The Brooklyn Nets are still favoured to win its first NBA championship in franchise history despite being plagued by injuries. With a hampered Nets team, we now have a wide-open NBA Playoffs where any of the remaining teams can realistically win it all.
NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Update: Can Montreal Go All The Way?
Stunning. That one word to use for this NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs update. We’ve already seen a fair amount of upsets and we’re in for more. Leading the underdogs are the Montreal Canadiens, who have been a money train for the past week. Can they keep it up?
We weren’t kidding when we said it was a wide-open race as we give an NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs update. Colorado, the favourites could be ousted soon. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t even win a series.
Instead, we have the Montreal Canadiens just two series wins away from becoming the unlikeliest of Stanley Cup Champions. Wow. Here are the updated odds for the remaining teams per the top online sportsbooks:
|Odds to win the 2021 Stanley Cup|
Tampa Bay Lightning
Vegas Golden Knights
New York Islanders
NHL Stanley Cup Futures: Montreal Makin’ Money
Congratulations to Montreal and all its fans and backers. Had you kept placing money on the Canadiens, you’d be up close to ten units. Now, if you placed money on them to win it all before the playoffs started, you could quit your day job. Still, there are plenty more Futures to hit at lucrative odds (via Bodog):
Stanley Cup Underdogs: Do They Have A Shot?
Hold up a second. Montreal may have everyone dreaming of a Canadian Stanley Cup champion and a riveting underdog story worthy of a Disney movie, but the odds continue to be stacked against them. Montreal won the North but is still far away from winning a cup. The same goes for their fellow underdogs, the Islanders.
Montreal Canadiens — 10.50
Montreal has a feel-good story going. But dreams of a 25th Stanley Cup are still just that: dreams. The Canadiens will be hard-pressed to beat either Vegas or Colorado or even Tampa Bay. They will need plenty of things to go their way.
Beating an offensive juggernaut like Colorado or a defensive monster like Vegas in the next round is already looking insurmountable. But Montreal already showed they shouldn’t be counted out.
New York Islanders — 6.50
Next to Montreal, the Islanders are the least likely Stanley Cup winners. They were also the lowest seed in their division and few expected them to even beat the Pittsburgh Penguins. But this team has the makings of a Stanley Cup Champion thanks to their solid two-way play, strong goaltending, and clutch scoring.
The Islanders will face the Lightning. They’ve lost to them last season and will have to find a way to solve Andrei Vasilevskiy or defend against their unstoppable power play. It seems like a bad matchup, but don’t be quick to bet against Barry Trotz’s boys.
Conn Smythe Race: Carey Price And Each Team’s Best Candidate
Carey Price has carried the Montreal Canadiens to a place where few expected them to be. He is the clear-cut choice to win the Conn Smythe if Montreal at least makes the Stanley Cup Final. But outside of the Habs, several other players have made strong claims to win the award.
Carey Price (MTL) — 12.00
No player has done more for his team than Price has for Montreal. Sure, Price isn’t scoring goals, but he single-handedly shut down the Leafs and Jets and has Montreal dreaming for an improbable Stanley Cup run. His 93.5 save percent (SV%) leads the playoffs as does the 670 minutes he’s played.
The best skater on the Canadiens is Tyler Toffoli (26.00), who hasn’t scored more than 58 points in a full season. As long as Price keeps up his hot play and the Canadiens make the Stanley Cup Final, he will be the frontrunner to win the Conn Smythe.
Nikita Kucherov (TBL) — 5.50
This one is a toughie for the stacked Tampa Bay Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy (3.50) is the odds-on favourite among everyone thanks to being an immovable wall in the net. Brayden Point (15.00) has also been spectacular and leads the team in goals while Steven Stamkos (23.00) is second in scoring.
But it’s clear that the Lightning is just a different beast when Kucherov is on the ice. The former 128-point scorer leads everyone with 18 points in just 11 games. Heck, he has more power-play points (13) than everyone (except David Pastrnak) has total points. If he keeps up this torrid scoring pace, he should capture the Conn Smythe.
Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK) — 4.50
Others like Mark Stone (9.00) and Jonathan Marchessault (13.00) have solid cases to win the Conn Smythe for the Golden Knights. But the team’s ugly 7-1 loss to Colorado when Robin Lehner went in the net only made Fleury’s case stronger.
The Vezina Trophy Finalist has led the playoffs with a 1.81 goals-against the average (GAA). He’s also been instrumental in the Knights’ comebacks against the Avalanche. If this team goes all the way, Fleury is an easy choice to capture the prestigious award.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (NYI) — 36.00
There is tremendous value on J.G. Pageau of the Islanders. While Semyon Varlamov (18.00) has the name value, Pageau has arguably been the team’s best skater. Pageau has 11 points and leads all forwards with a +7 rating and unlike Varlamov, he’s played the entirety of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
His strong two-way play and usefulness in most situations make him the Islanders’ most likely Conn Smythe candidate.
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