The Tampa Bay Lightning were embarrassed in a first-round NHL playoff elimination this postseason, but they’re still the heavy favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2020.
The SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas on Saturday opened the Lightning at 6-1 to win it all next season, the clear-cut favorite. The Lightning return nearly every player from a team that tied an NHL record with 62 wins in the regular season before being swept out of the playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets in a stunning upset.
Last summer, the Lightning were a 7-1 favorite to win the Cup, the shortest odds in the NHL.
The Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights were right behind them at 10-1. The Knights and Leafs were also eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, the latter by the Bruins.
Among other 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs qualifiers, the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche were at 14-1; the St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins were at 16-1; while the Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars, New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators and Blue Jackets were at 20-1.
The shortest odds among non-playoff teams are the Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers at 25-1. Both of those teams made high-profile coaching changes, with the Panthers hiring Joel Quenneville of the Blackhawks and the Flyers bringing on former New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault.
Author: Greg Wyshynski