Like most major sports leagues in the world, the NHL season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic but there are discussions and proposals for the NHL season to resume. So, we can still go over the Stanley Cup odds and why we like a bet on the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The NHL regular season has been on hold for almost a month and while it seems difficult, the league wants to finish the campaign somehow and crown a Stanley Cup champion. The NHL recently extended their self-isolation period to April 15th and many expect it to last at least a month after that. We will have to wait for a long time to have hockey again but that doesn’t mean that we can’t break down the teams and study them based on where they were before COVID-19 changed things.
So the first NHL guidelines for self-isolation was for March 27, then April 4, now April 15. https://t.co/NZVGAdrwuS
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) March 31, 2020
Even before the NHL season stopped it was very tough to determine who deserved to be favored heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. When you compare the NHL with leagues like the NBA, NFL and MLB it’s clear that hockey is the most unpredictable sport in the playoffs. Add the coronavirus pandemic to the previously mentioned unpredictability and it gives us a wide-open race for the Stanley Cup.
You can find the Pittsburgh Penguins at +1600 to win the Stanley Cup at most sportsbooks.
Odds To Win the 2020 Stanley Cup
Boston Bruins +600
Tampa Bay Lightning +700
Vegas Golden Knights +700
Colorado Avalanche +800
Philadelphia Flyers +800
St. Louis Blues +1000
Washington Capitals +1200
Pittsburgh Penguins +1600
Dallas Stars +1800
Nashville Predators +1800
Toronto Maple Leafs +1800
Edmonton Oilers +2200
Carolina Hurricanes +3300
Vancouver Canucks +3300
Calgary Flames +4000
Arizona Coyotes +5000
Minnesota Wild +5000
New York Rangers +5000
Florida Panthers +6600
New York Islanders +6600
Winnipeg Jets +6600
Columbus Blue Jackets +10000
Chicago Blackhawks +25000
Montreal Canadiens +100000
The long layoff that the NHL will experience because of the suspension is going to affect many teams, for example the Philadelphia Flyers. Momentum matters a lot in the NHL and no team was playing better than the Flyers before COVID-19. The Flyers lost 2-0 against the Bruins on March 10th in their last contest before the season was suspended but they had won nine straight games before that. The momentum that the Flyers had has been thrown out the window and is hard to know what to expect from them once the season resumes.
A team that will benefit from all this time off it’s the Penguins. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang have clearly played many games in their careers, particularly when you combine their regular season, playoffs and international appearances. Any amount of extra rest they can get is very helpful because the Penguins are a veteran team and people might forget this often but they won the Stanley Cup Final in two of the last four years.
If Matt Murray can get back on track and shine like he can and Sidney Crosby is 100 percent healthy then this is a very dangerous team in the playoffs and value bet to win it all.
Stanley Cup Odds: Why The Penguins Can Win It All
The Penguins are just 3-7 in their last 10 games and they’re third in the Metropolitan Division standings behind the Capitals and Flyers but they’re just four points behind first place and five points ahead of the Hurricanes and Blue Jackets. Pittsburgh made some big moves during the trade deadline, picking up Jason Zucker, Patrick Marleau, Evan Rodrigues, and Conor Sheary. These four players, particularly Zucker can be the pieces that put the Penguins over the top in the Eastern Conference.
This is a team has found success through adversity. They have battled through it and somehow made it work. Good teams find ways to win despite significant injuries. Bryan Rust is having a really good season, filling the void for Jake Guentzel and he’s been a key piece on the power play. He brings a lot of needed scoring to the wing and now with Zucker this team can generate a ton of shots. Zucker will bolster their power play and having a chance to make a deep run for the first time in his career will motivate him a lot. Also, playing with Sidney Crosby doesn’t hurt.
3 GOATs 1 photo. 🐐🐐🐐
Sidney Crosby. Alex Ovechkin. Wes McCauley. pic.twitter.com/Uhb4A4v99T
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) March 29, 2020
If the Penguins can block shots, force turnovers and take care of the puck regularly, not many teams can beat them. A defensive-minded foundation is the key to keeping games close. Another reason why the Penguins can win the 2020 Stanley is that Jake Guentzel’s rehab after his shoulder surgery on December 31st is going well and he could return once the season resumes.
Guentzel’s recovery timeline was set at 4-6 months but Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford recently said that he doesn’t expect Guentzel to require six months to recover.
“If you take the shortest period, that would be the end of April,” Rutherford said. “Obviously, you can do the rest if it’s six months. I would expect that, knowing Jake Guentzel, that he’s going to be ready. His rehab is going well.”