Dark Horse Picks To Win The 2016 Stanley Cup
When you talk about the Stanley Cup odds this year, there are a few teams who dominate the conversation — Washington, L.A., Chicago and Dallas, with a few other teams swirling around. However, one of the fun things about the NHL is that, since each game is so close, with such little margin for error, that there are plenty of seasons where a dark horse team comes out of nowhere and skates away with the Cup. Let’s take a look at some teams that could shock the NHL odds makers and win it all.
— Boston Herald (@bostonherald) January 31, 2016
Boston, Can The Bruins Pull Of A Dark Horse NHL Odds Win (16/1)
The Bruins are just one point out of second place in the Atlantic Division — and just two points above missing the playoffs. That’s what happens when you play inconsistent hockey, but when the B’s have been on, there is no team in the East that plays better hockey, including Tampa Bay and Washington. If the Bruins can finish the season strong, they will get a favorable position in the East playoffs. The #8 seed would be death for them, but if they can finish higher, they will find themselves looking at a couple of series against teams that they can beat…if they stay focused.
New York Islanders (18/1)
The Isles only sit a single point ahead of New Jersey in the Metropolitan Division. They have two games in hand on their New York rivals — and are only three points behind them. They do head out on the road a lot in the second half. If they can stay in third or even take over second in the Metropolitan, they would likely face the Rangers in the first round. That means negligible travel against a beatable opponent. Remember that the Islanders pushed Washington to seven games last spring, and Washington is the best team in the East this year.
New York Rangers (20/1)
There’s pretty much no way for the Rangers to catch up to Washington. However, they have a grip on second place in the Metropolitan and have played well enough to expect to keep the four teams right behind them at bay. If they keep their current trend, they will have home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs at least. They’ll have a tough opponent, but the East is a big cluster of teams that will knock each other around.
Florida Panthers (25/1)
The Panthers sit eight points ahead of the #9 team in the East right now (New Jersey). They are ahead of Tampa Bay and Detroit by five points in the Atlantic Division. If they can win the division, they will get inferior foes in the first two rounds of the playoffs. However, their tendency to spit the bit and lose winnable games is a concern going down the stretch.
Minnesota Wild (30/1)
There are three teams fighting over two wild-card berths in the West, and the Wild have the best pints percentage of the trio. If the Wild can snag a wild card and draw the Kings in the first round, going through the Pacific means that the second round opponent would likely be easier, meaning that there would only be one Central team left to face Minnesota in the conference finals. Of course, knocking off L.A. will be a tall enough order, but the scrappy Wild have the talent to pull it off.