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NHL Stanley Cup Odds for 2021-22 – Risers and Fallers Entering December

| December 2, 2021 10:03 am PDT

We’re nearly two months into the 2021-22 NHL season, and we’re starting to see which teams are serious contenders for the Stanley Cup.

A few of the usual suspects remain at the top, but we’ve also seen some middle-tier teams rise to Stanley Cup contenders. On the other side, some teams have fallen down the list.

As of December, these are the odds to win the 2022 Stanley Cup.

Updated 2022 Stanley Cup Odds

Here lies the top contenders for the Stanley Cup. No other team has odds better than (+2400).

The Colorado Avalanche came into the season as the favorite, and they remain in the top spot. They haven’t had the best start but remain consistent enough to hold that spot.

Hot starts from the Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames have moved them into the top contenders. Meanwhile, the New York Islanders have gone from (+1800) to (+5000).

With Colorado being at the top, let’s discuss their chances to win it all.

Colorado Avalanche (+600)

This is the third straight season the Colorado Avalanche come into the season as one of the Stanley Cup favorites. Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to capitalize on that.

In the last two seasons, they’ve lost in the second round of the playoffs. Is this the year Colorado makes a run?

As I mentioned earlier, it wasn’t the best start for Colorado. They went 4-5-1 in their first ten games.

Following a loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Avalanche announced star center Nathan MacKinnon would miss three weeks with a lower-body injury. Just when it looked like everything was going wrong for Colorado, they turned their season around.

Since the injury, Colorado has won seven of their last eight games. In that stretch, they’ve been dominating opponents on both ends of the ice.

  • Goals Per Game: 4.5
  • Goals Allowed Per Game: 2.5

Colorado has scored at least five goals five times in that stretch. That’s more of what we expect from a team that led the league in goals scored last season.

Right now, their biggest weakness is their goaltending.

In the offseason, the Avalanche opted not to resign Phillip Grubauer, and traded for Darcy Keumper. The combination of Keumper and Jonas Johansson rank bottom 10 in both goals allowed and save percentage.

Their offense has enough firepower to carry this team but in the playoffs, goalies become more important than ever. If Colorado can’t trust their guys, it could be another early exit.

Speaking of their offense, MacKinnon should return to the lineup this week. That’ll be a big boost to a lineup that already includes Mikko Rantanen and Andre Burakovsky.

Colorado continues to rise in the standings. However, they remain sixth in the Central Division. Their goaltending needs to step up if they want to remain Stanley Cup favorites.

Top Challengers for the Stanley Cup

As you can tell, the Colorado Avalanche are far from a shoo-in to win it all. Let’s check out their top challengers.

Tampa Bay Lightning (+800)

The Tampa Bay Lightning among the Stanley Cup contenders? What else is new?

Aside from the shortened 2020-21 season, the Lightning have scored at least 90 points in every season since 2013-14. They finally capitalized on their success with back-to-back titles.

While not as bad as the Colorado Avalanche, the Lightning didn’t have the best start to the season. They dropped four of their first six games, including three losses at home.

Since then, Tampa Bay has done exactly what we expected them to do. Win.

They have won 10 of their last 14 games and sit six points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division. It’s still early in the season, but they have a comfortable edge in the playoff race.

In their championship seasons, the Lightning were consistently one of the top teams on both ends of the ice. They weren’t number one in either stat, but they hung around fifth in the league.

Check out where they rank this season.

  • Goals Scored: 64 (13th)
  • Goals Allowed: 56 (11th)

It’s not terrible, but it’s also not what we expect.

Their offense took a big hit when Brayden Point suffered an upper-body injury. He suffered the injury on November 20, and it will likely hold him out for 4-6 weeks. Without Point, Steven Stamkos has picked up the slack.

Over the years, Stamkos has had trouble staying healthy. When healthy, there’s no denying he is one of the best players in the game.

This season, he leads the Lightning with 11 goals and 24 points. His 24 points also rank seventh in the league.

Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy remains one of the best goalies in the game, but he has been inconsistent lately. In his last five games, he allowed at least three goals three times. In the other two games, he pitched a shutout.

Tampa Bay’s offense needs to step up in the absence of Point.

Toronto Maple Leafs (+1000)

The Toronto Maple Leafs are everyone’s favorite punching bag. Countless times, we’ve seen Toronto enter the playoffs with championship hopes and lose in the First Round.

Last season, the Maple Leafs held a 3-1 series lead before losing to the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal came into the playoffs with the fewest points.

A common theme here is Stanley Cup favorites starting slow. The trend continues with the Maple Leafs, as they dropped five of their first seven games. In that stretch, their offense failed to score more than three goals.

Since then, Toronto has been the hottest team in hockey. They’ve won 14 of their last 16 games to stake their claim as the best team in the league.

