The Washington Capitals have not had much playoff success over the last decade despite qualifying for the postseason in seven of the last eight years. This year is supposed to be different, though, as the Capitals are the +375 favorites on the odds to win the Stanley Cup.
We don't need to delve too far into the analytics to understand why Washington is the favorite on the Stanley Cup futures. The Capitals are the only team with more than 100 regular season points so far; no other team has even hit 90. They've scored the most goals in the Eastern Conference, and allowed the fewest.
However, the Chicago Blackhawks (+500) are expected to give them a run for their money not only because of talent, but because the Blackhawks have a sizable edge in experience. While the Capitals have a track record of falling short in the playoffs, the Blackhawks have won three Stanley Cup championships over the last six seasons.
While the Capitals are the clear-cut favorite right now, the next four teams in line all come from the Western Conference: the Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks (+800), Dallas Stars (+1000) and Los Angeles Kings (+1200).
The Ducks were dead-last in the Pacific Division standings at the end of December; however, they've been on an incredible run since then. And even though the Ducks are behind the Stars in the overall Western Conference standings, they're ahead of them on the odds to win the Stanley Cup because Dallas has gone in the other direction lately. After starting 26-7-2, the Stars have picked up just 14 wins in their last 33 games.
If anyone is to push the Capitals in the Eastern Conference, it's expected to be either the Tampa Bay Lightning (+1200) or the New York Rangers (+1400). Both teams are trending in the right direction as the Lightning are 20-6-1 in their last 27 games while the Rangers are 12-4-1 over their last 17 games.
Aside from the aforementioned squads, the only other teams inside of 20/1 to win the Stanley Cup are the San Jose Sharks (+1400), the St. Louis Blues (+1600), the Florida Panthers (+1800), the Pittsburgh Penguins (+1800), and the Boston Bruins (+1800).