We are still at the beginning of the second half of the NHL season, and now it is time for the fiercer matches to take place as the battle for the Stanley Cup is intensifying. Some teams seem like they've already booked a place for the playoffs, but it is still early to tell as the team's form might drop instantly.
This year’s NHL Stanley Cup competition, we will talk about the teams that have the best odds to win this prestigious trophy, the outsiders of the season, and the players to look out for.
Stanley Cup - Odds for Winning
After the passing of the half-season in the NHL, we now have a clear picture of what the teams are capable of, which of them will be competing for the playoff spots, and who has the ability to win the Stanley Cup.
As things are shaping right now, the online sportsbooks are giving the best odds for winning the Stanley Cup to the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. These teams have a 5.5/1 odds for lifting the prestigious NHL Stanley Cup.
The teams that follow are Carolina Hurricanes with 7/1 odds, Tampa Bay Lightning with 8.5/1 odds, Toronto Maple Leafs with 8.5/1 odds, and Vegas Golden Knights with 8.5/1 winning odds.
Having won the previous two Stanley Cup's, Tampa Bay Lighting is the fourth favorite, as things are right now, to win it for the third time. But these odds are somewhat realistic as the Colorado Avalanche, and the Florida Panthers are showing some remarkable performances.
Are There Outsiders That Can Make a Surprise?
As the chances for a surprise are always there, it seems very unlikely at this stage of the competition. However, a few underdog teams are showing some incredible performances. We are, of course, talking about the Minnesota Wild and Boston Bruins.
The Minnesota Wild were a big surprise last season, clinching 110 points. It was a middling team for a long time, and now we get to see their potential. It has some incredible players in the squad, from the tandem of Cam Talboy and the rookie Kaapo Kahkonen, plus their breakthrough player Kiril Kaprizov.
Boston Bruins is another great team that has a chance to surprise this season, regardless of the big odds given to them at the moment. With the signing of their longtime star Tuukka Rask, the Bruins add another quality player to the team, featuring elite players like Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand.
The Players to Look Out For
There are many NHL players that have shown some remarkable performances this season, but not all of them will be playing in the playoffs. If the team's standings stay as they are, we won't be seeing players like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaiti from the Edmonton Oilers at the playoffs.
But the players that almost certainly will make it to the playoffs and are worth keeping an eye on are Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA), Nazem Kadri (COL), Mikko Rantanen (COL), Alexander Ovechkin (WSH), Auston Matthews (TOR), Kirill Kaprizov (MIN), Steven Stamkos (TBL), Artemi Panarin (NYR), etc.
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