A total of six NHL sides remain in contention for this season’s Stanley Cup, and it’s still wide open as far as the bookmakers are concerned. The Chicago Blackhawks have been put in as the 11/5 favourites by the odds compilers at Betfair, and with this side’s recent results, it isn’t hard to see why that is the case. Chicago have managed to reach the conference final in five of the last seven seasons, and are one of the most consistent sides in the NHL. Founded in 1926, the Blackhawks compete in the Central Division of the Western Conference and the team have won a total of five Stanley Cup championships in their history. One of the sides that were known as the ‘Original Six’ when the NHL began, Chicago won their last Stanley Cup in the 2012–13 season, and definitely know exactly what it takes to win the biggest prize in ice hockey. This side will no doubt be a popular choice with punters to take major honours once again.
The Stanley Cup is the premier trophy when it comes to ice hockey, and is given to the team that wins the the National Hockey League playoff, following the Stanley Cup Finals coming to an end. First played for in 1893, the Stanley Cup is slightly unusual for the fact that a new trophy is not created each year, and the winning team actually keeps the cup until the time a new side is crowned as champion. The most successful team in the history of the competition are the Montreal Canadiens who have won the Stanley Cup a total of 24 times. They are also the last Canadian-based side to win the title following their victory in 1993. This season’s defending champions were the Los Angeles Kings, but they have been unable to make it to the latter stages of the tournament, and will have to wait until the following campaign for a chance to regain the crown.
Hot on the heels of the Chicago Blackhawks in the betfair.com Stanley Cup market are the Anaheim Ducks. Currently available at odds of 15/8 with this bookmaker, the Anaheim Ducks have a fantastic recent record as far as Division championships are concerned, with Bob Murray’s side having won three titles in succession. A relatively new franchise to the NHL, the Ducks were formed in 1993 by The Walt Disney Company and the team’s name was actually inspired by the Disney movie The Mighty Ducks. In the grand scheme of things, the Anaheim Ducks did not take long to win their very first Stanley Cup, that victory coming in the 2006–07 campaign. While this side have been unable to replicate that success in subsequent seasons, the Ducks form has generally been very solid, and they are likely to be a big player in the NHL for years to come.
As far as those at the other end of the market are concerned, the Washington Capitals can be supported at odds of 9/1 and it will be somewhat of an upset if the Capitals manage to win their first Stanley Cup this season. Founded in 1974, the Washington Capitals are members of the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference, and did reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998. The Capitals are certainly capable on their day, and this side took five Division championships in succession from 2007 to 2012. While it would be a long overdue success if the Washington Capitals could go all the way in the coming weeks, their 9/1 quote is arguably a little on the skinny side.