Their 16 wins lead the league, and they’re tied with the Washington Capitals with 33 points.

Toronto’s offense has improved, but the real strength of their team is their goaltending. Check out Jack Campbell’s numbers.

  • Goals Against Average: 1.64 (1st)
  • Save Percentage: .946 (1st)
  • Shutouts: 3 (2nd)
  • Wins: 12 (1st)

Good luck getting the puck past him. Campbell has to be the early favorite for the Vezina Trophy.

Even backup goalie Joseph Woll has impressed. The rookie is 3-0 with 1.67 goals against average and a .939 save percentage.

When your goaltending is that good, you don’t need a great offense. Hell, an average offense will likely be enough.

Luckily, Toronto’s offense is better than average. They have four players with 19 or more points. John Tavares leads the team with 10 goals and 22 points. Mitchell Marner leads the team with 13 assists.

I know they’ve had their issues in the playoffs, but right now, it’s hard to find a weakness with the Maple Leafs. If nothing else, they look like a solid bet to win the President’s Trophy.

Top Sleepers for the Stanley Cup

In the NHL, it seems like we see a lot of sleepers make a Stanley Cup run. Let’s check out my favorites for this season.

Washington Capitals (+1400)

Before the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Washington Capitals were always that team that couldn’t finish the job in the playoffs. That all ended in 2018 when they won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

Washington only came into the season with (+3000) odds, but their strong play has moved them up the board.

It wasn’t a bad start to the season for the Capitals, but they did have a stretch of losing five of seven games. Since then, they’ve won nine of their last 11 games. They are tied with the Maple Leafs for the most points in the league.

And of course, you can’t talk about the Capitals and not mention Alex Ovechkin. Everyone is waiting for him to slow down, but he is playing some of the best hockey of his career.

  • Goals: 19 (2nd)
  • Assists: 18 (6th)
  • Points: 37 (2nd)

It’s still early in the season, but Ovechkin is on pace to set a career-high in every stat. That’s impressive for a player who once scored 65 goals in a season. He has been the driving force behind an offense that leads the league in goals scored.

Ovechkin continues to chase down Wayne Gretzky’s scoring record.

The Capitals have used a goalie by committee, with Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov splitting starts. Those guys, combined with one game by Zach Fucale, have the fourth-lowest goals against average.

In 11 starts, Samsonov has yet to lose a game in regulation.

Right now, the Capitals are the only team to rank top five in goals scored and goals allowed. They are the most balanced team in the NHL.

What’s crazy about their success is they aren’t 100 percent.

Nicklas Backstrom has yet to play this season, T.J. Oshie has missed 14 games with multiple injuries, and Anthony Mantha is out indefinitely after undergoing shoulder surgery.

That room for improvement should scare the rest of the league.

Calgary Flames (+1600)

Coming into the season, not many were expecting the Calgary Flames to contend for the Stanley Cup. They opened the season with (+3500) odds. With the way Calgary has been playing, it’s hard to ignore them.

One critique you could make about this team is that they’ve been streaky this season. Check out how Calgary got to this point.

  • 2 game losing streak
  • 6 game winning streak
  • 2-6 stretch
  • 5-2 stretch

All in all, the Flames sit one point behind the Edmonton Oilers in the Pacific Division.

Like the Washington Capitals, the Flames have been one of the most balanced teams in the league. They have the best goal differential at +28. The primary reason for that is they’ve allowed the fewest goals.

Goalie Jacob Markstrom has been excellent this season, but it isn’t just him. Backup Dan Vlader has been stellar in five starts. Let’s check out their numbers.

Jacob Markstrom Dan Vlader
Record 8-4-4 4-0-1
Goals Against Average 1.81 1.57
Save Percentage .937 .946
Shutouts 5 2

Markstrom’s goals against average and save percentage rank second in the league. He also leads the league in shutouts.

While their goaltending is the strength of their team, their offense isn’t half bad. Right now, the Flames scored the seventh most goals. They’ve scored at least four goals in five of their last seven games.

Johnny Gaudreau leads the team with 16 assists and 25 points. Winger Andrew Mangiapane is having a breakout season with 15 goals. In four seasons, he has never cleared 18 goals.

Over the last few seasons, we’ve seen Calgary emerge as a playoff contender. Now, it’s time they take the next step to Stanley Cup contender.

Their strong goaltending has what it takes to lead them on a deep playoff run.

Betting on the Stanley Cup in 2021-22

Betting on the NHL is always challenging because there are always a few upsets in the playoffs. It seems like the favorite never wins.

I wouldn’t be afraid to look further down the list at some value plays with that in mind. Right now, the Washington Capitals are my favorite bet because of their balance. Not to mention, I’m not sure we’ve seen their peak yet.

Well, now the choice is yours. Whoever you decide to bet on, make sure you use the top NHL betting sites.

Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with GamblingSites.com since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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