Analysis

NHL Stanley Cup Odds Favor Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild

By Colin Likas
Jan 6, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 6, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Montreal Canadiens — 14:1

Remember when no one could stop the Habs earlier in the season? Well, a few teams finally stopped them, and it means they have the same Stanley Cup odds as the previous three teams.

It’s a little strange, actually. The Habs have a 10-point edge in a weak Atlantic and are the only team from that division honestly competing with the Metropolitan’s top four. But Vegas must seen Montreal for what it really is — a team that relies very, very heavily on its goaltender.

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  • We saw it last season. With Carey Price injured, the Habs had next to nothing keeping them going on the back end (minus P.K. Subban). Price’s .930/2.06 statline is probably not as good as he can regularly achieve, even.

    So Montreal can get through its division, but then comes the rest of the East and a potential Stanley Cup Final against the West. Max Pacioretty, Shea Weber and Alex Radulov will need to propel this team at that point in support of Price.

    Pittsburgh Penguins — 9:1

    The Pens have another Stanley Cup-quality team going here, in an attempt to be the first team to repeat since the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. No one should be surprised, considering the key players in Pittsburgh are just rolling.

    Evgeni Malkin (43 points) and Sidney Crosby (42) are challenging for the league lead in scoring. Phil Kessel (38) has also been strong. The defense does enough to keep pucks off of the goaltending tandem of Matt Murray (9.28/2.18) and Marc-Andre Fleury (.909/3.12), as neither has faced more than 666 shots.

    There just isn’t much to say here. The Penguins are an obvious Stanley Cup threat that may be derailed by a difficult playoff draw. It’s going to be key for them to try to win the Metropolitan. If the Pens get to the East final, look out.

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