A year ago, the Boston Bruins fell just shy of winning it all, losing in six games in the Stanley Cup Finals. As 16 teams prepare for the 2014 playoffs, Boston stands out as the favorite to end the season on top.
With the playoffs set to begin on Wednesday, the Bruins lead the way with 7/2 odds. They finished the regular season with 117 points, leading the NHL. Boston dominated the Atlantic Division, registering 16 more points than the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Bruins are considered to be one of the few teams in the East with a strong chance of winning the Stanley Cup. The Pittsburgh Penguins are their biggest competition in the conference. Led by Sidney Crosby and his 104 points, Pittsburgh has been given 8/1 odds to win the title.
In the West, the St. Louis Blues are the top team, according to the oddsmakers. They’re listed at 6/1. The Blues are ranked ahead of the Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks, who finished the season with more total points. Colorado’s 14/1 odds rank them eighth, even though they finished second in the conference.
The defending champion Chicago Blackhawks enter the playoffs as the No.5 seed in the West. Still, their 8/1 odds puts them second in the conference and fourth overall. They are set to play St. Louis in the first round. Chicago has won the Stanley Cup title in two of the last four seasons.
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Since there is so much parody every year in the NHL playoffs, there are very few longshots to win the championship. The Columbus Blue Jackets and Dallas Stars would be the most shocking teams to claim the 2014 Stanley Cup. Both teams have been given 50/1 odds. Dallas’s 91 points are the least of any team in the postseason.
Below are the odds for each team to win the Stanley Cup and their respective conference championships. All betting odds are courtesy of Bovada.lv.
Boston Bruins 7/2 (13/10)
St. Louis Blues 6/1 (5/2)
Pittsburgh Penguins 7/1 (11/4)
Chicago Blackhawks 8/1 (15/4)
Anaheim Ducks 9/1 (5/1)
San Jose Sharks 9/1 (9/2)
Los Angeles Kings 10/1 (6/1)
Colorado Avalanche 14/1 (13/2)
Detroit Red Wings 20/1 (10/1)
Montreal Canadiens 20/1 (9/1)
New York Rangers 20/1 (9/1)
Philadelphia Flyers 20/1 (9/1)
Tampa Bay Lightning 25/1 (12/1)
Minnesota Wild 40/1 (18/1)
Columbus Blue Jackets 50/1 (20/1)
Dallas Stars 50/1 (22/1)