Safe Bets to Win the 2016 Stanley Cup
If you’re an NHL betting aficionado that believes one of the best teams in hockey this season are a virtual lock to win the 2016 Stanley Cup Trophy and you want to play it ‘safe’ by wagering on one of the favorites, then this look at my top four favorites to bring home the bacon is just what the doctor ordered.
Safe Bets to Win the 2016 Stanley Cup
Washington Capitals +450
The Capitals (35-9) are the only team in hockey to both, reach the 35-win mark while still suffering fewer than 10 losses. Washington ranks first in scoring (3.29 gpg), first in power play offense and second in defense (2.25 gpg). Goalie Braden Holtby is tied for second in goals against average (2.01) and leads the league in wins (30).
Holtby has a stellar a .929 save percentage and 2.07 goals-against average in 39 starts this season and is on pace to make 68 starts and record 52 wins this season, breaking Martin Brodeur’s single-season record for wins with 48.
“It’s been a long process with our organization the last few years,” Holtby said. “We had to really look ourselves in the mirror a couple years ago and think about how we were doing things personally, as a team, everything. We didn’t think we were doing good enough things on and off the ice to create a winning mentality, a Stanley Cup winning team. This year is the first year it’s starting to click.”
While veteran superstar Alex Ovechkin ranks third in goals scored (28), it is third-year center Evgeny Kuznetsov that has really helped lift the Caps to an elite level offensively. Kuznetsov ranks fifth in points scored (51) and third in assists (36), making the Capitals my pick to win the East right now.
Chicago Blackhawks +500
Patrick Kane is making both, his fans and haters alike forget all about the alleged sexual assault charge that could have potentially ruined his career and landed him in jail.
Kane is leading the league in goal scoring (30) and assists (44) and has a 16-point lead over Jamie Benn in total points. While the Blackhawks haven’t been quite as dominant as they were when they won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 or last season, they still rank fifth in defense (2.28 gpg). Goalie Corey Crawford ranks second in wins (29), fifth in save percentage (.931) and first in shutouts with seven.
Los Angeles Kings +700
The Kings have been solid at home (15-9-0-1) and on the road (16-7-1-1) as center Anze Kopitar ranks 10th in assists (31) and fellow center Tyler Toffoli ranks an identical 10th in goals scored (22). Defensively, the Kings are ranked third in defense (2.26 gpg) and 10th in penalty killing (82.8%) while goalie Jonathan Quick ranks third in wins (27) and 13th in goals against average (.919). Despite the Kings success so far this season, I believe a lack of quality offensive players could derail their Stanley Cup hopes, despite their fine defense.
Dallas Stars +800
The Dallas Stars may have missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs in six of the past seven seasons, but right now, I believe they’re a serious threat to win the Western Conference at the very least. Dallas ranks second in scoring (3.24 gpg) and fifth in power play offense (21.4%) thanks to the outstanding play of left winger Jamie Benn and center Tyler Seguin. Benn ranks second in scoring (58 points) and second in goals scored (28) while Seguin ranks third in scoring (55 points) and fourth in goals scored (27). I know the Stars are just 17th in defense (2.63 gpg) and a lack of defense could com back to haunt them at some point in the postseason, but the fact of the matter is that the Stars can simply outscore just about any team in hockey, including the defending champion Blackhawks.
So, in closing, I’m going on record right now to say that one of the four aforementioned teams will undoubtedly win this season’s Stanley Cup Trophy, giving you at least a 25 percent chance of cashing in on each favorite if you stick to my script!