Stanley Cup Odds 2022: Avalanche, Lightning, Golden Knights Clear Favorites

Stanley Cup Odds 2022

After a wild conference realigned 56-game season, the NHL plans to return to relative normality for the upcoming season.

With crisis comes opportunity, and the Montreal Canadiens took full advantage of that last season. In any normal year, the Canadiens wouldn’t have made the playoffs with their 24-21-11 record and -9 goal differential. Instead, they finished as Stanley Cup runners-up.

Tampa Bay became the first team to repeat as champs since the Penguins did in 2015-16 and 2016-17, and they’ll be pushing for the three-peat. They currently sit with the second-best odds at but did a fair amount of roster shuffling this season.

While normality may mean less opportunity, there’s still plenty of value to be found in the NHL futures market. Let’s dig into the odds:

Updated Stanley Cup Odds

 

The Chalk

Three teams make up the chalk for the upcoming season:

Colorado Avalanche : It’s a bit surprising to see Colorado with slightly shorter odds than Tampa Bay, but they did make several additions. That includes the signings of forwards Darren Helm (Detroit), Dylan Sikura (Vegas) ,and Stefan Matteau (Columbus).

This is all in the hopes of taking some pressure off Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, who combined for 50 goals and 131 points last season. The added depth should prove important in the upcoming season.

However, the Avalanche also saw some roster overturn. Goalie Philipp Grubauer is gone (Seattle), and the new No. 1 netkeeper is Darcy Keumper. Keumper is a veteran goalkeeper entering his 10th NHL season, but he posted just -0.6 goals saved above average last year.

Defense isn’t as big a concern for Colorado, however, as the team paced the NHL in goals scored last season (197).

Tampa Bay Lightning : Tampa Bay went all in last season, trading high draft picks to acquire David Savard and Brian Lashoff. It worked, as the Lightning are currently in possession of the Stanley Cup, but they had only one pick in the first four rounds of the last draft.

Plus, they had to say goodbye to Barclay Goodrow, Blake Coleman, Yanni Gourde, and Savard this offseason – four guys who accounted for 68:05 average time on ice and 87 combined points.

But, they also signed winger Corey Perry (Montreal) and brought back defenseman Zach Bogosian. Perry, a former Hart Trophy winner, is entering the twilight of his career but has still proven he can be productive.

The biggest thing going for Tampa Bay is Andre Vasilevskiy, who finished second in goals saved above average in the regular season (18.2). Vasilevskiy took home the Conn Smythe trophy after his heroic Stanley Cup performance (26.6 playoffs GSAA; Carey Price finished second with 12.6) and should prove to be an elite goalie this upcoming season.

Vegas Golden Knights : The Knights boast a stingy defense led by Alex Pietrangelo, an exciting offense powered by Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty, and one of the better goalies in the league in Marc-Andre Fleury.

And all four of those guys are returning for this year. The Knights paced the NHL in goals allowed and goal differential last season, and they’re poised to be a force this season.

The Knights might be my best bet among the top three favorites.

Top Value Play

I keep eyeing one team outside of the favorites:

New York Islanders : This is the team that took Tampa Bay to six and seven games in the past two Stanley Cup playoffs. Why are they priced so high?

The Islanders are stifling on the defensive end and have a great goaltending duo in Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin, who both recorded double-digit wins in net last season. All-in-all, the Islanders allowed the second-fewest goals in the NHL last season and paced the NHL in goal differential.

The offense isn’t quite as strong, and they lost some key pieces in Andrew Ladd, Nick Leddy, and Jordan Eberle. But, they’re still led Mathew Barzal, and they have one of the best coaches in the NHL in Barry Trotz.

I really like the Islanders at this price. 

The Long-Shots

Let’s discuss two teams with long favorites:

Montreal Canadiens : Has there ever been a Stanley Cup finalist who had such long odds the next season?

Either way, do the Canadiens pose value for the upcoming season?

Montreal had a decent amount of roster turnover, but there were two main reasons they succeeded last season, and I think both are repeatable.

First, Montreal excelled at 5v5 play. While they had a very below-average power play and penalty kill unit, the Canadiens tended to dominate full-strength play. They finished second in NHL Corsi For percentage (54.4%) and fourth in Fenwick For percentage (53.7%) – both stats meaning they controlled the puck more often than their opponent in 5v5 situations.

Plus, they finished 10th in 5v5 expected goals for (117.1) while finishing fourth in 5v5 expected goals allowed (101.3). The advanced metrics loved the Montreal full strength unit, and that’s what led them to the Stanley Cup.

Second, their goalkeeping was awesome. Incredibly, while the Canadiens left Carey Price unprotected in the expansion draft, Seattle passed on him. As such, Montreal returns a goalie that stood on his head for the playoff run.

All-in-all, it might be worth taking a shot on the Canadiens for the upcoming season. Considering they’re -200 to make the playoffs, there’s a chance they make another miraculous run on the back of team hockey and elite goalkeeping.

Seattle Kraken : The Golden Knights almost did it, why can’t the Kraken?

Seattle’s not going to be as good as Vegas was, but they’re going to be a tough out. They pose tremendous depth, as basically everyone from the third line down can put up third-line production. Plus, the goaltending duo of Philipp Gurubauer and Chris Driedger should be a force in net.

The only issue is they lack scoring. But depth, good defense, and great goalkeeping is a great formula for deep playoff runs. Why not take a shot on the NHL’s shiny new toy?

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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