Can the Carolina Hurricanes storm their way to a Stanley Cup?
The Carolina Hurricanes aren’t going under the radar anymore.
The team's odds of winning the Stanley Cup have moved to +900 at TwinSpires Sports, which puts them fifth on the board at this point of the season.
Let's examine three reasons why the Hurricanes are an appealing option to bettors who are looking for a little extra value.
NHL Championship 2020/2021
Tue, May 11 2021, 3:58 AM
Vegas Golden Knights
Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Islanders
1. Carolina offers a bigger potential payout than Tampa Bay or Vegas
The Hurricanes are among the NHL leaders in wins with 32. They’re atop the Central Division, ahead of Florida and Tampa Bay, as we enter the stretch drive.
With odds of +900, a $25 wager has a potential payout of $250 should you back the Hurricanes. Bet the same amount on the Tampa Bay Lightning (+750) or Vegas Golden Knights (+600) and the potential payout is considerably less.
Those teams represent decent payouts as well, but the challenge of winning the Stanley Cup is a significant one, and risking a little bit less for a potentially bigger payout is a good way to approach the playoffs.
2. Numbers indicate the Hurricanes are a force
There is a lot to like about the Hurricanes, who are among the NHL’s best teams in a number of key statistical categories, including puck possession and scoring chances at even strength.
The Hurricanes are 10th in the league in goals-for per game, and third in goals-against per game, which is a byproduct of dictating the pace of the play. They are first in power play percentage, and third in penalty kill percentage.
Their underlying numbers suggest they carry the play at five-on-five, with a 53% share of shot attempts at even strength, as well as 56% share of goals-for compared to their opposition, and nearly 54% of expected-goals for.
The wins indicate a good team. The underlying numbers indicate those wins have not been a fluke.
3. Carolina's goaltending could shore up soon
The Hurricanes have emerged as a division leader despite the absence of goalie Petr Mrazek, who is working to come back from injury. He has appeared in just nine games this season, posting a .939 save percentage in a small sample size.
The Hurricanes have instead relied on 25-year-old Alex Nedeljkovic, the team’s second round pick in 2014. Nedeljkovic has played 20 games this season for Carolina and has posted a .920 save percentage, winning 13 of his starts.
Those are impressive numbers, and they should give the Hurricanes confidence in their goaltending situation entering the playoffs, especially if Mrazek is able to get some games under his belt before the regular season ends.