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The Magician

[2013] Top 5 Odds To Win The Cup

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That's before we see what Garrison can bring to the table, and what the trade deadline has in store. I think if we trade Luongo and add depth at Centre and on defence, and Kesler comes back 100%....we're above Pittsburgh

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The Stanley cup winner will likely be the team to come out of the East (Boston? Flyers? Maybe New York's rise is now not in 2-4 years?). Who will come out of the West to lose is a crap shoot. Kings would be my technical favourite (even if barely). The Blues could easily go on a run and make it. The second group of possibles in the West includes Vancouver, Minny (don't laugh, they could go on a run).

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Kopitar injured to start the season, and they struggled with regular season play so their biggest problem will be getting to the playoffs without their #1 center for a big chunk of the regular season games. Quick is unlikely to replicate last season's performance so I would drop them down a fair bit.

The Penguins have had Malkin and Gonchar playing well in the KHL which could be physically draining for them, or could have prepared them well for the season so they may have a kick-start. Also Crosby is fully healthy and ready to go, I put them as the early cup favourites, much higher than 8/1. Don't forget Letang was almost a point-a-game last season when healthy and he's back too. Only wild-card is Fleury - basically the only way they don't steal the Cup.

Canucks are definately going to struggle without Kesler to start the season - similar to the Kings. I would drop our odds a bit, also with a very uncertain picture in goal. Schneider was bombed in his games in Europe so must have shot his confidence, so we'll see how he fares after being thrown right into the deep end with playoff-like games throughout the shortened, more important regular season games. Our defence boasts probably one of the best top-4 in the league though so no queries there though. We should be about the 3rd or 4th most likely team to win it all.

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Does that also mean you have money on Lou going to the sunshine state?

Vegas had Florida at 125/1 odds. Which is kind of weird since they made it to the playoffs last year. Needless to say, I'm putting some money on the Panthers.

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The Rangers are the team to beat IMO. People seem to be really underestimating the acquisition of Rick Nash. The Rangers are the best team on paper going into the season this year. Their defense is amazing and they have offensive juggernauts in Gaborik, Richards, and Nash. And not to mention they're backstopped by one of, if not the best goalie in the league in Henrik Lundqvist.

I say on paper but really they made the Conference Finals last year and that was without Nash. They didn't really give up anything to acquire him either. IMO the road to the Stanley Cup this year goes through the Rangers.

I think the Penguins are too weak defensively to actually go all the way. The Canucks have a really good shot but only if the injury bug can stay away. The Flyers lost a few key pieces from their team last year so I have no idea how they're going to do.

Another team that kinda scares me is the Kings. They didn't lose a single player from their Stanley Cup team last year. Their team is exactly the same. Except this time they have confidence and they know that they can be the best team in the league. Confidence is so key in being good.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a Kings vs. Rangers final.

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I'd definitely say the Blues and Rangers are the top 2 favourites.

As it stands right now, I don't see any other team winning the cup, barring injuries of course.

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Kopitar injured to start the season, and they struggled with regular season play so their biggest problem will be getting to the playoffs without their #1 center for a big chunk of the regular season games. Quick is unlikely to replicate last season's performance so I would drop them down a fair bit.

The Penguins have had Malkin and Gonchar playing well in the KHL which could be physically draining for them, or could have prepared them well for the season so they may have a kick-start. Also Crosby is fully healthy and ready to go, I put them as the early cup favourites, much higher than 8/1. Don't forget Letang was almost a point-a-game last season when healthy and he's back too. Only wild-card is Fleury - basically the only way they don't steal the Cup.

Canucks are definately going to struggle without Kesler to start the season - similar to the Kings. I would drop our odds a bit, also with a very uncertain picture in goal. Schneider was bombed in his games in Europe so must have shot his confidence, so we'll see how he fares after being thrown right into the deep end with playoff-like games throughout the shortened, more important regular season games. Our defence boasts probably one of the best top-4 in the league though so no queries there though. We should be about the 3rd or 4th most likely team to win it all.

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Here's the full list:

Pittsburgh Penguins 8/1

New York Rangers 17/2

Vancouver Canucks 9/1

Los Angeles Kings 12/1

Philadelphia Flyers 12/1

Chicago Blackhawks 14/1

Boston Bruins 16/1

Detroit Red Wings 16/1

St. Louis Blues 16/1

Minnesota Wild 18/1

San Jose Sharks 20/1

Carolina Hurricanes 22/1

Washington Capitals 22/1

Buffalo Sabres 25/1

Edmonton Oilers 25/1

Nashville Predators 28/1

Tampa Bay Lightning 28/1

Montreal Canadiens 30/1

New Jersey Devils 30/1

Toronto Maple Leafs 30/1

Anaheim Ducks 40/1

Colorado Avalanche 40/1

Dallas Stars 40/1

Florida Panthers 40/1

Ottawa Senators 40/1

Phoenix Coyotes 40/1

Calgary Flames 50/1

Winnipeg Jets 50/1

New York Islanders 66/1

Columbus Blue Jackets 100/1

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/odds-favor-penguins-rangers-2013-stanley-cup-champs-173043519--nhl.html

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The Blues? I think you have to go with Rangers and Pens in the East and Canucks out West. Second West team is a crap shoot, but I just dont see STL being a real deal...

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Teams that play an aggressive style offensively, defensively, and physically with good coaching and systems have shut the Canucks offense down in the playoffs time and time again. I am a Canucks homer but lets be realistic here. The Blues could very easily take out the Canucks.

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