Lightning favored to win 2020 Stanley Cup despite playoff collapse
The 2019-20 National Hockey League season is set to begin in just a couple weeks, and teams have rebuilt and reloaded to make a run at Lord Stanley’s Cup. Let’s examine one of the favorites along with two other contenders that you should look to challenge for the Cup this season.
Odds to win the Stanley Cup
|Team||2020 Stanley Cup Odds|
Tampa Bay Lightning
Vegas Golden Knights
Toronto Maple Leafs
Tampa Bay Lightning (+700)The reigning Presidents’ Trophy winners are hoping to end the season with the taste of champagne instead of the bitter taste of an early playoff exit. They had 62 wins in 2018-19, but they got their doors blown off as they were swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the playoffs.
They will once again be led by , who finished with 41 goals and 128 points, a franchise record. Steven Stamkos is also back. He finished with 45 goals and 98 points last season, and he will be joined Braydon Point (41 goals, 92 points). That’s a ton of firepower to retain, but the Lightning somehow managed to keep basically their entire roster from last season. That continuity, coupled with having Andrei Vasilevskiy (2.40 goals allowed average in 2018-19) in net means that they will be a favorite nightly.
With their offensive attack and ability to control teams on the defensive end and transition to scoring chances, there’s no doubt the Lightning are the class of the NHL. Can they get over the mental bump that stopped them last season in the playoffs? If they can, Lord Stanley’s Cup is headed to Amalie Arena.
St. Louis Blues (+1500)The surprise Stanley Cup champions from a year ago are back and they have retained essentially the same lineup that stormed to the title a season ago. Jordan Binnington is the bona fide starter in goal, and Ryan O’Reilly (28 goals, 77 points), Vladimir Tarasenko (33 goals, 68 points) and David Perron (23 goals, 46 points) will be counted on to provide the same firepower under permanent head coach Craig Berube.
St. Louis is not to be counted out this season, and “Gloria” could once again be played with the Stanley Cup being hoisted into the sky by the Blues.
Dallas Stars (+2000)The Dallas Stars entered the 2019 NHL Playoffs with the second wild-card spot, where they defeated the top seed Nashville Predators and ultimately lost to the Blues in seven games in the conference semifinals. They already had a potent attack with Tyler Seguin (33 goals, 80 points) and Alexander Radulov (29 goals, 72 points). They added to that by grabbing Joe Pavelski (38 goals, 64 points) and winger Corey Perry. That should propel the Stars from a middle of the pack team in the Western Conference to one of the top Stanley Cup contenders.
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