Editorials

NHL: Stanley Cup Odds For 16 Contenders

By Mike Brennan
Jun 15, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in game six of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 15, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in game six of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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stanley cup
Jan 9, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (11) celebrates with defenseman Alec Martinez (27) after scoring a goal in the second period against the St. Louis Blues at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 3: Los Angeles Kings, 15/2

Record: 26-12-3, 55 points

If we look at the pattern of the recent Los Angeles Kings, they will win the Cup this season. But who plays by patterns, right? The Kings have been flying high as of late with a 6-1-1 record in their previous eight contests. Jonathan Quick has carried this team this season, posting a .925 save percentage and letting up only 2.05 goals per game. When your goaltender is only letting up about two goals every game, the offense does not really need to do that well, which has really been the story and philosophy of the Kings this season. They rank 17th in the league in goals for, which, once again, does not really matter when your team has a defense and goaltender like the Kings do.

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They are clearly built from the pipes out, and it is working. Their top four defensemen are all players that can be on the first pairing on any team in the NHL. The third line has been switched out all year, so they are mainly there to eat time and kill shifts. Alec Martinez is on the second pairing and boasts four goals and 10 assists with a plus/minus rating of 10. With him being fourth on the depth chart for the blue liners, it really shows how deep their defense goes, and how this team’s mentality really is defense first.

With Quick and the defense they have, I think the Kings will easily take the Pacific Division in the regular season and postseason, and possibly give the Stars, Blackhawks or even the Blues, a run for the Cup Final spot out of the West.

Next: No. 2: Washington Capitals

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