The NHL playoffs are here! The chase for the 2017 Stanley Cup will officially get underway this Wednesday, April 12 as five of the eight NHL playoff series are scheduled to begin.
Getting all of the action started on Day 1 of Stanley Cup playoff action will be the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers. It has been a long time since a team from Canada won the Stanley Cup, and the Canadiens’ fans know that all too well because they are the last team to accomplish that feat.
It is hard to believe, but it has been nearly 25 years since an NHL team north of the border has carried Lord Stanley’s Cup home. The year was 1993, and the Montreal Canadiens, led by head coach Jacques Demers, defeated Barry Melrose’s LA Kings 4 games to 1.
Will this be the year that the Stanley Cup makes its return to the great white north? Las Vegas oddsmakers don’t believe so. According to the most recent release of Stanley Cup odds, Montreal is the highest ranked team from Canada on the list.
ESPN indicates that the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks are the top two favorites to take home the 2017 Stanley Cup, according to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Those odds shouldn’t surprise most hockey fans, as the Blackhawks were the best team in the Western Conference during the 2016 regular season, while the Capitals were the beasts of the east. Washington is the No. 1 seed at 3/1, followed by the Blackhawks at 5/1.
Chicago finished the regular season with 109 points, and they once again have the Stanley Cup champs or bust look to them. The Chicago Blackhawks were crowned Stanley Cup champions in 2010, 2013, and in 2015. The Washington Capitals finished as the number one seed overall in the NHL with 118 points and had a practically unbeatable record of 32-7-2 at home.
Right behind these two powerhouses on the Stanley Cups odds favorite board are the Minnesota Wild at 6/1 and the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins at 10/1.
One team that will be noticeably missing from the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup playoff bracket are the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings have made the postseason for the last 25 years. However, they failed to qualify this season. The only point that had fans in Motown feeling optimistic after failing to make the Stanley Cup playoffs this season was the excitement and anticipation of playing in the new Little Caesars Arena this upcoming fall.
The Red Wings called Joe Louis Arena home for nearly 40 years, and they raised four Stanley Cup banners to the rafters during that period. However, fans and players alike in Detroit aren’t used to the hockey season ending in April.
Below is a look at the the current odds to win the 2017 Stanley Cup and the schedule for all of Wednesday’s NHL Stanley Cup playoff action. To see the complete first round NHL schedule, be sure to click here. Also, a great way to keep up with all of the action is with your own Stanley Cup printable bracket,so here it is!
2017 NHL Stanley Cup odds
- Washington Capitals 3-1
- Chicago Blackhawks 5-1
- Minnesota Wild 6-1
- Pittsburgh Penguins 10-1
- Anaheim Ducks 10-1 12-1
- New York Rangers 10-1
- Montreal Canadiens 15-1
- Columbus Blue Jackets 15-1
- San Jose Sharks 16-1 12-1
- Edmonton Oilers 16-1
- Boston Bruins 25-1 30-1
- Nashville Predators 30-1
- Ottawa Senators 30-1
- Calgary Flames 30-1 60-1
- St. Louis Blues 35-1 14-1
- Toronto Maple Leafs 40-1
(Odds courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Wednesday, April 12
- Rangers at Canadiens — 7 p.m ET
- Bruins at Senators — 7 p.m. ET
- Blue Jackets at Penguin — 7:30 p.m. ET
- Blues at Wild — 9:30 p.m. ET
- Sharks at Oilers — 10 p.m. ET
- Montreal Canadiens (1) vs. New York Rangers (Wild Card 1)
- Ottawa Senators (2) vs. Boston Bruins (3)
- Washington Capitals (1) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (Wild Card 2)
- Pittsburgh Penguins (2) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (3)
- Chicago Blackhawks (1) vs. Nashville Predators (Wild Card 2)
- Minnesota Wild (2) vs. St. Louis Blues (3)
- Anaheim Ducks (1) vs. Calgary Flames (Wild Card 1)
- Edmonton Oilers (2) vs. San Jose Sharks (3)
[Featured Image by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images]