2011 Stanley Cup Odds & NHL Power Rankings through 4/29
Sixteen teams began the quest for the Stanley Cup this season, but only one will be able to put its name on hockey’s most illustrious trophy. How would we value the rankings for the Stanley Cup odds this year? Check out our power rankings for the teams that are left standing in the dance…
1: Vancouver Canucks (+250): Sure, the Canucks really had to survive a scare there against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs, but they were able to persevere, and they really looked great in the first game against the Preds as well. If the Canucks can keep Roberto Luongo confident, they’ll be prime contenders to win it all this year and be justified favorites for the Cup.
2: Washington Capitals (+450): Sure, the Caps fell behind in the Eastern Conference Semifinals 1-0 to the Bolts, but they know what they’re doing and really should be able to come back to win this series without all that much of a hassle. Michal Neuvirth won’t play this poorly all series long, and eventually, Dwayne Roloson should crack under the pressure of the big boys that Washington has to offer.
3: Boston Bruins (+825): We’re puzzled to say the least about the Bruins right now, as we tend to believe that they should be one of the two favorites in the East, not the second to longest shot on the board. They’re one win in the City of Brotherly Love away from these odds all changing, and with Tim Thomas inevitably having some better hockey in front of him, we all have plenty of reason to be frightened.
4: San Jose Sharks (+425): San Jose was able to fight off a 1-0 Red Wings lead in the third period to come back to win in OT on Friday night to take a 1-0 series lead, and we know that this was a huge step for a team that really hasn’t had all that much success in the playoffs in team history. The Sharks are for real though, and if Antti Niemi can play as well as he did in Game 1, their offensive firepower could carry them to the Cup.
5: Tampa Bay Lightning (+600): There’s only one team right now that is on a four game winning streak in the playoffs, and that’s Tampa Bay. The Lightning had to fight hard to win the final three games of their series against the Penguins, but they did so in dramatic fashion and now have taken the 1-0 series lead against Washington. We still think that the Caps win this series, but Tampa Bay definitely has some major mojo on its side.
6: Philadelphia Flyers (+800): Not a bad price on a team that is mildly favored in its second round series, could have home ice advantage in its third round series, and has Stanley Cup experience, right? Then why are we so down on the Flyers this year? Just ask Head Coach Peter Laviolette why on earth he has had to use three different goalies already in the playoffs. What’s next? Ron Hextall coming out of retirement?
7: Detroit Red Wings (+525): Right at this moment, this isn’t a great price on the Red Wings. Detroit knows that it has to win four out of six against a very, very good San Jose team, and one of those wins has to come on the road. Sure, the Wings proved that they were good enough to do it in Friday night’s OT loss, but that doesn’t make us feel any better about getting just over 5 to 1 on a team that is already in a 1-0 hole in a series and will have to win at least three road games in all likelihood to win the Stanley Cup.
8: Nashville Predators (+2350): Pekka Rinne played one of the best games of his life on Thursday night against the Canucks on the road, but allowing one goal was one too many for the Predators to claim victory. We just don’t know how much offense is going to be mustered by these guys the rest of the way, and with that being said, Nashville is probably in a lot of trouble and is certainly the least likely team to win the Cup.
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