NHL futures review: Pens enter playoffs as slight faves
Oddsmakers set their NHL futures odds way back in January and have now set lines for the final 16 teams vying for Lord Stanley’s mug.
Let’s take a look at look at some of the NHL’s biggest futures adjustments from the start of the season:
Pittsburgh Penguins – Opened: 8/1, Now: 3/1
The Penguins were temporarily bumped as the Stanley Cup frontrunners by the Chicago Blackhawks early in the season, but took back their position on top halfway through the campaign and haven’t looked back.
Chicago Blackhawks – Opened: 10/1, Now: 7/2
The Blackhawks’ ridiculous 24-game points streak to begin the shortened campaign put their futures odds on the move. The Presidents’ Trophy winners closed the campaign with wins in nine of their final 12 contests and are the clear-cut favorites to represent the West in the Stanley Cup Final.
Montreal Canadiens – Opened: 40/1, Now: 8/1
Oddsmakers had the Habs pegged as a bubble team to make the playoffs in January and certainly didn’t consider them Stanley Cup contenders. Just over three months later, Montreal has a Northeast Division title under its belt and will compete in the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the East.
Anaheim Ducks – Opened: 30/1, Now: 10/1
The Ducks found a gem in Viktor Fasth and now have another option in goal besides Jonas Hiller. The goaltending duo helped Anaheim coast to a Pacific Division title, contrary to what oddsmakers projected.
New York Islanders – Opened: 100/1, Now: 50/1
The Islanders showed signs at the end of the last season that they were ready to compete for a playoff spot, but that didn’t stop oddsmakers from opening them at 100/1 to win it all. Their odds would be much better if they didn’t draw the heavily-favored Penguins in the first round.