NHL Playoff Teams' Odds of Winning the Stanley Cup (Updated)
We started with 30, and after last night's pair of thrilling Game 7s in the Eastern Conference, just eight teams remain vying for the Stanley Cup.
Goaltending and defense propelled Western Conference winners into the semifinals, while three of the four Eastern Conference teams (New York, New Jersey and Washington) were thrust into Game 7 situations.
If you're a gambler or simply interested in how the final eight stack up against one another, here are the updated odds on each team's chance at taking home the Stanley Cup, provided by Bovada.
You might just be surprised at who the bookmakers believe is the favorite.
Phoenix Coyotes 11/1
Phoenix relied on unbelievable goaltending by Vezina snub Mike Smith and capitalized on timely scoring in overtime to dispose of the Blackhawks. They may be a long shot, but a solid presence between the pipes can go a long way.
New Jersey Devils 9/1
It took all seven games for the Devils to advance past the Florida Panthers, yet something tells me they don't care what it took to reach this point.
New Jersey plays a very disciplined style of hockey, and though Philadelphia will be a worthy opponent, it's not out of the question for the Devils to reach the Eastern Conference finals.
Washington Capitals 9/1
Vegas might see the Capitals as long shots, but they've turned up their play at precisely the right time.
Backed by rookie goaltending sensation Braden Holtby and a newfound defensive style of play, the Capitals knocked off the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins and are now poised for a clash with the New York Rangers. The Beltway meets Broadway.
Los Angeles Kings 13/2
The name on the back of the black, white and silver clad jersey says it all. Jonathan Quick has been an absolute sensation in 2011-12, leading the league with 10 shutouts during the regular season and thwarting the defending Western Conference champions in the first round.
Dustin Brown has played well early—now it's time for the remainder of the offensive attack to chip in for the Kings.
Nashville Predators 5/1
Nashville is presented with its greatest opportunity to win the Stanley Cup since the franchise came into existence in 1998. The offense is much better, aided by key acquisitions in the regular season, and the goaltending of Pekka Rinne is just as stellar as ever.
It's probably a team nobody thinks about as a cup winner, but this could be the year.
New York Rangers 9/2
It wasn't pretty and it wasn't easy, but the Rangers slid past the eighth-seeded Ottawa Senators in the first round. Henrik Lundqvist came up big when he needed to, and just enough goals were scored by the offense, but the level of the play must be stepped up against the Capitals in the next round.
Regardless of what happened in the past, it's just that—in the past. The Rangers' style of play was effective all year, and there's no reason why it won't continue to be that way.
Philadelphia Flyers 9/2
After an absolutely wild first-round series against in-state rival Pittsburgh, the Flyers put the entire league on notice, particularly in terms of offensive firepower. Claude Giroux and Daniel Briere were white-hot against the Penguins, and the team seemed to be clicking in all facets of its game, especially the power play.
Goaltending is still a huge question mark, along with some injuries on defense, but if those elements are stabilized, the Flyers are dangerous.
St. Louis Blues 15/4
The St. Louis Blues are the Stanley Cup favorites?
Yes, you read that correctly. But why not? Unbelievable goaltending, a physical brand of hockey and puck control are the ingredients of a successful Blues team. The matchup with the Kings is sure to be a a seven-game chess match, and the first goaltender to blink will likely end up the loser.
Hockey is back in the city of St. Louis and for good reason as the organization looks for its first Stanley Cup.