With the first round of the 2021 NHL playoffs all wrapped up and the second round heating up, now is a good time to examine the Stanley Cup futures. Some teams were able to see their odds jump up drastically while others remained towards the bottom of the group despite strong efforts in their first series. Let’s kick this off with the favorites.
Stanley Cup Favorites
The Colorado Avalanche (+190) have been among the favorites to win the Stanley Cup for the entire season and they are still in that role. They were able to sweep the St. Louis Blues in the first round and then followed that up with a dominant performance over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of the second round. Colorado is playing like the best team in the league right now.
The Boston Bruins (+400) jumped quite a bit from the first round to the second round. They were able to completely overwhelm the Washington Capitals in the first round, losing the first game but then winning the next four. Boston has to fight through a scrappy New York Islanders team and have now lost home-ice advantage after dropping Game 2.
The reigning NHL champions the Tampa Bay Lightning (+450) have been electric offensively so far. They had to fight and scratch their way past the Florida Panthers in the first round, but they were able to get the series victory. Now they match up with a young Carolina Hurricanes team that will test whether they can play and win at a slower pace. This team is definitely still a threat to defend their title.
Stanley Cup Longshots
The Carolina Hurricanes (+750) may have a very tough second round matchup with the Lightning, but there is a chance that they can advance further into the playoffs. It’s a defense-versus-offense showdown, and they have one of the best goaltenders in the NHL. They fought their way past the Nashville Predators in round one despite being one of the younger teams in the postseason and looked pretty good overall. The Lightning provide a far more difficult matchup for them in Round 2.
The Winnipeg Jets (+1600) are another team that has longer odds but they continue to shorten as the playoffs progress. They were further out to begin with but after sweeping the Edmonton Oilers and see the Montreal Canadiens (instead of the Toronto Maple Leafs) in Round 2, their odds continue to shorten. Winnipeg isn’t the flashiest or toughest team around but they have shown their fight on the ice which could help them sneak their way past another opponent.
The New York Islanders (+2000) could be worth a look as they are coming off a big overtime win in Boston in Game 2. The team struggled at times in their first round series but ended up taking care of the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games to advance further into the postseason. They rely on defense to get the job done but if their offense does just enough, they might be able to make a serious run for the Cup.