Just over a week into the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Boston Bruins have maintained their status as the favorite to hoist the coveted trophy.
Currently leading the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in their seven-game series, the Bruins are still 7/2 favorites to win their second cup in the last four years behind points leader and center Patrice Bergeron and a defense headlined by Zdeno Chara and goalkeeper Tuukka Rask’s 0.67 goals against average.
The Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins are Boston’s biggest challengers for the Eastern Conference. Head coach Michael Therrien’s Canadiens completed a first-round sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday and are awaiting their next opponent, while Pittsburgh and star Sidney Crosby look to extend their 2-1 series lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game Four on Wednesday night.
Both Montreal and Pittsburgh are deadlocked at 13/2 odds, along with the St. Louis Blues, according to Bovada.lv.
The Blues started the postseason as the Western Conference favorite, but have taken a backseat to the San Jose Sharks, who hold a commanding 3-0 lead over the Los Angeles Kings.
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St. Louis needed four extra periods in its first two wins over the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks before falling 2-0 in Game Three. The Blues hold a 2-1 series lead despite regular season points leader Alexander Steen registering a plus/minus of minus-3 and a team power-play success rate of 1-for-16 in three games.
Chicago began the postseason at 8/1 odds to repeat as champions, but have slipped back to 10/1. An encouraging sign for the Blackhawks is the rebound performance from goalkeeper Corey Crawford, who notched 34 saves in Game Three’s win, meaning last year’s playoff hero might be warming up.
The Colorado Avalanche ranked second in the West with 112 points at the end of the regular season, but its 24th ranked power-play kill and more importantly the knee injury suffered by points-leader and top playmaker Matt Duchene last month significantly reduced the team’s chances. The Avalanche lead their series with Minnesota 2-1 but their odds remain the same at 14/1 with Duchene expected to miss at least the entire first round.
The New York Rangers have also watched their stock rise after retaking home ice advantage with Wednesday’s 4-1 Game Three victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Now leading that series 2-1, New York was slotted at 20/1 odds at the start, but are now at 14/1.
The full list of odds is below.
San Jose 5/1
St. Louis 13/2
New York 14/1
Los Angeles 100/1