The 2017/18 NHL season did not end well for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nashville Predators, with each of them getting eliminated in the playoffs at home in a Game 7.
However, oddsmakers like the chances of Tampa Bay and Nashville to rebound next year, pegging them as the top two favorites on the 2019 Stanley Cup odds.
The Lightning ultimately fell to the 2018 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference final, blowing a 3-2 series lead by getting shut out in each of the last two games.
Despite that disappointing ending, they are the +1000 favorites (bet $100 to win $1000) at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark to follow in the footsteps of the Capitals as the next NHL champions. Tampa Bay currently only has eight players under contract for the 2019/20 campaign, so there is a sense of urgency to win now.
The Predators won the Presidents' Trophy as the team to finish with the most points during the regular season, earning home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. But they lost to the Winnipeg Jets three times at home in the second round of their postseason series en route to early elimination after making the 2017 Stanley Cup final.
However, Nashville is listed as +1100 to win the 2019 Stanley Cup in what could be goaltender Pekka Rinne's last shot at the trophy before he becomes a free agent.
The two teams that met in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final are among six more contenders at +1200 to win it all in 2019.
But Washington and the Vegas Golden Knights do not figure to get back to the championship round again next season, as the Pittsburgh Penguins are the lone team to play in the Stanley Cup Final in consecutive years over the past decade.
The Penguins won the Cup three times during that 10-year stretch, and they are also +1200 along with the Jets, Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Following the most successful run for an expansion team in sports history, the Golden Knights may have the toughest road back to the playoffs considering the large number of 2019 Stanley Cup contenders in the Pacific Division alone.
The Pacific's Edmonton Oilers (+1800), Anaheim Ducks (+2200), San Jose Sharks (+2200), Calgary Flames (+2500) and Los Angeles Kings (+2500) all reside in the top half of the betting board.
For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week's top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.