The New York Rangers are the favorite to win the 2012 Stanley Cup—and rightfully so. But, there are also five other teams—dark horses—with a legitimate chance to hoist Lord Stanley in June.
The Rangers have been the front-runner for the Presidents' Trophy for most of the season. However, the Vancouver Canucks have made a late run and are now tied for league's top record. Both teams have three games remaining.
The Rangers don't only have the ability to score (2.7 goals per game), but Henrik Lundqvist is also one of the top goalies in the game.
Further cementing their strong case as being the Stanley Cup favorite, the Rangers play great hockey on the road. They currently have the second best road record in the league at 23-11-5. Only the Canucks are better—barely—at 24-11-5.
But, the NHL has a lot of very good teams and rarely does the favorite win.
There are five teams in the Eastern Conference—Rangers, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, New Jersey—separated by just 11 points.
The Western Conference is even tighter, with five teams—Canucks, St. Louis, Detroit, Nashville, Chicago—separated by just nine points.
Here are the five dark horses to challenge the Rangers for the 2012 Stanley Cup.