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Jeff's 2018-19 NHL Eastern Conference Spotlight Team

By: Jeff Hochman
Date: Sep 30, 2018
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Jeff's (JH-Sportsline) NHL Spotlight teams are squads that will make the playoffs (and/or improve by at least 15 points) after missing out the previous year. Jeff is a now a six-time NHL Handicapping champion documented by The Sports Monitor of OK. Jeff cashed a record 78.6% in 2013 NHL regular season and 70% in the Postseason. Jeff was ranked No. 3 in 2015 and ranked No. 1 in win percentage two seasons ago. Jeff cashed 64% in 2017. Do yourself a favor and jump on board. Full season NHL packages are now available.

Jeff's 2018-19 NHL Eastern Conference Spotlight Team: Florida Panthers (2017-18 record: 44-30-5, 96 points)

This is the year of the Panther or so we hope. Black Panther did very well at the box office and should get an Oscar nomination. The Florida Panthers have been knocking on the door of reaching the playoffs and they have a solid core in place to finally make that happen. Florida added a bunch of complementary pieces in the offseason that should add to their depth. Mike Hoffman is a stud on the wing. He tallied 56 points for Ottawa last season. At 28, he's getting better. Aleksander Barkov (27 goals, 51 assists) and Vincent Trocheck (31 goals, 44 assists) are two rising studs who should be All-Stars this season. I would grab both of them if you're playing fantasy hockey. On defense, they added KHL All-Star Bogdan Kiselevich to an already loaded blue line. The Panthers have eight players listed at 6'3" or taller on defense. Florida should dominate smaller younger teams with a suffocating stop unit.

The Panthers will be a force even if their offense takes a night off, thanks to an 18-year veteran in net. Roberto Luongo went 18-11-2 with a 2.47 GAA and .929 save percentage and will need to stay healthy. James Reimer is a solid backup who went 22-14-6 last season. Michael Hutchinson (43 career victories) will be ready if an injury forces Luongo or Reimer to miss any significant time. Love the depth on the back end, up the middle, and on the wings. Lets just hope they stay healthy. This team is loaded with a bunch of high draft picks from years of picking in the top 10. If the Florida Panthers were a stock they would be a Strong Buy. The Panthers should be very comfortable in Bob Boughner's second full season as head coach. Go Over 93.5 season point total.

Jeff's Florida Panthers Prediction: (45-26-8, 6th playoff spot in the East, 98 points)

Jeff's Eastern Conference Season Point Total best bet: Tampa Bay Lightning UNDER 107.5 (-112)

The Lightning had the fewest players injured last season. I don't see that happening again. Tampa Bay will be good but not 107.5 points good. Take the Under!

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