That was some Stanley Cup best-of-seven series! Pittsburgh beat San Jose in 6 games to claim Lord Stanley’s hardware. The win solidified Sidney Crosby’s status as one of the greatest hockey players of all time.
Now let’s look to next season where Pittsburgh is listed as an early 8/1 second choice to win the Stanley Cup in 2017. The favorite is the Chicago Blackhawks who bowed out to St. Louis in the Western Conference Playoffs this season. Keep reading for my take on the Blackhawks’ 2017 prospects as well as my smart and longshot picks to win the 2017 Stanley Cup!
A Closer Look At My Early 2017 Stanley Cup Expert Picks
The Favorite Pick To Win The 2017 Stanley Cup: Chicago Blackhawks 6/1
The Blackhawks were the favorites to lift the Cup at the beginning of this year’s NHL Playoffs. Chicago couldn’t get past the St. Louis Blues in Round 1. The good news for those looking to wager on the Blackhawks is that they pushed St. Louis to 7 games. Not only that, but by most measures this was a strange season for Chicago starting with the off the ice issues for Patrick Kane during the off-season. But Chicago is loaded again. Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and goalie Corey Crawford are all back. Not only that, but the Blackhawks won it all in 2013 and 2015. 6/1 are low odds. Chicago might be the one team that’s worth swallowing the low odds.
The Smart Pick To Win The 2017 Stanley Cup: Washington Capitals 8/1
The Caps dominated during the regular season. They failed when it counted most, in the playoffs. That doesn’t mean that they won’t be just as good next season as they were this season. It takes time for teams to put it altogether. To quote Bum Phillips, the former Houston Oilers football coach, “This year we knocked on the door. Next year, we’re knocking the door down!” I truly believe that Alex Ovechkin, Evegny Kuznetsov and goalie Braden Holtby will knock the door down and make it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2017. From there, I think they win it.
The Longshot Pick To Win The 2017 Stanley Cup: Nashville Predators 25/1
Nashville really knocked on the door in 2015. The Predators pushed San Jose to 7 games. Flip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen are young players that should take a bigger leadership role in 2017. Both Pekka Rinne and Shea Weber have gotten long in the tooth. That’s why Nashville is 25 to 1 I think both guys still have some good hockey left. The Predators could surprise at decent odds.