These Teams Could Win The Stanley Cup If …
While the Colorado Avalanche are spending their summers with Lord Stanley, the 31 other teams are licking their wounds and looking to come back stronger. A short list of contenders is on the cusp and could be one or two pieces away from having their turn with the Cup. With that said, we look at the NHL Odds’ top Stanley Cup threats and focus on their biggest need heading to the 2022-23 season.
What Stanley Cup Contenders Need
- Tampa Bay Lightning: Additional Scoring
Losing Ondrej Palat hurts Tampa Bay. He was, along with Steven Stamkos, their go-to scorer in the playoffs. Tampa used most of its cap space to reinforce their defense. Brayden Point needs to stay healthy and the Lightning will need more from their secondary scorers. This team is still worth betting online thanks to its elite defense but they’ll need more firepower to defeat Colorado.
- Toronto Maple Leafs: Elite Defenseman
The Leafs have long been plagued by inconsistent netminding and spotty defending. On paper, they got worse this offseason by replacing Jack Campbell with Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov. But what Toronto has truly needed is a defenseman with Norris Trophy capabilities. Every Stanley Cup champion of the past 15 years had one. Coincidence?
- Florida Panthers: Playoff Experience
We’re scrambling to think of what Florida needs to win the Cup. This team seemingly got its missing piece by trading for Matthew Tkachuk, who blends skill and scoring with grit and muscle. Sure, the team lost Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar but it remains stacked on paper. A few more playoff heartbreaks could be the catalyst.
- Carolina Hurricanes: True Offensive Superstar
The Hurricanes dominated for most of the season but once again fell short against Tampa Bay. When push went to shove, Carolina could not produce the needed goals. The team addressed these issues by acquiring Brent Burns and Max Pacioretty, two proven veterans who are not afraid to shoot the puck. Here’s hoping they can push Carolina over the hump.
Max Pacioretty! https://t.co/MFppU0ltCn
— Cardiac Cane (@CardiacCane) August 4, 2022
- Vegas Golden Knights: Better Health
Just how stacked are the Golden Knights? This team lost Pacioretty for nothing and remains a top contender based on the online sports Betting Odds. Vegas’s 2021-22 season was derailed by injuries. But an entire season with a core of Mark Stone, Jack Eichel, and Alex Pietrangelo could mean a return to form for Vegas.
- Edmonton Oilers: Goaltending
The Oilers returned to the Conference Finals last season and Connor McDavid remains a favorite to win the Hart Trophy. The team re-signed Evander Kane and snatched Campbell from the Leafs. All of the pressure is on the latter as we saw how unbeatable Edmonton became when they got solid goaltending.
- Calgary Flames: Additional Scoring
Calgary lost its top two scorers so this team needs plenty of that this coming season. Huberdeau should be able to replace at least Johnny Gaudreau’s goals but who else will step up to fill the void? Tyler Toffoli and Andrew Mangiapane are good for a few goals but Calgary needs another potent scorer to keep up with Colorado and Edmonton.
- Minnesota Wild: Better Special Teams
The Wild have a big issue if Kirill Kaprizov can’t suit up for the team. But if he does return, Minnesota needs better special teams to play. Minnesota ranked 18th on the power-play and 25th on the penalty kill and was outscored 8-4 on PP goals against St. Louis in the playoffs. The team did not address this in the offseason so their ceiling as a contender remains low.