The top contenders in the race to the Stanley Cup bolstered their rosters at the NHL trading deadline to set up what should be an entertaining run to crown the NHL champion.
The two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning aren’t even the top choice in their own conference, and despite the loss of a key piece, the Colorado Avalanche will be hard to beat.
Here is a breakdown of the latest odds to win the Stanley Cup title.
Let’s check the latest news, stats, injury reports, and NHL odds for Stanley Cup title. We’ve plenty of predictions for you to consider.
Colorado Avalanche: Force of Nature
It appears as if the Colorado Avalanche hierarchy has waited long enough to see their team skating around the ice with the Stanley Cup Trophy in their hands.
Colorado was one of the busier teams leading up to the trading deadline, adding depth to an already loaded roster that has resulted in the NHL betting lines picking Colorado as the championship favorite.
Forwards Andrew Cogliano, Artturi Lehkonen and Niko Sturm as well as defenseman Josh Manson were added to Colorado’s roster. Lehkonen scored 13 goals in 58 games with Montreal while Cogliano and Sturm combined for 13 more. It will be interesting to see the line combinations, especially with the injury to Gabriel Landeskog.
Manson will add a veteran presence on defense.
Colorado is running away with the Central Division title, but the Avalanche will need to balance the health of their roster with the need to be playing at a high level going into the playoffs as the Stanley Cup favorite.
Pick: Colorado Avalanche +450
Florida Panthers: Plenty of Bite
Claude Giroux’s addition gives Florida an embarrassment of riches at the forward position and also provides a veteran who is elite when it comes to winning faceoffs.
🎥 Panthers video update: Claude Giroux’s first practice with the Cats, skating on the top line and top power play unit. Also updates on Hornqvist, Lomberg, Lundell and Chiarot. pic.twitter.com/OsZpu3zjLe
— David Dwork (@DavidDwork) March 22, 2022
Florida headed into Tuesday’s games with a six-point lead in the brutal Atlantic Division. The Panthers will play without star defenseman Aaron Ekblad for the rest of the regular season, but it appears that he will be able to return for the playoffs, which is huge. If Ekblad is good to go by playoff time, the Las Vegas odds figure to keep the Panthers as the top contender out of the Eastern Conference.
Florida currently leads the Eastern Conference with 90 points and 26 home wins, and the Panthers could be playing plenty of postseason games on their home ice.
Pick: Florida Panthers +550
Tampa Bay: Will Lightning Strike Three Times in a Row?
No NHL team has won three consecutive Stanley Cup titles since the New York Islanders won four in a row from 1980-84. Those Islanders teams didn’t need to concern themselves with changing the roster due to salary cap issues.
Tampa Bay lost some key role players, especially at the forward position. Recent acquisitions Nick Paul and Riley Nash could help a little bit. Tampa Bay still has plenty of star power. It could be argued that the Lightning have the best defenseman (Victor Hedman) and goalie (Andrei Vasilevskiy) in the NHL. Tampa Bay doesn’t lack proven scorers, led by Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point. Until somebody beats the Lightning, they are very dangerous. Those who bet online know what happens when you pick against the Lightning.
Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning +850
Calgary Flames: Heating Up for Playoffs
Calgary is rolling right along with an eight-point lead in the Pacific Division and has four players with at least 28 goals. Goalie Jacob Markstrom has blossomed in his second season with the Flames. Calgary was relatively quiet when it came to upgrading its roster recently, so the Flames believe they have enough to make a title run with who they have at this time.
Pick: Calgary Flames +1000
Carolina Hurricanes: Storm Surge
Carolina is not trending in the right direction with four losses in a row. Perhaps the addition of Max Domi will help.
Losing Tony DeAngelo was a key blow and it has been felt especially on the power play. Frederick Andersen is enjoying a season worthy of winning the Vezina Trophy while Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov are dynamic offensive players. A lack of scoring depth could be a concern. The Hurricanes have some work to do to hold off the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metropolitan Division. Pittsburgh’s addition of three-time 20-goal scorer Rickard Rakell makes its forward lines all the more dangerous.
Pick: Carolina Hurricanes +1200
Minnesota Wild: Net Gain with Fleury
Whenever a recent Vezina Trophy-winning goalie and three-time Stanley Cup champion is added to a playoff-bound team, it is time to take notice.
Minnesota won’t be winning the Central Division and, barring a crazy opening-round result, will need to contend with the mighty Colorado Avalanche just to play for the Western Conference title. However, the duo of Marc-Andre Fleury and Cam Talbot could be the best 1-2 goaltending combination in the league.