The Los Angeles Kings went from a +2,500 long shot to Stanley Cup champion a year ago.
Here's a look at three hot teams that could be having an unexpected kiss with Lord's Stanley's mug in June:
(All futures courtesy of Sports Interaction)
St. Louis Blues, +1,400
Only the Pittsburgh Penguins come into the playoffs hotter than St.
Louis. The Blues went 12-3 in April, with Brian Elliott backstopping them to a 1.47 GAA, well
below the team's season 2.40 GAA mark. The St. Louis penalty kill yielded only three goals in 38
power plays in April.
New York Rangers, +1,800
New York went 7-2 in the final nine games of the season. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist had a 2.00 GAA during the streak, and the Rangers have scored 3.8 goals per game - well above the team's 2.6 season average. New York's first round opponent, the Washington Capitals, had only one more point than the Rangers, despite playing 21 games against playoff teams compared to the Rangers' 24.
Detroit Red Wings, +2,800
The Wings were dangerously close to missing the playoffs for the first time since 1990. But they won four in a row to punch a playoff ticket, with goalie Jimmy Howard posting two shutouts during the streak. Detroit gave up 2.3 goals per game (fifth in the NHL) and won both road games against its first-round opponent, the Anaheim Ducks.