The NHL season is well underway as we are now a little over 20 games into this young season. Some teams have surprised and gone off to unexpected strong starts, while others have disappointed and struggled in the early going. A few of those teams include the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks.
All these teams were expected to make strong showings throughout the regular season and be big factors in the playoffs, but the way things have gone so far that may not be the case. Odds makers have of course adjusted their Stanley Cup odds after these slow starts and its time to see which team holds the most value with their new odds.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Opening Stanley Cup Odds: +800
Current Stanley Cup Odds: +1000
After enjoying a record breaking regular season last year with 62 wins the Lightning suffered one of the biggest upsets in the first round of the playoffs to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Of course no one expected them to fall so early, but that’s very common in the NHL and especially in the playoffs. Despite those disappointments, many still expected them to come back this year and dominate in the regular season once again. Unfortunately, that isn’t the way things are going as they currently sit 6th in the Atlantic division and 11th in the Eastern conference.
They pretty much have the same team as last year, but they just aren’t being as effective as seasons past. Luckily, the Lightning still have a few games in hand to be able to jump up the standings. Plus, their numbers look solid on the offensive end as they are the number one team in that regard with 3.7 goals per game on 11.7% shooting. Where they struggle is the defensive end where they allow 3.3 goals per game and 33.8 shots on goal. It doesn’t help that 2018-19 Vezina winner Andrei Vasilevskiy has been struggling to start the season, but he’s been picking up his play lately, which is a very encouraging sign for the value of the Lightning.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Opening Stanley Cup Odds: +1000
Current Stanley Cup Odds: +2000
The Toronto Maple Leafs had one of the highest odds to win the Stanley Cup when the season opened, and were considered one of the favorites. Things have certainly changed since then as they find them selves fourth in the Atlantic Division with more games played than the teams around them, so their place in the standings can certainly change.
They are dealing with a tough injury to RW Mitchell Marner, who had a huge 94-point season last year, but teams should be able to deal with set backs like this as they are sure to come throughout a long season. Statistically, the Maple Leafs are one of the best face off teams as they win 53.1% of them. A big part of that is C John Tavares, who hasn’t gone off to a slow start so far this year in terms of points, but continues to be one of the best at winning face offs. Offensively, this team is solid as the score 3.2 goals per game on 9.7% shooting, but they struggle defensively, allowing 3.32 goals per game and 33.4 shots on goal. Goalie Frederik Andersen has done great thus far, so if the defense can just play a little better it should go a long way to making this a successful season and adding major value to their decreased Stanley Cup odds.
Which team has the most value?
With both teams on an upward trend as of late, it’s safe to say both have a good chance of making a run for the playoffs. However, the team that has the most value would be the Tampa Bay Lightning. There offense is the best in the league and are only missing a few pieces to perform at their normal level, like Vasilevskiy, to be back in top form. His numbers will surely bounce back and balance out, which will certainly help out their defensive numbers. Plus, the Lightning still have plenty of game in hand, and if they win them will be right in the thick of the playoff race.
Tampa Bay Lightning +1000