Chances of Canadian Teams to win the Stanley Cup

Chances of Canadian Teams to win the Stanley Cup

Hockey may be the most popular sport in Canada, and seven NHL franchises is definitely an indicator of that. However, despite the popularity of hockey in Canada, the nation has not seen one of its teams win the Stanley Cup since 1993. For the 2018-19 NHL season, a few franchises have a chance at ending the drought, while a handful of clubs look like locks to miss the postseason.

Hockey may be the most popular sport in Canada, and seven NHL franchises is definitely an indicator of that. However, despite the popularity of hockey in Canada, the nation has not seen one of its teams win the Stanley Cup since 1993. For the 2018-19 NHL season, a few franchises have a chance at ending the drought, while a handful of clubs look like locks to miss the postseason.

Chances of Canadian Teams to win the Stanley Cup

Toronto Maple Leafs (+700)

Heading into the 2018-19 NHL season, many online sportsbooks have the Toronto Maple Leafs as the favourite to win the Stanley Cup. The signing of free agent John Tavares gives the Leafs excellent offensive depth. Tavares is nearly a point per game player in his NHL career. Along with Auston Matthews and Nazim Kadri, the Leafs have the best centres in the NHL.

Of course, not everything is perfect in Toronto. The Leafs still have issues on the blue line, which caused them to allow 4.00 goals per game in their first-round loss to the Boston Bruins. While the offence is excellent during the regular season, for the Leafs to win the Cup, they need better help in front of goaltender Frederik Andersen. For now, the Leafs are a good bet to top their 105 points they finished with, in 2018, but not the best Canadian team to bet will win the Stanley Cup this season. 

Winnipeg Jets (+1100)

Falling only a few wins short of making the Stanley Cup last season, the Winnipeg Jets are gearing up for a Stanley Cup or bust season in 2019. The Jets are oozing with offensive talent.

Patrik Laine is amongst the favourites to win the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in 2019 after scoring 44 goals last season.

Laine is not the only top-tier talent the Jets have on offence. Blake Wheeler, Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele are all good enough to make an All-Star game in 2019.

The Jets also have great defence and a franchise goaltender. Connor Hellebuyck was a revelation last season, finishing in the top ten of just about every important goaltender statistic, including leading the league with 44 wins. While hockey sportsbooks have the Jets behind the Maple Leafs in futures to win the Stanley Cup (that is partly due to the strength of the Western Conference), the Jets are the best Canadian team to bet on to win the 2019 Stanley Cup. 

Edmonton Oilers (+1800)

Last season, the Edmonton Oilers were arguably the biggest disappointment in the NHL. After finishing with 103 points and making the playoffs for the first time in 10 years in 2017, the Oilers collapsed in 2018, ending the year with only 78 points. Conor McDavid was again electric in his third NHL season, leading the NHL with 108 points.

McDavid scored or assisted on 46.5% of all of Edmonton’s goals in 2018, up from 40.5% in 2017. Although 6% does not seem like a large number, relying on one player to contribute on nearly half your team’s goals is not a successful strategy in the NHL.

The Oilers need more from forward Milan Lucic and goaltender Cam Talbot if they want to push for a Stanley Cup. If both fix the issues that plagued them last season, the Oilers should play much better overall in 2019. Although the Oilers are still a bit thin on defence, they have enough talent everywhere else to make it back to the playoffs in 2019. 

Calgary Flames (+2500)

Of all seven Canadian franchises, the Calgary Flames potential this season is the most difficult to predict. After making the postseason in 2017, the Flames won eight fewer games in 2018, missing the playoffs for the seventh time in nine years.

However, the Flames signing of James Neal this offseason, gives the team a strong veteran presence, which should help their young stars – Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk – improve.

The Flames will also need more consistency from goaltender Mike Smith. Smith had some great stretches last season, including 18 games mid-season were he had a .938 save percentage and a 1.92 GAA.

While a Stanley Cup championship is a bit of a reach, If Smith can play closer to those numbers next season, the Flames could get back into the postseason in 2019. 

Vancouver Canucks (+7500)

Now that the Sedin twins have retired, the Vancouver Canucks enter a new era in the history of their franchise. While the team has some young players to build around – including Brock Boeser, who made the NHL All-Rookie Team in 2018 – they are still years away from competing for a Stanley Cup.

The Canucks were the worst defensive team in the Western Conference last season, something they could repeat in 2018-19. The Canucks made no moves to improve their blue line. They will hope Troy Stecher continues to grow, but even if he takes some positive steps in his third NHL season, it is not nearly enough to give the Canucks enough depth to field a playoff calibre defence in 2018-19. 

Montreal Canadiens (+7000)

After their trading captain – Max Pacioretty – to the Vegas Golden Knights, the hopes for the Montreal Canadiens all fall on the shoulders of goaltender Carey Price. The problem for Montreal is Price is coming off by far the worst season of his career.

Price set career worsts with a 3.11 GAA and .900 save percentage.

Health is also an issue for Price, who has only played over 50 games once in the last three seasons.

Even if Price returns to form in 2018-19 NHL season, the Canadiens offence is devoid of talent. The Canadiens ranked 29th in goals scored last season. While their top three point scorers last season were all 25 or under, they need a very large bump in production to even come close to the top offences in the Eastern Conference. 

Ottawa Senators (+8000)

With the Ottawa Senators finally trading Erik Karlsson, the franchise is well on its way to finishing last overall in the Eastern Conference (and maybe last overall in the NHL). The Senators are in a full-rebuild mode, and most of their better prospects are at least a year away from making any sort of impact in the NHL. Avoid betting on Ottawa to do anything but win the first overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.