The St. Louis Blues are the new favorites to win the Stanley Cup, according to online bookmaker Bovada.
Here are the Cup odds for the eight remaining teams:
St. Louis Blues 15/4
New York Rangers 9/2
Philadelphia Flyers 9/2
Nashville Predators 5/1
Los Angeles Kings 13/2
New Jersey Devils 9/1
Washington Capitals 9/1
Phoenix Coyotes 11/1
Can’t say I see much value there. Actually, I don’t see any. Gun to head I’d take the Preds.
As for the Blues, this would have to be the first time they’ve been favorites in the elite eight. The year they won the Presidents’ Trophy (2000), they lost in the first round. Maybe 1991, when they lost to underdog Minnesota in the second round. But I still think the Bruins would’ve been considered the favorites at that point.
St. Louis has never won the Stanley Cup. The Blues went to the final three straight times from 1968 to 1970 and were swept in all three series. (When the league expanded in 1968, it put all the expansion teams in one division, so an expansion team was guaranteed to make the final.)
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When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.
Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.
It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.
This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.
That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.
Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP
So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.
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