With only a few games under their belts in the 2021-2022 season, it’s too soon to tell who has the best chance of winning the Stanley Cup. But that doesn’t stop fans from betting on their favorite team to do just that. Here’s a look at the Stanley Cup contenders for the 2021-2022 season. Who are your players betting on to win it all?
Top Five to get the Cup
Bookmaker software agents have been checking out the current lineups, training camps, and trades to figure out the odds to place on NHL teams to win the Stanley Cup. Here are the top five prospects that could win the championship.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The two-time champs will try and make it a three-peat. They are expected to do well during the season but aren’t favored to win the Cup. Now that we’re back to a full 82 game season, last year’s performance may not be a good indicator for this year’s standings.
Even with the trades they made and the players they had to let go, they still have a load of talent and confidence to win. It also helps to have four of the top players in the world, including Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, and Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Colorado is favored to win the Cup by most betting sites. They had the best record in regular season play last year but fell to the Golden Knights in the playoffs.
The Avs acquired goalie Darcy Kuemper to replace departing Philipp Grubauer, among other roster changes. But they still have key players Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, and captain Gabriel Landeskog.
Even if Kuemper doesn’t shine in net for the Avalanche, they should still have enough talent to come in first place. That’s how stacked the roster is this year.
New York Islanders
The Islanders made it to game 7 of the semi-finals against the champion Lightning. They are the best playoff team in their division. They should have their captain Anders Lee back, who missed the whole playoffs last season.
Goalie Ilya Sorokin has done a great job to start the season, and with Semyon Varlamov due back, they will arguably have the best goalie pair in the league.
The Islanders aren’t the most exciting team to watch, but they have as good a chance as the other five to hoist the Cup.
Florida’s other pro hockey team is also an NHL bet underdog. They did very well last season, only losing to the Stanley Cup winning Lightning in the playoffs.
They made a good move bringing in Sam Reinhard from the Buffalo Sabres for even more offensive power. They also added veteran Joe Thornton to the lineup with a one-year contract to lead the collection of young players.
If goalie Sergei Bobrovsky can have a solid season in net, the Panthers will have a good shot at the prize. Agents that offer sports betting features most definitely should watch for action on the Panthers.
Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights are an exciting team to watch as they continue to impress. They hit the ground running in their inaugural season in 2018 and haven’t let up since.
Vegas traded goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to make room in the salary cap. Fleury was a driving force in getting them to the finals in their first season.
Although the Knights did a fair amount of trading in the off-season, the Stanley Cup chalk continues to boast Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, and Alex Pietrangelo. Will that be enough to keep them a top-five contender for the entire season?
By the Divisions
After last season’s pandemic related realignment, teams return their normal divisions this season. Here’s how things match up per division.
The Atlantic Division can very well be the best one to watch this season. It has the most scoring power. Five squads finished in the top 10 in offense last year: the Boston Bruins, the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Montreal Canadiens will continue to provide high goals-for numbers.
The Central Division boasts two stand-out teams: the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes. The rest will scramble for second place except for the Coyotes. Most predict Colorado to take the Cup while many expect Arizona to stay in the basement.
The Metropolitan Division could be the most competitive with all teams vying for a playoff spot. TheNew York Islanders are expected to take the top spot with the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes close behind. But the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers could well surprise those teams.
Many consider the Pacific Division the weakest. Last season, seven of the eight teams sent defenses below the league average to the ice.
The Seattle Kraken should outshine the other teams defensively. Edmonton should continue to look good in the regular season.
Let’s see if Edmonton can improve their playoff stats. Las Vegas continues to be the leader in this division, but the introduction of the Kraken should shake things up some.
Five teams that could surprise you
Five teams shouldn’t win the Cup but could create a few upsets. These teams are still relatively young but have taken chances in free agency this summer. If those new acquisitions go right, they could go far. However, if things don’t go right . . .
The Blackhawks had lots of firepower last season but had a problem keeping the puck out of their own net. They’re hoping that the addition of defenseman Seth Jones and Vezina trophy winner Marc-Andre Fleury will change that.
