The Vancouver Canucks have dominated for the Northwest Division for four consecutive seasons and are poised to do it again this year. However, the Canucks will be looking over their shoulder at the beefed-up Minnesota Wild, who signed coveted free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in the offseason.
Below is a bettor's glance at each team along with some thoughts from Covers Expert Sean Murphy, which you can also find in his weekly NHL Power Rankings. Over/under season win total odds are from SportsInteraction.
Odds to win Stanley Cup: 12/1
Last season’s record (SU, ATS, O/U): 51-22-2-7, 36-46 ATS, 35-38-9
Season over/under win total: 29.5
Covers Power Ranking: 3rd
Key betting note: Vancouver had the worst puckline record in the division last season (36-46 ATS).
“The Canucks are no longer a youthful bunch, and the Roberto Luongo era has all but ended with Cory Schneider taking over as the team's starting goaltender. Still, this is a team that always seems to be in the mix for the President's Trophy and this year will be no different.”
Odds to win Stanley Cup: 66/1
Last season’s record (SU, ATS, O/U): 37-29-7-9, 42-40, 30-39-13
Season over/under win total: 22
Covers Power Ranking: 29th
Key betting note: The Flames averaged less than two goals per game over their final 10 contests last season and the health of top scorer Jarome Iginla (groin) is in question heading into the season opener.
“Calgary earns a reprieve only thanks to how bad the Blue Jackets are. The Flames really are a mess right now, in my opinion. In an ultra-competitive West, they'll struggle to stay competitive.”
Odds to win Stanley Cup: 45/1
Last season’s record (SU, ATS, O/U): 41-35-4-2, 44-38, 30-40-12
Season over/under win total: 23.5
Covers Power Ranking: 20th
Key betting note: The young Avs will be looking to rebound after dropping seven of their last eight games last season and improve on their 2.4 goals per game mark (25th) from last season.
“It's going to take at least another year for the Avalanche to become a serious player in the Western Conference. They'll ice a lot of talent, but a little too much youth at this point.”
Odds to win Stanley Cup: 18/1
Last season’s record (SU, ATS, O/U): 32-40-3-7, 47-35, 35-43-4
Season over/under win total: 22.5
Covers Power Ranking: 19th
Key betting note: The Oilers are siting third in the Sports Illustrated Power Rankings and most of their young talent have been playing together in the AHL this season. Edmonton was a solid bet on the puckline at 47-35 last season.
“I really think this is the year the Oilers make some noise in the West. With the majority of their young stars getting some much-needed experience at the AHL level this season, the Oil could have one of the most cohesive units in the league early on.”
Odds to win Stanley Cup: 18/1
Last season’s record (SU, ATS, O/U): 35-36-2-9, 47-35, 30-36-16
Season over/under win total: 24.5
Covers Power Ranking: 12th
Key betting note: The Wild were tied with the Oilers as the top puckline bet in the division this season. Many books have been seeing heavy action on the revamped squad in NHL futures odds.
“Perhaps no hockey market is more excited about the return of the NHL than Minnesota. With the additions of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the Wild were the big winners in the offseason - we'll see if that translates into success on the ice.”