Now a few months into the NHL season some teams are really making a name for themselves sitting at the top of their conferences. Let's take a look at the NHL odds to see who the favorites are for future Stanley Cup action.
- Chicago Blackhawks (+550)-The Blackhawks have shown no ill effects from a Stanley Cup hangover. Cory Crawford has proven to be a big game goaltender, and their defense has little if any flaws.
- Boston Bruins (+800)-The Bruins have advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2 of the last 3 seasons, and won the ultimate prize in 2011. Tuukka Rask is arguably the best goaltender in the world right now. Their defense is collectively the best group in the entire NHL. The front office has done a great job of keeping the heart and soul of the team intact.
- Pittsburgh Penguins (+500)-There’s no doubting the Penguins talent level. They have elite world class players such as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The huge question mark for Pittsburgh will be how Marc-Andre Fleury performs in the postseason. His past failures during recent playoff appearances, has cost his team dearly, and he remains the key to how far the Penguins can go in this season’s playoffs.
- St. Louis Blues (+800)-As opposed to the other three favorites, the Blues get the least amount of notoriety, accolades, and media attention. Granted a lot of that stems from the market they play in. However, this is a vastly underrated team, that’s extremely disciplined, and has a top notch head coach in Ken Hitchcock who led the Dallas Stars to the 1999 Stanley Cup Championship.
- Anaheim Ducks (+1000)-The Ducks are currently 1st in the Pacific Division, and 1st overall in the Western Conference 1-point ahead of Chicago. It will be interesting to see if this club can maintain this pace in the 2nd half of the season.
- Los Angeles Kings (+850)-This will be a very dangerous team to play against come playoff time. They’ve proved that they can elevate their game to a high level during the postseason, winning the Stanley Cup in 2012, and advancing to the Western Conference Finals last season. They possess the best defensive corps and goaltending in the Western Conference.
Can’t Be Ignored
- San Jose Sharks (+1000)
- Montreal Canadians (+1800)
- Vancouver Canucks (+1600)