2022 NHL Playoffs: Stanley Cup Contenders

The only team to have dominated thus far in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs is none other than the favorites: the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado did not trail in its first-round series against the Nashville Predators. Meanwhile, all of the other first-round series have been close in some capacity, as the playoffs have been exciting as always.

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So, who are the Stanley Cup contenders? We obviously know the Avalanche, who are already into the second round. Let us start with the betting favorite:

Colorado Avalanche (4-0), +180

The Avalanche’s nine-game winning streak ended in mid-April. Then, Colorado knew that the team was in a good position heading into the playoffs. Jared Bednar’s squad went 1-5-1 to end the regular season, including a 5-4 shootout loss to the Nashville Predators. The Avs then proceeded to sweep the Preds out of the first round in impressive fashion behind a playoff-leading 10 points from Cale Makar. Colorado scored at least five goals in three of the contests and awaits the winner of the series between the Blues and Wild — with the postseason’s leading goal scorer Kirill Kaprizov (seven).

Florida Panthers (2-2), +550

Jonathan Huberdeau had a spectacular regular season, and they are hoping that he and veteran goalie Sergei Bobrovsky can lead the team to victory. Head coach Andrew Brunette has taken over and performed very well behind the bench, as captain Aleksander Barkov has the team righting the ship in the first-round series against the Washington Capitals.

Calgary Flames (2-2), +750

Led by triple-digit point scorers, Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk — also known as the brother of Brady — the Flames are in a tight battle with the underdog Dallas Stars. It seems that the Flames are in control of the series, but we will have to see if the Cup contenders can finish off the Stars.

Toronto Maple Leafs (3-2), +1200

Can the Maple Leafs finish off the job against the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning? For a Leafs team that has struggled to have playoff success, this series is especially vital because both the Lightning and Leafs are Stanley Cup contenders. They are both +1200 to win the Cup.

Carolina Hurricanes (3-2), +1400

Jaccob Slavin leads the NHL in plus/minus (+9), and he got the scoring started in the Game 5 victory. Antti Raanta is looking strong as well, as he saved 33 of 34 shots to give the Hurricanes the 3-2 series lead. The Bruins are overwhelmed in Carolina, so the Hurricanes seem to be ready to move onto the second round.