Fleury had a considerable impact with Vegas the last two seasons. Let’s see if he can do the same for Chicago.
Edmonton continues to have a lot of offense with the dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisatl. They’ve resigned Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and have added Zach Hyman, Warren Foegele, and Derek Ryan.
Unfortunately, their defensive game was lacking last season and hasn’t changed much for this season. They aren’t expected to place any differently this season, but maybe they can push a little farther into the playoffs.
The Flyers were a solid team last year. This season, Philadelphia looks to improve on all fronts. Ryan Ellis, who comes over from the Predators, will improve the blue line for sure.
Goaltending could be a question mark. Has Carter Hart matured enough to be the solid backstop Philadelphia needs to make their presence known in 2021-2022?
The ever-formidable Penguins sportsbook platform bookies’ radars this season. The Pens didn’t make great acquisitions in the off-season, and the goaltending looks shaky.
Pittsburgh started the season without captain Sidney Crosby. The Penguins’ captain required wrist surgery and missed the first two weeks of the season.
Also, Evgeni Malkin will miss at least the first two months. He is recovering from knee surgery from an injury that happened in June. It will be interesting to see how Pittsburgh performs without their best players and what happens when Crosby and Malkin return.
Seattle Kraken – The Unknown Wildcard
After the excitement and surprises the Golden Knights brought to the NHL in 2018, everyone’s waiting to see what the Kraken have in store.
Seattle plays in the weakest division. Many teams like Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Jose, are rebuilding.
Their strength is in the defense. Headed by veteran Mark Giordano, a former Norris trophy winner, the Kraken blue line players also benefit from Adam Larsson, Jamie Oleksiak, and Jeremy Lauzon. Vince Dunn will provide good offensive defense for the power play.
Teams not mentioned that are slated to make the playoffs
It’s OK to try and guess at this point which team is the best, but that doesn’t always equate to Stanley Cup winners.
Picking teams to make the playoffs is the first step. Once they’re in the playoffs, it’s a whole new ballgame.
Which teams have the best chemistry? Which teams are most injured? And which teams generally do better in the playoffs?
We should expect the following teams to attract some NHL Playoff betting dollars.
Goalie Frederik Andersen left the Leafs as a free agent to sign with Carolina. He’s healthy and happy playing hockey this season. Andersen should prove a great foundation in Carolina’s playoff run.
They have star power with Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson and are hoping the addition of veteran defenseman Travis Hamonic can improve their defensive game. The competitive edge of newly acquired forward Conor Garland is also expected to bring up the offensive numbers.
After having two bad seasons with Washington and Vancouver, Braden Holtby looks to rejuvenate his career in Big D. Can he still play at a high level?
If Holtby can, it will help the Stars play more consistently for an entire 60 minutes.
St. Louis Blues
The Blues have had an explosive start to their season so far, winning their first five games for a franchise record.
St. Louis gambled by picking forward Jake Neighbours in the 2020 draft. The 2019 Stanley Cup winners hope Neighbours is a boost to the lineup this year.
Most NHL betting experts don’t believe the Jets are one of the top teams. Still, Winnipeg boasts an impressive lineup.
Excellent scoring power exists with the foursome of Mark Scheifele, Nikolaj Ehlers, Kyle Connor, and Pierre-Luc Dubois. Connor Hellebuyck, the former Vezina winner, continues to man the pipes, which should give the Jets an opportunity to surprise some of the teams in their division.
The Jets offer great odds. So set up a Stanley Cup future bet alert before any potential harmful wagers land in your PPH sportsbook software site.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Once again, the Leafs have a powerhouse lineup of scorers, including Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews, and John Tavares. They’ll have to wait and see if goalie Petre Mrazek from Carolina is a good deal since he is currently injured.
On paper, Toronto looks like a real contender, but they’ll have to somehow lose the added weight of the prolonged Cup drought that seems to drag them down each season. If they don’t meet Boston in the playoffs, The Leafs could have a deep run.
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