Western Conference Futures:
I only listed the top four teams on the Western Conference update versus five in the Eastern Conference because the gap between them and the lower squads is to far; and at this point they are extreme and unrealistic long shots, with very little chance to beat the NHL odds.
Chicago Blackhawks: 9/2
The Blackhawks have played 23 games, so far this season, winning a staggering 20 times for a sensational record of 20-0-3 and a league best 43 points. Their defense is the stingiest in the NHL, giving up fewer than 2 goals per game (1.9); and they also feature a great offense that is scoring an average of 3.3 goals per game, which ranks 4th best in the league. Right about now they seem to a bargain on the NHL odds, so making an investment on the Blackhawks to win the Stanley Cup is a wise move.
Vancouver Canucks: 8/1
The Canucks own a first place lead in the Northwest Division, with 11 wins, 6 losses, 5 OTL and 27 points. Vancouver is a very good and well-balanced team on both sides of the ice and is certainly capable of making a deep run in the postseason. However, with the way the Blackhawks are playing, the Canucks have a tall task ahead of them, as do most of the other teams in the West, so while their odds look good, they might not be worth the investment.
Anaheim Ducks: 14/1
The Ducks were my value NHL pick before the start of the season and they are looking good right about now on the NHL odds, as they own a very impressive 15-3-3 record after 21 games played so far this season. Their results have led to 33 points, which has landed them atop the Pacific Division. If the Ducks catch lightning in a bottle, they could be a huge surprise for bettors that picked them early on, with the payoff being a nice return on investment.
Los Angeles Kings: 14/1
The Kings started their season off slow, no doubt suffering from a Stanley Cup hangover, but they have since turned things around and now own a 12-7-2 record. They snuck in the playoffs as an 8th seed last season and won it all, proving anything can happen during the postseason. The Kings have a lot of work to do this year if they want to repeat, but I don’t expect that to happen, as their seems to be a few other teams that want it more than Los Angeles does this season.