The 2013-14 season is over with the Los Angeles Kings winning their second Stanley Cup in three seasons. Not many picked the Kings to go all the way prior to the start of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs but that’s exactly what makes the playoffs that much greater. It’s unpredictable as much as some may tell you that the regular season plays a heavy part on determining which team will go all the way; it doesn’t. Yet now looking ahead to next year, the odds are starting to hit the marks with several teams listed of winning it all.
Ranking at the top of the list to win the 2015 Stanley Cup are the Chicago Blackhawks with a 15/2 odd. Bovada.com has their listings for all 30 teams with little surprise finding the Buffalo Sabres to be at the end of the odds to win next year. Meanwhile rounding out the top 10 Stanley Cup contending teams behind the Blackhawks are the Boston Bruins (8/1), Pittsburgh Penguins (9/1), current Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings (10/1), St. Louis Blues (10/1), Anaheim Ducks (14/1), San Jose Sharks (14/1), Colorado Avalanche (18/1), Minnesota Wild (18/1), and this year’s runner up New York Rangers (18/1).
Yet the truth be told is that it’s just too early to truly know until the season gets underway if the Blackhawks will be as lethal as expected. Injuries are always a concern and sometimes as rare as it may be, teams get into a funk that can even put a team as good as they should be from reach of making the playoffs to begin with. There are also those sleeper teams to take into account and the impact of the 2014 NHL Draft and 2014 Free Agency during the offseason.
In-all, all we can expect after this year is for another unbelievable season of hockey ahead and quite possibly an even better postseason to follow. The Los Angeles Kings made plenty of history with their three game-seven wins en route to winning the Stanley Cup. The New York Rangers also dazzled as they made a great series comeback against the Pittsburgh Penguins after already going the distance with the Philadelphia Flyers the previous round.
As it stands, wouldn’t it be quite something to see the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings meet once again in the Western Conference Final? That may very well be the most anticipated match-up for next year’s playoffs. Until then one can only speculate of all that is to come and enjoy this offseason with the hopes that his or her team does their homework to improve and prepare for a Stanley Cup caliber season starting this October.