lapierre has a couple of scraps on his card. Maybe those two could engage in a rat fight. (Cheese and tails everywhere.) With +300 odds, I’ll take this bet.

Odds Seattle gets an NHL team in the next 5 years (+300)

Elliotte Friedman wrote about the possibility this week, thus the odds. Seattle’s an interesting potential NHL market. The league would no doubt love to put a franchise in the backyard of companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks. But make no mistake – most sports fans in that city want the NBA back before they want an NHL team. So if a new arena gets built – and that’s still a big if – chances are a basketball team will follow. And if a basketball team follows, would Seattle be able to support the NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS, NCAA and NHL? I’ll stay away from this one. It might happen in 10 years, but I don’t see anything imminent. (I hope I’m wrong though.)

Auston Matthews keeps goal streak alive, gives Leafs 1-0 lead in third

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These are the moments Toronto Maple Leafs fans were dreaming about when they drafted Auston Matthews. At least those bold enough to picture such great things, so soon in his career.

Speaking of so soon … that’s not how you’d describe a 1-0 goal happening in the third period of a game in this Leafs – Washington Capitals series, but it took that long to break the ice in Game 6.

It took a very lucky bounce for the puck to find its way to Matthews … but the finish was pure skill. With that, the remarkable rookie now has a goal in four straight games (with an assist thrown in for good measure).

The lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Marcus Johansson scored to tie it 1-1.

Things could get awfully nervous for Toronto as they try to force a decisive Game 7 in Washington, but that was a huge goal by Matthews either way.

Clarke MacArthur, Craig Anderson made Sens win that much more emotional

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It could have been over for Clarke MacArthur plenty of times during his turbulent NHL career. Scratch that, his turbulent hockey career.

His team walked away from his salary arbitration award. MacArthur’s seen plenty of people give up on him. And then, when he finally found a home with the Ottawa Senators, concussion issues threatened to end his playing days.

Yet, there he was on Sunday … drawing a penalty in overtime and then scoring on the ensuing power play to help the Senators advance beyond the Boston Bruins.

He didn’t deny that he imagined very different possibilities during his darker moments.

And, as uplifting as his story was – seriously, just watch this interview and try not to root for the guy – it wasn’t the only emotionally charged moment from Game 6.

Nicholle Anderson was on hand to cheer on Craig Anderson in this one, and the two were able to embrace after the contest:

As violent and intense as the playoffs can often be, MacArthur and Anderson reminded us of the gentler human side of it all.

Erik Karlsson played through hairline fractures in foot to help Sens advance

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Remember when many were keeping an eye on Erik Karlsson after he was seemingly cramping up after logging more than 40 minutes in an OT contest against the Boston Bruins?

It’s possible he was also dealing with that sort of ailment, but he earned some “hockey tough” kudos on Sunday after word surfaced that the Ottawa Senators defenseman was dealing with hairline fractures in his left heel through the series.

Sportsnet’s Jason York refers to the issue as “two small fractures” while ESPN’s Joe McDonald went into specifics, noting that Karlsson explains that the injury happened on March 28 (and was why he missed some games late in the season).

There’s some optimism as the Senators ready for the New York Rangers, at least according to Karlsson.

Hmm.

Either way, that’s impressive stuff from the Senators defenseman, and the sort of information that usually only surfaces after a team has been eliminated. We’ll see if he’s hindered by such issues as the playoffs go along.

Gaudreau, Granlund and Tarasenko: 2017 Lady Byng finalists

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The NHL officially announced the nominees for the 2017 Lady Byng on Sunday, and they’re a star-studded bunch: Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Granlund and Vladimir Tarasenko.

The PHWA determines “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

(Did Tarasenko help eliminate Granlund’s team in a gentlemanly fashion?)

For more on the three finalists, click here.