A quarter of the way into the 2015/16 campaign, it is time to take a refreshed look at the Stanley Cup odds. We have now had an opportunity to see how most teams are looking and improving.
The Stars have been a solid team going 19-5 in the first quarter. Definitely they have been the elite of their division. Look for the Stars to continue to improve as the season progresses. This team does not show signs of wearing down and could be a strong contender for the Stanley Cup finals with the odds favoring them at 15-2.
The Eastern Conference boasts three of the top four teams behind the Stars, with the Montreal Canadiens (12-1), New York Rangers 13-2) and Washington Capitals (12-1) all nipping on Dallas’ heels.
Everything’s gone right for the Montreal Canadiens through the first 25 games of the 2015-16 season. Not only are the Habs in prime position to make the playoffs, but they’re also in great shape to win the division. The team is scoring, Carey Price is playing like Carey Price, and the Canadiens are already being touted as 2016 Stanley Cup contenders at 12-2 odds.
New York Rangers
The Rangers are at this point by far the most probable to make it to the Stanley Cup finals and potentially win it all. They are rated the best team in the league and do not look like they will be slowing down anytime soon. At 17-6-2 tied with Montreal in points, life could be interesting on Broadway down the stretch. Although, only 24 games into the season, much can happen between now and June. Current NHL odds for the Rangers are 13-2.
Can Alexander Ovechkin lead his 17-5-1 Capitals to their first Stanley Cup championship. This Caps team is loaded, and after coming up one goal short of the conference finals last season, adding two important pieces in forwards T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams without losing any significant players (sorry, Mike Green) will push them to the next level. Starting goalie Braden Holtby has become a legitimate star and owns the best playoff save percentage among active goalies with 20-plus postseason.
The team that was the early NHL pick to repeat as champions has fallen slightly. They are not playing as well as they can be at only 13-8-3 after 24 games. This team had a horrible western road run, but they are very capable of rebounding as the season continues. The Blackhawks do have a lot of work to do in order to show they can stay in the top four. I do not see this team repeating.