The Stanley Cup Final is completed, the Los Angeles Kings have been crowned 2014 champions and the NHL’s offseason is officially underway, so what better time to look ahead to next season?
Bovada Sportsbook released their 2015 Stanley Cup odds and the Toronto Maple Leafs are in the middle of the pack at 33/1. Joining them at 16th in the league are the Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals.
All the usual suspects are at the top of the list, with the Chicago Blackhawks the favourites at 7/1. The Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, New York Rangers, Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild and Montreal Canadiens follow them in order.
At the other end, the Buffalo Sabres have the lowest odds in the league at 100/1. The Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, Nashville Predators, Carolina Hurricanes and Calgary Flames join them at the bottom.
If I were looking for a couple of underdogs to bet on, I would consider the Islanders and Ottawa Senators. The Islanders look like they’ve finally found a solution at goaltender with Jaroslav Halak. The Senators should see a bounce-back season in goal from Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner should continue to improve. If they can find some help on the back-end in the offseason, they could vault up the Atlantic Division standings.
As for the Toronto Maple Leafs, I think they’ve got a ways to go before they can do any damage in the playoffs and 33/1 odds are generous for this team. If they make the right moves this offseason (a big if, considering who the general manager is) they might be able to improve, but they need some serious help on defense and at centre.
Which teams’ odds do you like next season? Which ones do you think won’t live up to expectations? Is the Leafs’ reputation as a middle-of-the-pack team deserved?