Despite enduring yet another playoff disappointment last season, the Maple Leafs get set to open their schedule set among the Stanley Cup favourites at +1100 odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Toronto bowed out in the opening round of the post-season last summer with a stunning loss to the Montreal Canadiens in seven games, and has now failed to post a series win in six playoff appearances since 2004. However, the Maple Leafs marched to a first-place finish atop the North Division last season, and return to action sporting short +250 odds of claiming their first Atlantic Division title at online betting sites.
Second-place finishers in the North Division last season, the Edmonton Oilers are set as a +2200 wager in the Stanley Cup odds. The Canadiens follow at +2800, ahead of the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets, who remain knotted at +4000. Facing the daunting task of rebounding from last season’s last-place finish in the North, the Vancouver Canucks lag at +5500, while the Ottawa Senators sport the longest futures of any Canadian team at +8000.
The Oilers built last season’s success on the strength of the NHL’s seventh-ranked offence. Once again, Edmonton will count on Art Ross Trophy favourites Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to lead the attack, but faces an enormous challenge to duplicate last season’s finish in its return to the Pacific Division.
The Canadiens return to action amid high expectations following their unexpected run to the Stanley Cup Final last season. However, it is tough to overlook that Montreal last season ended with the worst record of any playoff-bound team. The continued absence of veterans Shea Weber and Carey Price also represents a major concern for the Canadiens, who return to the highly-competitive Atlantic Division set as a lengthy +3500 bet on the divisional futures.
Both the Flames and Canucks have work to do to overcome forgettable campaigns that ended with both teams outside the playoff picture. However, optimism is on the rise in Ottawa after the Senators closed out last season with victories in 10 of their last 14 contests.
Little has changed atop the Stanley Cup odds as puck drop on the season approaches. The Colorado Avalanche continue to lead as +450 favourites on those NHL odds. The Tampa Bay Lightning closely trail, sporting +550 odds of claiming a third straight Stanley Cup. The Vegas Golden Knights round out the front of the pack at +700, while the expansion Seattle Kraken sit well off the pace at +4500 entering their first campaign.