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2011 NHL Hockey Lines: Stanley Cup Future Odds

NHL Betting – Stanley Cup Betting Futures Update

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Most NHL teams have just half a dozen regular-season games remaining. With playoff betting on the way, now might be the last time to get good value on a Stanley Cup futures pick. Here’s an updated lowdown on the top contenders, risers and fallers. Wondering why Boston and San Jose aren’t mentioned here? Their status simply hasn’t changed much over the last month.

TOP CONTENDERS

Vancouver Canucks
Stanley Cup odds: +350

The Canucks have spent almost the entire season head-and-shoulders above the competition. Nothing has changed. They’re still the league’s deepest team, they have the league’s top two scorers and their defense will get healthier as the playoffs approach. Roberto Luongo is less of a concern in goal now that the Canucks have such a capable backup in Cory Schneider. Losing Manny Malhotra hurts, as he’s such a good defensive forward, but the Stanley Cup is still Vancouver’s to lose.

Detroit Red Wings:
Stanley Cup odds: +500

Given how good Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Nick Lidstrom are at both ends of the ice and how experienced this entire team is, we can never count the Wings out of the Cup hunt. But Jimmy Howard’s goaltending and Johan Franzen’s slump are two glaring question marks on this club.

Philadelphia Flyers
Stanley Cup odds: +500

This team is every bit as good as the one that went all the way to the final last season. If you believe in Sergei Bobrovsky and/or Brian Boucher in goal, maybe the Flyers won’t fall two wins short of the Holy Grail this time.

Washington Capitals
Stanley Cup odds: +500

The Caps’ mid-season swoon is a distant memory. It feels like they’re less reliant on Alex Ovechkin to win this season; their improved defense and goaltending bodes well for the playoffs. The only concern is that all the potential low seeds in the East have hot goalies.

STOCK RISING

Pittsburgh Penguins
Stanley Cup odds: +1000

The Pittsburgh Penguins might be my favorite Stanley Cup sleeper right now, believe it or not. Without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, they’ve kept winning. Guys like Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy have proven their mettle and helped the Pens transition into an outstanding defensive team. Now, it looks like Crosby could be back for the playoffs. Look out.

Chicago Blackhawks
Stanley Cup odds: +1200

They still could miss the playoffs but you can bet Vancouver doesn’t want to draw the defending champs as the No. 8 seed. Jonathan Toews has elevated his game to that level we all knew he’d reach eventually.

New York Rangers
Stanley Cup odds: +3000

The Rangers are another team that isn’t yet guaranteed to make the playoffs but could make noise if it does. Henrik Lundqvist is as good as any goalie in the world and the Rangers are built for the playoffs with their gritty forwards and horses on defense like Marc Staal, Bryan McCabe and Dan Girardi.

STOCK FALLING

Los Angeles Kings
Stanley Cup odds: +2500

The Kings have played better in the second half of 2010-11 but they’ve lost two thirds of their top line, Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar, entering the big dance. That puts them at a major disadvantage.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Stanley Cup odds: +2500

Tampa can still hold its head high no matter what happens this season. Thanks in part to offensive guru Guy Boucher, the Lightning have blossomed into a high-octane club. But their goaltending is hot-cold and I’m not sure their defense is up-to-snuff for the playoffs. The Lightning should keep improving next year, though.

Montreal Canadiens
Stanley Cup odds: +3000

On one hand, people are leaping off the Habs bandwagon. This team has little talent and toughness up front. On the other, no one believed in Montreal as a low seed last season. Then its goalie took over. Could Carey Price do what Jaroslav Halak did last year?

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Shea Matthews lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national newspapers. He now applies his knowledge to sports betting and handicapping every day, and shares his winning picks with the world.

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.


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