Stanley Cup Odds
The 16-team NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs will begin Wednesday night with five games on the schedule. Here's a look at the odds to win the Stanley Cup.
According to oddsmakers at BetNow.eu, the Tampa Bay Lightning are the favorites to win the Stanley Cup with odds of 2/1. They are followed by the San Jose Sharks at 8/1, while the Nashville Predators and the Winnipeg Jets both have 10/1 odds. The Boston Bruins and the defending champion Washington Capitals are at 11/1, while the Western Conference-best Calgary Flames have odds of 16/1. The full list of odds can be found at our NHL Future Odds Page.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning are the most complete team in the NHL, equipped with a high-powered offense while also employing a strong defense and a fantastic goalie in Andrei Vasilevskiy (39-10-4) 2.40 GAA, .925 save pct.). Nikita Kucherov is one of the most dominant offensive forces in the game as his 41 goals and 87 assists gave him 128 points on the season. Veteran Steven Stamkos accounted for 45 goals and 53 assists, while fellow center Brayden Point added 41 goals and 51 assists despite missing three games. Tampa Bay finished the regular season with a record of 62-16-4 and 128 points, 21 points better than the next-best team. The Lightning open their best-of-7 first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday night at 7PM ET.
San Jose Sharks
Despite being a little shaky on the back end, the Sharks have a dominant offense that could carry them to plenty of wins in the playoffs. San Jose finished the regular season at 46-27-9 and won its last two games to enter the postseason on a positive note. Defenseman Brent Burns was a force all season with 16 goals and a team-best 67 assists. Tomas Hertl registered 35 goals and 39 assists in 77 games. Logan Couture added 27 goals and 43 assists over 81 games. But can the Sharks be trusted on the back end in big games? Goaltender Martin Jones comes in with a 36-19-5 record, 2.94 GAA and .896 save percentage. San Jose begins its series versus the Las Vegas Golden Knights Wednesday night at 10:30PM ET.
A defending champion should never be ignored and the Capitals are no exception. While they might have a bit of a target on their back, they also have one of the world's all-time premier goal scorers in Alex Ovechkin (51 G, 38 A, 81 games). Washington seemed to coast through the regular season, but look for its tightened focus when the series opens at home versus the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday night.
While the Flames only have the fourth-best odds in the Western Conference, they do enter as the top seed after finishing the regular season with 107 points. Calgary boasts an elite left winger in Johnny Gaudreau as he completed the season with 36 goals and 63 assists. Center Sean Monahan contributed 34 goals and 48 assists over 77 games. Three other players - Elias Lindholm (78 points), Matthew Tkachuk (77 points) and defenseman Mark Giordano (74 points) are all around a point-per-game average. Calgary split goaltending responsibilities evenly between David Rittich (27-9-5, 2.61 GAA, .911 save pct., 45 games) and Mike Smith (23-16-2, 2.72 GAA, .898 GAA, 42 games).