We might have only just reached the midway point of the National Hockey League (NHL) season, but it could be argued that now is a perfect opportunity to discuss who the best bets are to win this year’s edition of the Stanley Cup.
The NHL season has been one that has been rather fast and furious at times, although through nobody's fault of their own, it has been one that has been a little slower in some aspects.
Nonetheless, there has still been plenty to talk about and to get excited about regarding the action that has taken place on the ice, with those who bet on the NHL already looking ahead to the end of the campaign and trying to make predictions about who they believe will be lifting the Stanley Cup at the end of the season.
We have decided to take a look at the three main contenders at the midway stage of this year’s competition and look at why either one of them could be the franchise to be lifting one of sports’ most prestigious trophies in the summer!
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the three teams that are currently favored to be in the running!
At the moment, it would be hard to look at any other team than the Colorado Avalanche at the moment as the team is one that is currently blowing most teams off the ice at the moment.
Despite the rather slow start to the season that saw the team win just six of their opening 12 games, they have since gone on a run that has shown championship-winning form and many expect them to do better than last season.
The Avalanche managed to finish top of the West Division last year as they acquired a total of 82 points - the most in the entire league - with the Vegas Golden Knights the only franchise to match them. However, their performance in last season’s playoffs was disappointing as they were bested by the aforementioned Knights, despite having been rated as the favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
Nonetheless, the Avalanche still remains one of the favorites to go all the way this season, and with the form that they are currently showing, it would be hard to see them fail like they did last year.
Vegas Golden Knights
As mentioned above, the Vegas Golden Knights had a solid season last year but one that would have been rather disappointing in regard to the way that it had ended. They had more wins than the Avalanche despite earning the same number of points, whilst they also managed to beat them in the playoffs before beating the Minnesota Wild.
However, the team’s playoff adventure ended with a defeat to the Montreal Canadiens who were then beaten by winners the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Vegas Golden Knights certainly appear to have a chip on their shoulder this season and have made sure that they are in contention to make a swift return to the playoffs and potentially compete for the Stanley Cup as they have managed to (at the time of writing) win 26 of its 45 games played, leaving them top of the Pacific Division.
Tampa Bay Lightning
For some, the Tampa Bay Lightning are also in the conversation to be Stanley Cup winners once again this season, which would mean that they would become back-to-back-to-back winners if they were able to achieve it!
Again, for many, there is no better team in the entire NHL at the moment and over the last couple of years, which is why they are favored as one of the three main contenders for the title this season.
The team has not been its usual dominating self this season, which is why some are liking the odds of the Avalanche and the Golden Knights, although it would be incredibly naive to write off the Florida-based franchise.
Indeed, they currently rank second in the Atlantic Division behind state-rivals the Florida Panthers, having won a total of 29 of their 45 games. This means that they still remain in a position to compete and are likely going to step up into another gear as we enter the second half of the NHL season.
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