Biggest Improvements and Disappointments? Ask the Oddsmakers
Which teams have improved from last October? Which teams have declined? Sure, Philadelphia added Chris Pronger, Calgary added Jay Bouwmeester and the Rangers added Marian Gaborik, but how have those teams’ chances to win the cup really improved. Comparing odds on each team to win the Stanley Cup from October 30th of last year to the odds today, on October 9, we can see how perceptions of the 30 teams have changed.
This week I will look at the five teams that have improved and declined the most according to oddsmakers.
Oct 2009 Odds: +1200
Oct 2008 Odds: +4900
Boston was last year’s surprise team and congratulations (sort of) if you had them at +4900 to win the Cup. This year oddsmakers estimate the Bruins as having a 7.7% chance to win the Cup, up from 2.0% at this time last year. The Bruins are off to a slow start, but it is way to early to worry.
Oct 2009 Odds: +1100
Oct 2008 Odds: +3300
Last year the Blackhawks were a trendy pick as an up and coming team. They delivered, going all the way to the Conference semi-finals. This year oddsmakers give Chicago an 8.3% chance to win the Cup, up from 2.9% last year.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Oct 2009 Odds: +5400
Oct 2008 Odds: +15000
Behind rookie goaltender Steve Mason, the Jackets came out of nowhere to earn their first trip to the playoffs. Though they are still longshots, they are now at 1.8% to win the Cup, up from last October’s prediction of .66%.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Oct 2009 Odds: +7500
Oct 2008 Odds: +15000
No explanation for this one. Not like the Leafs have improved. This will correct itself soon enough. Toronto is being given a 1.3% chance to win the Cup this year, up from .66% last season.
Oct 2009 Odds: +2000
Oct 2008 Odds: +4000
Vancouver surprised many last year with their offensive skills and advanced all the way to the second round of the playoffs. Oddsmakers have now given them a 4.8%, up from 2.43% last year.
Oct 2009 Odds: +5000
Oct 2008 Odds: +1000
Montreal was the darling of the 2007-2008 NHL season. Expectations were nowhere close to being met last season as the Habs limped into the playoffs. They were given a 9.1% chance to win it all last year – that probability has dropped to 2.0% this season
Oct 2009 Odds: +12500
Oct 2008 Odds: +4400
Oddsmakers predicted the Avs to be respectable last year, and gave them a 2.2% chance to win the Cup. They were bit by injuries and their lack of goaltending was exposed. This year they are projected to finish near the bottom of the Western Conference and are being given a .79% chance to win the Cup.
Oct 2009 Odds: +6600
Oct 2008 Odds: +2700
The low odds on Minnesota reflect their hot start last year. The Wild are expected to compete for one of the bottom playoff spots in the West this year. This year, oddsmakers estimate the Wild as having a 1.5% to win the Cup, down from 3.6% last year.
Oct 2009 Odds: +5900
Oct 2008 Odds: +2500
The Stars were a major disappointment last year. They started slow, made a run during the middle of the season, and limped toward the finish line. Not much is expected from Dallas this year, and they have dropped from having a 3.8% chance to win the Cup to only a 1.7% chance this year.
New York Rangers
Oct 2009 Odds: +3500
Oct 2008 Odds: +1500
The Rangers started the 2008-2009 campaign with high expectations. They had a disappointing season but got it together in time to scare the Capitals. This year, expectations are tempered and probably accurate. The Rangers were given a 6.3% to win
the Stanley Cup last year, much higher than their current probability of 2.8% they are being given now.