The New York Rangers had been the Stanley Cup favorites at the start of the 2015 NHL playoffs and through the start of their second-round series with the Washington Capitals, but that is no longer the case after Game 3. The winners of the Presidents’ Trophy find themselves down in the conference semifinals and in danger of being upset.
After falling behind 2-1 to Washington and having relinquished home-ice advantage, New York has only the fifth-best odds to win the Stanley Cup. The Chicago Blackhawks are now considered the favorites to win the championship.
The Rangers lost on Monday against the Capitals, playing in their record-setting 10th straight one-goal postseason game. When the playoffs began, the most likely matchup in the Stanley Cup Finals pitted New York against Chicago. The Blackhawks have a much better chance of reaching the finals, taking a 2-0 lead in their series with the Minnesota Wild.
Chicago has been to the finals twice since 2010, winning the championship both times. The Blackhawks have made the playoffs in each of the last seven years, including four appearances in the conference semifinals from 2009-2014.
New York is in the best position of any team that isn’t leading their second-round series. The other three teams that trail their opponents are down 2-0. The Anaheim Ducks have a 2-0 series lead over the Calgary Flames, and the Tampa Bay Lightning have seized home-ice advantage from the Montreal Canadiens with two victories to start their best-of-seven series.
The Lightning have the best odds of winning the finals in the East, and they’ve won six playoffs games without much help from their top goal scorer. Steven Stamkos has just one postseason goal after leading the team with 43 goals in the regular season.
Anaheim has played better than anyone this postseason, winning all six of their games, and outscoring Calgary by eight goals through two games of their series. They tied the St. Louis Blues with 109 points in the West, but the Ducks have struggled recently in the playoffs. In five postseason appearances since they won the Stanley Cup in 2007, the Ducks haven’t advanced beyond the conference semifinals.
Calgary is the biggest longshot to win the title. Their odds are twice as high as the Canadiens, who are considered the least likely team from the East to make a run to the finals. The Flames were the most fortunate of the 16 playoff teams to make the postseason, having totaled just 97 points in the regular season.
Below are the complete betting odds to win the 2015 Stanley Cup, courtesy of Bovada.lv.
Chicago Blackhawks 3/1
Anaheim Ducks 13/4
Tampa Bay Lightning 4/1
Washington Capitals 5/1
New York Rangers 11/2
Minnesota Wild 16/1
Montreal Canadiens 20/1
Calgary Flames 40/1