Updated Stanley Cup Odds: Favored, Smart Pick & Longshot
After winning it all in 2010, 2013 and 2015, but failing to advance to last season’s NHL Finals, apparently oddsmakers everywhere believe the perennially powerful Chicago Blackhawks are the favorite to win their fourth Stanley Cup title since the start of this decade.
While Chicago is listed as the league favorite to win it all this season, which teams are both, the smart pick and top longshot selection to beat out the Blackhawks and hoist this season’s Stanley Cup trophy? Let’s find out right now.
A Closer Look At The Updated Stanley Cup Odds: Favored, Smart Pick & Longshot
Chicago Blackhawks 6/1
The Chicago Blackhawks (18-8-4) are sitting in first place in the central division and have accounted for 40 points so far, second only to Montreal and the New York Rangers’ identical 41 points. Gifted right-winger Patrick Kane (8 goals) is tied for 10th place with 28 points while center Artem Anisimov (12 goals) and right-winger Artemi Panarin (11 goals) are both tied for 23rd with 24 points apiece.
Goalie Chris Crawford has a respectable .927 save percentage and 2.27 goals against average in 12 games while backup Steve Darling has an even more impressive .929 save percentage and 2.12 goals against average in a half-dozen appearances. Darling also put together a phenomenal shutout streak that lasted an amazing 125:39 before being broken last week.
The Blackhawks are 12-2-3 at home this season and a respectable 6-6-1 on the road, Making matters even worse for their opponents is the fact that Chicago us kicking a bunch of butt even without captain Jonathan Toews who has missed nine straight games with an upper body injury.
The Smart Pick
Washington Capitols 12/1
I could have gone with a couple of teams as the smart pick right now, but I’m banking on the talent-laden Washington Capitols (17-7-3) to put the pedal to the metal at some point before going on an extended winning streak.
Even though they’re not completely firing on all cylinders right now, the Caps have managed to win four straight at the time of this writing. Washington has gone 11-4 at home this season and an impressive 6-3-3 on the road to show they can win games no matter where they play.
Center Nicklaus Backstrom has scored a team-high 25 points (16th) while superstar left-winger Alex Ovechkin is tied for eighth with 13 goals. The game’s best goal scorer snapped a seven-game goalless streak and became just the 18th player in NHL history to score at least 200 career power-play goals.
Philadelphia Flyers 30/1
Again, I could have picked another team as my longshot selection, but right now, I’m thinking the Philadelphia Flyers (18-10-3) are as good of a choice as anyone. Currently in third place in Metro, the Flyers are the hottest team in all of hockey, having won nine straight games at the time of this writing.
25-year-old right winger Jakub Voracek is tied for second in points with 32 (14 goals) while center Claude Giroux is tied for eighth with 29 points (9 goals). Another right-winger, veteran, Wayne Simmonds is tied for fourth in goal scoring with 15 while being tied for 10th in points with 28.
The Flyers have gone 11-5-2 at home and a solid 7-5-1 on the road. More importantly, Philadelphia has an abundance of young talent that is finally fulfilling all of the potential everyone saw, especially late last season. Philadelphia has plenty of room for improvement – and that’s downright scary!