Every year, hockey fans unite to root and cheer for their beloved teams. While some teams are favored to win the whole league, for others the focus and the prestige lies in winning the Stanley Cup as it is the oldest existing trophy that is awarded in a professional sports franchise.
However, most popular bookmakers don’t give odds based on the number of fans the team has but instead on team’s statistics throughout the season. As the latest season unfolds, let’s see precisely whom the bookmakers favor to win the Stanley Cup this year.
Tampa Bay Lightning
According to the offered odds, almost every bookmaker agrees that Tampa Bay Lightning is the main contender to win the Stanley Cup this year. However, the news of them being a favorite doesn’t come as a surprise to any hockey fan out there; you don’t have to be proficient in statistics to see the evident results.
Tampa Bay Lightning has a team stacked with superstars, and a testament to their quality is the fact that they are standing high on top of the leaderboards. Not only that but they are currently on a 15-0-1 run and in a position to beat the Montreal Canadiens’ record from 1976/1977 for having the largest number of points during a season. Regardless of their dominant league run, the difference in odds offered by bookmakers isn’t that big between them and the other contenders to win the cup.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Many bookmakers aren’t impressed by the performance of Toronto Maple Leafs during this season and, albeit the team finds itself in the top three to win the Stanley Cup, they have relatively short odds given the strength of their team. Andersen’s performance is stellar but, even though the team has some of the best forwards in the league, they still need to work on their defense. With the addition of Jake Muzzin, we can only speculate and see if they can manage to pull it out and snatch the trophy right under everyone’s noses.
Winnipeg Jets have been in the NHL league for 24 years and made exactly zero finals appearances during that time. Coincidentally, it has also been 24 years since Canadians had their team win the cup. However, this season might be the one for Winnipeg Jets as they pose a serious threat for not only reaching the finals but also winning the Stanley Cup. Alongside Maple Leafs, they are Canada’s chance to end the drought and bring the trophy home. All eyes are peeled and focused on Patrik Laine as Canadians impatiently wait on that trophy.
Bolts, Leafs, and Jets all seem unstoppable this season. However, three is a crowd as there can be only two teams in the finals and only one will be crowned champion. While bookmakers favor these three, one team to keep an eye on are the Vegas Golden Knights. They had a historic run last season that left a bitter taste in their mouth after losing in the finals, and this year, after a slow start, they seem hungrier than ever.