Several Teams Have Serious Shot at 2024 Stanley Cup

Several Teams Have Serious Shot at 2024 Stanley Cup

As the 2023-24 NHL season reached the midway point, several teams had a legitimate shot to win the Stanley Cup. In like manner to other sports, there is a precise difference between teams that have a strong shot and public favorites based on hype and branding. Since the NHL returned after the 2004-05 canceled season and lockout, the NHL betting odds results have shown equality. The owners taking the hard line against the National Hockey League Player’s Union created a league of great parity and franchise stability.

The NHL has had strong teams over the past two decades but no real dynasty. Only the 2016-17 Pittsburgh Penguins and the 2020-21 Tampa Bay Lightning were repeat Stanley Cup champions. In sum, 11 different franchises have won the Stanley Cup in the post-lockout era.

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As an example of casual money influence in the NHL is the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto is the Dallas Cowboys of the NHL in that they are “Canada’s Team.” And just like the Cowboys, the Maple Leafs offshore bookmaker brand is built on past successes that occurred generations ago.

Consider that the Maple Leafs last won the Stanley Cup in 1967. From an NHL betting perspective, that was the final season of the “Original Six” teams. Following that campaign, the NHL doubled in size from six to 12 teams and is now a 32-team circuit. And Toronto has come up empty the entire time, post-expansion.

Additionally, elite goaltending is a mandatory ingredient for success. Toronto has not had the toughness or goaltending for playoff success. And their skill was nowhere to be found without those two elements.

Yet another top Canadian-based favorite is the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton is led by the NHL’s best player, Connor McDavid. Although the Oilers have made the playoffs in the past two years. Including the 2022 Western Conference Final, they have also lacked the goaltending and sandpaper to finish the mission.

In 2023-24, Edmonton flopped out of the gate, forcing a coaching change. Since then, the Oilers have been one of the hottest teams on the NHL board. But the question remains about their playoff sustainability.

So too, another example of the difference between regular season and playoff hockey is the 2022-23 Boston Bruins. Boston posted the best regular season record in NHL history last year. However, the Bruins were shockingly eliminated in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Boston is again among the top favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Although the Bruins boast one of the best records in hockey, they are tapping the breaks a bit to conserve energy for the playoffs.

Also, the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights are favored to win the 2024 Stanley Cup. One of the great ironies of sports future betting is that it is often based on the past. Although Vegas has everything necessary to win another championship, they are playing with a Stanley Cup hangover.

And then the 2022 Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche is another top and legitimate favorite to win the 2024 Cup. Colorado suffered from its own Stanley Cup championship hangover in 2023 and is refocused on reclaiming the title. The big concern for the Avs is goaltending.