The 2021-22 NHL season is firmly underway at this point and there’s been no shortage of entertainment. Even after the last few weeks, there is still a team that hasn’t lost yet while there’s also a club still searching for its first win. There have been highlight-reel goals and blockbuster trades. And now, people are starting to look at who’ll take home the Stanley Cup in the spring.
As things stand, the Colorado Avalanche are the favorites to win this season’s Stanley Cup. Their odds currently sit at +575, according to BetOnline.
The fact that the Avalanche have the best Stanley Cup odds may shock some people. While they’ve been one of the better teams over the last few seasons, they’ve only gotten off to a 4-4-1 start this year. One thing that’s held the Avalanche back is the increasing number of injuries they’ve had to deal with. From Cale Makar to Mikko Rantanen it seems like a lot of Colorado’s key players have missed some amount of time.
Still, there have been bright spots during the Avalanche’s start to the 2021-22 campaign. They have four forwards who are playing at a point-per-game pace, including Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon, who each have 10 points in seven games. Not far behind them is defenseman Bowen Byram, who’s been impressive with eight points in nine games.
While the Avalanche aren’t having any goal-scoring issues, they’ve had a problem keeping the puck out of their own net. Last year, they finished third in goals against whereas they currently sit 26th this season. If they can’t figure out how to cut down on goals allowed, they may not last long as the Stanley Cup favorites.
2021-22 Stanley Cup Odds
Odds via BetOnline as of Thursday, November 4
- Colorado Avalanche (+575)
- Florida Panthers (+900)
- Tampa Bay Lightning (+950)
- Carolina Hurricanes (+1000)
- Edmonton Oilers (+1100)
- Vegas Golden Knights (+1100)
- Toronto Maple Leafs (+1200)
- Boston Bruins (+1600)
- New York Rangers (+1800)
- Washington Capitals (+1800)
- Minnesota Wild (+2000)
The complete odds list is available at BetOnline.ag.
Are the Panthers Championship Contenders?
One of the biggest surprises this NHL season has been the Florida Panthers. While they’ve shown improvements in the past, nobody could’ve predicted their 8-0-1 start to the campaign. Now, they own the second-best odds (+900) to win the 2021-22 Stanley Cup.
It isn’t difficult to figure out how the Panthers have succeeded. For starters, they’re getting things done on both sides of the puck. Florida is currently averaging 4.00 goals for per game, which ranks third-best in the NHL. Anthony Duclair has the team lead in goals with six, while Aleksander Barkov (5) and Sam Bennett (4) aren’t too far behind him.
On the other hand, the Panthers are surrendering the second-fewest goals per game (1.89) as well. Credit for that goes to the team’s goaltending duo of Sergei Bobrovsky and Spencer Knight. Bobrovsky has yet to lose yet this season, going 6-0-0 with a 1.81 goals against average and .944 save percentage. Meanwhile, Knight has looked like a pro at the age of 20, going 2-0-1 while tallying a 1.95 GAA and .929 SV%.
As long as the goaltending duo keeps playing on its head and the defense around them stays strong, the Panthers have a solid shot at winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
Lightning Stanley Cup Odds
Back in July, the Tampa Bay Lightning had the second-best odds to win the Stanley Cup. However, their odds have since shifted from +650 to +950, leaving them sitting in third.
A big part of that change was Tampa Bay’s slow start to the season. The Lightning started the year with an underwhelming 2-3-1 record after six games, however, they’ve since won their last three matchups in a row and now sit 5-3-1. The club also lost Nikita Kucherov for 8-10 weeks after he underwent a lower-body procedure at the end of October.
Fortunately, the Lightning are one of the deepest teams in the league. Even with their top player out, Steven Stamkos has had a resurgence this year, recording 12 points in his first nine games. Alex Killorn and Victor Hedman are both point-per-game players as well, with the former leading the team with seven goals already. Andrei Vasilevskiy has also been doing his job in goal, playing to a 5-2-1 record with a 2.46 GAA and .915 SV%.
What Tampa Bay needs is for its depth players to step up. Corey Perry and Pat Maroon have combined for no points despite playing at least eight games apiece. Once the depth scoring picks up and Kucherov is back in the lineup, the Lightning should see their Stanley Cup odds rise.