The NHL 2018-19 season is less than one month away. The excitement is growing as teams have taken to the ice for preseason. Sportsbooks around the world have placed the favorite’s tag on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Toronto hasn’t won the NHL’s Stanley Cup since 1967. Will this be Toronto’s season to finally claim the Stanley Cup or will another team lift the prestigious trophy?
NHL 2018-19 Season – Can the Washington Capitals repeat?
The Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup last season. It had been a long time coming. The Capitals had won two straight President’s Trophies before finally claiming the Stanley Cup.
Washington has the ninth-best odds going into the NHL 2018-19 season. The Capitals are +1300 to lift the trophy despite winning it all a year ago.
The NHL is known for its parity and practically any team can win the Stanley Cup when the season begins. The Capitals had long been a franchise experiencing failure after failure in the postseason. Can they repeat as champions? Yes, but winning back to back Stanley Cup championships isn’t easy. The Pittsburgh Penguins’ back to back wins in 2016 and 2017 was the first consecutive wins since the Detroit Red Wings did it in the late 1990s.
NHL 2018-19 Season – Is Toronto for real?
The Maple Leafs have one of the best teams in the NHL. Toronto made the NHL playoffs last season, but couldn’t get past the Boston Bruins in the first round of the postseason. Their playoff series went to seven games before Boston eventually prevailed to continue the Maple Leafs curse of postseason failures.
Toronto has lost their top scorer from a season ago. James van Riemsdyk tallied 36 goals. Van Riemsdyk has joined Eastern Conference rivals the Philadelphia Flyers. Toronto will need to find a replacement for those goals now that Van Riemsdyk is gone. Auston Matthews scored 34 himself and only appeared in 62 games. If he can play a full season, he could replace many of those goals Van Riemsdyk took with him.
Toronto is +700 to win the Stanley Cup.
NHL 2018-19 Season – Tampa Bay Lightning looking good for cup run
The Tampa Bay Lightning are +850 to win the Stanley Cup. Tampa Bay recorded the most points in the Eastern Conference last season (113). The Lightning obtained the second most points in the NHL behind the Nashville Predators.
Last season’s leading goal scorer Nikita Kuckerov will return after tallying 39 goals. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky was immense in the crease last season. He had eight shutouts and recorded a 2.62 goals against average in the regular season. In 65 games, Vasilevsky led the Lightning to 44 wins.
The east will be difficult. Last year’s champions are in the Eastern Conference and so are the NHL Stanley Cup favorite Toronto Maple Leafs. The Eastern Conference has won the last three Stanley Cups. With the strength of the conference, it looks like the Stanley Cup winner could come from the east again this season.
NHL 2018-19 season – Top 5 futures best
Toronto Maple Leafs +700
Tampa Bay Lightning +850
Boston Bruins +850
Nashville Predators +1000
Winnipeg Jets +1100
Which team will win this year’s Stanley Cup?
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