| Tue 06/03/2018 - 04:54 EST

      NHL Picks: Will the Canadian Stanley Cup Drought Finally End this Season?

      NHL Picks: Will the Canadian Stanley Cup Drought Finally End this Season?

      Will a Canadian Team Win the Stanley Cup?

      It was the late spring of 1993 as legendary goalie Patrick Roy lifted the Stanley Cup. His Montreal Canadiens won their 24th championship and the eighth by a Canadian team in a decade as 18,000 fans cheered raucously in the old Montreal Forum. What a moment it was.

      Flash forward 25 years later and the Stanley Cup scene couldn't be more different. Had someone said the American state of California would have three more Stanley Cup championships than the entire nation of Canada and they would be laughed out of the building. But that's the reality today.

      Last season, five Canadian teams made the postseason and although half of them have tragically floundered this season, hope springs anew in the form of not one, not two, but three Canadian franchises ready to represent Canada in the big stage. We examine the case for each of these three Stanley Cup contenders (odds via SportsInteraction).

      Toronto Maple Leafs

      Toronto Maple Leafs

      Stanley Cup Odds: +900

      Led by sophomore wonder Auston Matthews, the Leafs youth movement is ahead of schedule and are currently tied for fourth in the league in goals per game with 3.28 and are sixth in goal differential at +28. Even more impressive, they are eighth in the penalty kill at 82.7 per cent efficiency and average the third-least penalties in minutes per game (6:58). 

      If the Leafs have a glaring hole, it is their defence. The Leafs lack a solid shutdown defenceman or a veteran presence who can slow the game down for the young bucks. The Leafs allow the fourth-most shots per game at 34.1 Fortunately, goaltender Frederik Andersen is having a Vezina-caliber season in net.

      If the Leafs are to have a real shot at the cup, they will not only need for Andersen to keep standing on his head but also to tighten up on defence.

      They can score goals in bunches but come playoff time, they'll need to play better defence.

      Toronto Maple Leafs (+900)

      Winnipeg Jets

      Winnipeg Jets

      Stanley Cup Odds: +900

      Many will consider the Jets a surprise team this season but Winnipeg has always had the tools to be a cup contender. They just missed one essential ingredient: solid goaltending. Connor Hellebuyck has backstopped the team to the tune of 34 wins (3rd), 2.40 goals against average (9th), and six shutouts (6th). 

      But Hellebuyck is just a piece of the puzzle. The Jets have arguably the best team from top to bottom and it says a lot that this team hardly skipped a beat when topline centre Mark Scheifele went down with an injury. Since returning, Scheifele has gone on a tear with 13 points in 11 games. Acquiring Paul Stastny from the Blues gives the Jets three high-calibre centres in time for a Stanley Cup run.

      The Jets are ranked in the top-five in most major categories including goals scored (3rd), goals against (5th), and goal differential (t-4th). Their only flaw is that they are a bit lacking of playoff experience as a team although players like Dustin Byfuglien and Stastny have plenty.

      The Jets could be Canada's best shot at the cup.  

      Winnipeg Jets (+900)

      Calgary Flames

      Calgary Flames
      Stanley Cup Odds: +2800 

      Watch out for the Calgary Flames. They may sit a few spots outside the wild card, but they are a dangerous team if they make it in. The Flames got eliminated in the playoffs quickly last season but are a year older and wiser. Statistically, the Flames don't impress but they have a rare combination of speed and physicality. The latter is the x-factor.  

      The Flames lead the league in penalties with 298 and are second in PIM per game (11:33). With guys like super pest Matthew Tkachuk and scrappy Garnet Hathaway, the Flames are always tough team to play against despite their record. But perhaps their biggest trump card lies in between the pipes with Mike Smith.  

      Smith has a solid .921 SV% with 2.53 GAA this season but can get red-hot during the postseason. In 19 playoff games, Smith has a .945 SV% on 1.88 GA including single-handedly carrying the Coyotes to the Conference Finals in 2012.

      If the Flames put it all together, they could have a Cinderella run. 

      Calgary Flames (+2800)

      Best Canadian Sportsbooks for NHL

      Canadians are avid hockey fans are naturally enthusiastic when they head to Canadian-friendly online bookmakers to place wagers. These books offer plenty of lines even beyond the NHL. Read our sportsbook reviews before committing to any books.

        Category : NHL News

        More articles...
        NHL News - 12/07/21
        Power Heavily Favored To Go First Overall In NHL Entry Draft 
        Power Heavily Favored To Go First Overall In NHL Entry Draft

        While the 2021 NHL entry draft isn't viewed as being as deep as the 2020 class, as with Alexis Lafreniere last season, there appears to be a consensus No. 1 - Michigan's Owen Power. The Wolverines freshman defenceman didn't look out of place playing with the men at the IIHF world championship, winning a gold medal skating for Canada, playing in the top defensive pairing. Power is almost certainly going to the Buffalo Sabres.

        NHL News - 06/07/21
        How to Watch the NHL in Canada? 
        How to Watch the NHL in Canada?

        Canadian hockey fans have it made. There is no shortage of ways on how to watch the NHL. Whether it's TV stations or online streams, fans can tune in using their phones, tablets, or kick it old school by watching on television. Gone are the days where you had to go to one room and wait for one time to watch the NHL. Here are the many ways to watch the NHL in Canada

        NHL News - 05/07/21
        Lightning On Verge Of Rare Achievement 
        Lightning On Verge Of Rare Achievement

        The Tampa Bay Lightning are one win away from capturing their second straight Stanley Cup title. They lead the best-of-seven Cup final series against the Montreal Canadiens by a 3-0 count. In the Cup final for the first time in 28 years, Montreal has lost nine of 33 previous Stanley Cup final series. However, the Canadiens have only ever been swept in a final series one time in their history.

        NHL News - 05/07/21
        Best Betting Sites for the Stanley Cup Finals 
        Best Betting Sites for the Stanley Cup Finals

        The Stanley Cup has gone through some unique firsts during the past two NHL seasons thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year's Cup final series didn't end until September. This year, with the launch of the regular season delayed until January, the Cup final series is stretching into July. One facet that hasn't changed, though, is that no matter when wagers are placed on the games, the bettors want to be certain that they are placing those wagers with the best betting sites for the Stanley Cup Finals