NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With the NHL season tentatively scheduled to begin on January 19, it’s time to start breaking down the favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
With a 48-game schedule likely on the horizon — and only about a week of training camp for players to prepare — this season could be difficult to predict. Potential injuries and rusty players could make for some unexpected results.
But the oddsmakers have begun to release their predictions, and gambling website Bovada released its Stanley Cup odds for each team on Monday.
The Penguins — at 8-1 — have the best odds of taking home the hardware. The Rangers were given the second-best odds at 17-2. The Canucks, Kings and Flyers rounded out the top five.
The Devils, who won the Eastern Conference last season but lost superstar Zach Parise to free agency in the offseason, are the 19th most likely team to win the Cup with 30-1 odds.
The Islanders are second-to-last in the league with 66-1 odds, with only the Blue Jackets behind them. The odds of Columbus winning it all are 100-1.
The Rangers won the Atlantic Division last season with a 51-24 record. They reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1997 but fell to the Devils in six games.
After trading for right winger Rick Nash, the Blueshirts became a popular pick to go all the way.
“I’m really excited, to say the least,” Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh told the New York Daily News. “I never knew how much a lockout would affect my life. (I’m) pumped to join my teammates again and play the game I love.”
If the season does in fact begin on Jan. 19, New York is scheduled to take on the Avalanche in Colorado.
“The past is the past… lets move forward and start enjoying the best game on the planet!!” Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist tweeted. “Hockey is back and I love it!!!”
Do the Penguins pose the biggest threat to the Rangers in the Eastern Conference? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…