Now that we know where each of the sixteen teams have landed in their respective conferences and who they’ll face in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, it’s time to look at the odds on favorite to win it all.
Courtesy of VegasInsider.com, the Pittsburgh Penguins are the favorites to win the Stanley Cup this year with odds of 7/2. This isn’t surprising given the Pens won the Eastern Conference and loaded up on veteran talent at the trade deadline. But when you consider they weren’t the best team in the league this year, close mind you, but still five points back of the President’s Trophy winning Chicago Blackhawks it is somewhat surprising that the Penguins are the odds on favorite.
Close behind are the Blackhawks that we mentioned with odds of 4/1. You could make the argument that Chicago should be ahead of the Penguins given their regular season record but keep in mind, this is a Pittsburgh club that finished the season without superstar Sidney Crosby and still managed to walk away with the east. Now they are set to have number 87 return to their lineup which could be enough to bump them ahead of the Penguins.
Following the Pens and Hawks are the Boston Bruins with 8/1 odds, slightly ahead of their rival Montreal Canadiens who have 10/1 odds. Again, the Bruins fell short of the Habs to win the division and given the Canadiens surprise season, perhaps the odds makers aren’t completely sold on Montreal’s depth to be able to beat Boston should they meet in the second round.
The Anaheim Ducks also have 10/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup this year and if you’re looking at a sleeper pick, this would be mine. Maybe sleeper isn’t the right word given the Ducks are the fifth highest ranked team on this list, but keep in mind most of the attention will go to Pittsburgh and Chicago. The Ducks have been in the Hawks shadow all year long and have quietly been one of the most consistent teams through the 48-game schedule making them a great pick in the playoffs.
The entire list can be found here and to avoid verbal diarrhea, we won’t go through the entire odds list.
It is worth looking at the bottom feeders of the list which does have a few surprises. The bottom three teams with odds of 30/1 are the Detroit Red Wings, New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators.
When you look at the Toronto Maple Leafs with odds of 25/1 it’s hard to believe that a club who is limping into the postseason perhaps worse off than any other team would receive odds ahead of the aforementioned three.
Also, how the Minnesota Wild received odds of 18/1 is beyond me. Here’s a club that just about missed the playoffs and now they have the un-envious task of trying to knock of the Chicago Blackhawks in round one. For the record, I’d take the Islanders before I take the Wild to cause a major upset.
The defending champs Los Angeles Kings are in the middle of the pack at 15/1, making them an extremely attractive pick in my opinion.
Take a look at the list and let us know your thoughts by leaving your comments below.
Tags: Anaheim Ducks Boston Bruins Chicago Blackhawks Detroit Red Wings Los Angeles Kings Minnesota Wild Montreal Canadiens New York Islanders NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Ottawa Senators Pittsburgh Penguins Toronto Maple Leafs