NHL Betting: Factors Teams Need to be Stanley Cup Champions

David Lawrence

Monday, November 30, 2015 2:22 PM GMT

Monday, Nov. 30, 2015 2:22 PM GMT

What’s the profile of a Stanley Cup champion? We dove into the numbers to see if we could find a pattern and we came up with a few good nuggets that will help you with your 2015-16 NHL futures.

Goaltending Leads To Stanley Cups
The old adage continues to ring true. While many people first think of the Chicago Blackhawks – the current Stanley Cup champs – as a team that is offensive-minded, the truth is that their goaltending and defense have been on-point during their runs. As a matter of fact, that’s been the key to success for each of the last five winners. Have a look:

Year

Stanley Cup Champion

Regular Season GA/G

Rank

2015

Chicago Blackhawks

2.27

2nd

2014

Los Angeles Kings

2.05

1ST

2013

Chicago Blackhawks

2.02

1ST

2012

Los Angeles Kings

2.07

2nd

2011

Boston Bruins

2.30

2nd

So what do the numbers tell us? Clearly, quality defensive teams do well. As a matter of fact, waiting until the start of the postseason and betting the top two teams in this category looks like a great idea considering the track record. And even going back to 2010 when the Chicago Blackhawks won their first of three in six years, they ranked fifth in goals-against average, so it’s not as if they were far off from the other teams mentioned in this chart.

 

Winning Road Record
When it comes to winning a Stanley Cup, it’s not just 16 playoff wins that is required. It’s basically a second season where wins are hard to come by and you can’t solely rely on home-ice advantage. We’ve seen a few good examples of this where teams with a stellar home record and a shoddy road record get exposed. A good example was the Nashville Predators in the 2014-15 playoffs.

That’s why teams that thrive on the road tend to be the most successful in the playoffs. When you take a look at each of the last 13 Stanley Cup champions, each of them finished in the Top 10 in terms of away record. That’s an astounding track record. If we’ve reached the end of the regular season and you’re thinking of betting on a team that didn’t finish in the Top 10 in terms of road record, you may as well scratch them off your list.

Familiar favorites top the Stanley Cup betting odds

Quality Coaching, Quality Leadership
While the first two entries in this list are tangible, the last is an intangible. You’d be hard-pressed to find a Stanley Cup champ that won it all without the leadership on the ice and off of it. In the NFL, we’ve seen teams like the 2000 Baltimore Ravens win the Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer as quarterback. In the NBA, we’ve seen some talented teams carry a so-so head coach to a championship ring. However, in the NHL, you need to be strong in both realms to get it done. For the Chicago Blackhawks, who have won three of the last six Stanley Cups, they’ve had great leadership with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, and great coaching with Joel Quenneville. With the Los Angeles Kings, it’s been Darryl Sutter that’s had the magic touch with Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick leading on the ice. In 2011 when the Boston Bruins won it all, coach Claude Julien and Tim Thomas spearheaded the success. That’s why when you look at teams like the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues heading into the playoffs last season, you have to ask some questions. The profile of a Stanley Cup champ includes rock-solid coaching and leadership on the ice.

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