Currently, one team has secured a spot in the playoffs, while three find themselves eliminated from contention. Do not let the math fool you, the true contenders are much fewer for the Cup. It’s time to continue our NHL odds series with a Stanley Cup Finals prediction and pick.
This year sees a dominant team in the Boston Bruins, who are on pace to tie for the most points by a team in a season with the Montreal Canadiens.
While Boston is the odds-on favorite, Colorado Avalanche sit second. A repeat champion is nothing new. The Tampa Bay Lightning are coming off a repeat, and the Pittsburgh Penguins had a repeat in 2016-17. In the same vein, do not count out the Lightning. The Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks both recently won two in a three-year span.
The Carolina Hurricanes are looking for their first cup since 2006, while the Dallas Stars are trying to get their first since 1999 after losing in 2020. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers aim to bring the Cup to Canada for the first time since 1993. The New York metropolitan area could see three teams going for a cup, with the New Jersey Devils trying to get their first since 2003, and the New York Rangers their first since 1994.
The top-scoring team in the league is aiming to get their first since the days of Mark Messier, as Edmonton is led by Connor McDavid. Then there are the teams trying to get their first, such as the Vegas Golden Nights and the Minnesota Wild. There is also the chance of the dark horse. Could the Penguins, New York Islanders, Winnipeg Jets, or Seattle Kraken get hot and make a run? What if the Washington Capitals slip in and give Ovi one more chance at a cup?
The Stanley Cup playoffs provide plenty of upsets and magical moments, but only one team lives forever with their name engraved on Lord Stanley’s cup.
Here are the current Stanley Cup Finals odds, courtesy of FanDuel
Current Stanley Cup Finals Odds
Boston Bruins +400
Colorado Avalanche +700
Toronto Maple Leafs +900
Carolina Hurricanes +950
New Jersey Devils +1100
New York Rangers +1200
Edmonton Oilers +1300
Vegas Golden Knights +1300
Tampa Bay Lightning +1400
Dallas Stars +1500
Why the Boston Bruins will win the Stanley Cup
As noted above, the odds on favorite for the Stanley Cup should be the Bruins. They are the best team in hockey and could break the points record this year. The mark of 132 points has been held since 1977. Those 1976-77 Canadiens finished with 132 points and their name engraved on the Stanley Cup. Buyers of the Bruins should be wary though, of the teams who have finished all-time top ten in points, only the four Canadiens teams have won it all.
Their points percentage is also impressive and is currently fifth all-time. Three of the four teams in front of them won the cup, and the other team lost the cup 2-0 in a best-of-three series in 1930. Considering Boston has only lost four out of any seven games this season once, and only has six losses at home all year, it is hard to see that repeating in a seven-game series. Beyond the fact the team is good as a whole, the goaltending is the best in the league this season.
Why the Colorado Avalanche will win the Stanley Cup
They just did it. The NHL has repeat champions on a fairly regular basis, as a core stays together and just continues the momentum. Tampa Bay is coming off a repeat and the Penguins did it 16-17. This team is a step behind last year on the surface. Their goals per game is lower, as is the penalty kill. If the first month of the season is taken out, where Colorado started 4-4-1, the offensive numbers are nearly identical.
At the same time, the great goaltending they got last year has been improved upon. The goals against average is lower, and the save percentage is higher. Since February 14th, the team is 12-3-1, and every major metric is improving. This Colorado team is getting into playoff form and is primed to make a run.
Why the Carolina Hurricanes will win the Stanley Cup
The last two seasons have ended in disappointment for Hurricanes fans. This has been for a few reasons. First has been scoring outside of the top line. That was starting to get figured out but the Andrei Svechnikov injury took away some depth. Still, Sebastian Aho, Martin Necas, Teuvo Teravainen and Jesperi Kotkaniemi have provided a nice set of depth for the Hurricanes. The power play and penalty kill have also been an issue in the playoffs, and while the power play has not improved, the penalty kill has. More importantly, the Hurricanes are taking fewer penalties than before.
Finally is an experience factor. The NHL has shown that teams in their first run often fail to get over the hump. Carolina has had a few runs now and brought back a team full of playoff experience.
Why the New Jersey Devils will win the Stanley Cup
Each of the last three champions has been in the top seven in goals scored while being in the top ten in goals against for the season. Only two teams qualify this year for that statistic, and one of them is Boston. The other team is the New Jersey Devils. This is a balanced team with quality goals scoring and good goaltending. Age is going to work against the Devils here though. According to Hockey-Reference, their average age being under twenty-five would be the youngest since they started trackings.
Final Stanley Cup Prediction and Pick
The easy pick is to take the Bruins or even go with the Lightning, but two major factors work against these. First, for the Bruins, it would be the first President’s Trophy winner in nearly a decade to hoist the trophy. Second, for Tampa, going to four straight would be something not done since the Islanders of the ’80s. New Jersey is too young, and teams like Toronto and New York are missing pieces. It comes down to Carolina and Colorado. Colorado has all the makeup and has the easier path to the cup. They etch their names once again.
Final Stanley Cup Prediction and Pick: Colorado (+700)