Making Stanley Cup picks is always stressful, but exciting for all involved. The Pittsburgh Penguins won’t get a chance to go back-to-back, but it’ll still be a great final in what should be an enthralling season.
Eastern Conference – Washington
There’ll be no shortage of goals from the Capitals, powered by Alexander Ovechkin, along with Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin. They can get secondary scoring from Brooks Laich and Brendon Morrison, and Mike Green is arguably the best offensive defenseman in the league. Washington’s NHL odds hinge solely on one position: goaltending. Semyon Varlamov and Jose Theodore may have to share time between the pipes, but Varlamov looks like he’ll get the nod. If he can come up with some big saves, the Capitals should find themselves as the NHL betting favorites in the East.
Western Conference – Chicago
Many NHL betting players didn’t expect Chicago’s young guns to come together so quickly, but last year’s run to the West finals was no fluke: these guys are really good. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp are a trio to rival their Washington counterparts, and the defense is deep with Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Brian Campbell, who rivals Green in terms of offensive defensemen. They even got a shutdown center in John Madden. Like the Capitals, all eyes will be on the crease, where Cristobal Huet will look to tap into the vast potential he showed in Montreal. It won’t even be an NHL betting upset if the Blackhawks win the West; logically, they should.