On May 11, the NHL postseason begins — and several teams have emerged as serious contenders.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are playing well once again under the watchful eye of coach Jon Cooper, and grabbing a second consecutive Stanley Cup is certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Can the ice hockey team from the Sunshine State repeat and win its third overall (the other being 2004)? Or will another franchise rise up and capture it?
According to the Stanley Cup odds, we may have a new team hoisting the massive trophy when the season wraps. For the odds leaders — the Colorado Avalanche — they haven’t won it all since 2001. The Vegas Golden Knights are also high up in the odds and were runners-up in 2018 to the Washington Capitals, but the young franchise also hasn’t won a Stanley Cup.
And the Toronto Maple Leafs — who have been to 21 Stanley Cups all-time, winning 13 — haven’t won one since 1967. It would be a long time coming for the starved hockey fans from Canada.
NHL Stanley Cup Odds
Colorado Avalanche (+400) — The Avalanche have been consistently good, and are 7-1-2 in their last 10 contests. Entering the second weekend of April, they lead the NHL with 140 goals scored, and their goal differential of plus-45 is far and away the best in the league (the next best is Tampa Bay at plus-35).
Tampa Bay Lightning (+600) — The defending Stanley Cup champions haven’t exactly dominated in recent weeks, playing .500 hockey in their last 10 games. But the Lightning know how to win, and wouldn’t be perched in this spot if they didn’t get it done when it matters most — in the postseason.
Vegas Golden Knights (+750) — The Golden Knights are battling the Avalanche for the No. 1 spot in the West. Could they rise up and unseat Colorado before the postseason?
Toronto Maple Leafs (+900) — The Maple Leafs are the hottest team in the NHL coming into the second weekend of April, going 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, winning five in a row.
The Next Tier
NOTE: Team records and division ranking as of April 8
Carolina Hurricanes (+1200) — 27-9-3 (57 points) — 1st place in Central
Washington Capitals (+1200) — 25-11-4 (54 points) — 2nd place in East
New York Islanders (+1400) — 26-10-4 (56 points) — 1st place in East
Edmonton Oilers (+1800) — 25-14-2 (52 points) — 2nd place in North
Minnesota Wild (+1800) — 24-12-2 (50 points) — 3rd place in West
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