Who is a sleeper to win the '14 Cup?

2014 Stanley Cup odds predictions sleepers

LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) – The regular season is coming to an end in the NHL and with that, who are the dark horses to win the 2014 Stanley Cup? Let’s take a look.

View John Ryan’s Expert Picks

In the new NHL playoff format there will by eight teams from each conference. This eight-team format is broken down with the top three teams in each division and then two Wild Card teams with the next most total points. This playoff format will create some very interesting and intriguing matchups that lends itself to a few dark horses being viable contenders for the Stanley Cup.  

Boston has been scorching hot and are 9-0-1 over their last 10 games. The Bruins are also the only team in the East to clinch a playoff berth. If the season were over, Boston would be matched up against the Detroit Red Wings and that truly is not an easy first round matchup. In fact, the Red Wings have a 2-1 edge in games played this season against the Bruins.

The Red Wings are lined at 16/1 to win the Eastern Conference and 33/1 to win the Stanley Cup. Once they get by the Bruins, which obviously is a tall task, they would have clearer seas to navigate to the Eastern Conference Championship. So, Detroit is certainly a valid dark horse wager.  

On Sunday, the surging Flyers host the Boston Bruins and this match will go a long way in determining if Philadelphia is a true contender. The Flyers have gone 6-3-1 over their last 10 matches and sit solidly in third place in the Metropolitan Division and are 3 points ahead of Columbus, who would hold one of the wild card berths. The Flyers trail second place New York by just one point and would meet them in a first round playoff matchup.  

Philadelphia has improved steadily over the course of the season and are peaking at the right time. They are lined at 8/1 to win the Eastern Conference and 16/1 to win the Stanley Cup. So, for two dark horse futures plays, I like playing the Red Wings and the Flyers. 

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