By guest writer, Sarah Connors
The pinnacle of ice hockey, the Stanley Cup, is upon us and the big question is who will clinch the trophy? It’s been a close-fought contest already and pundits are finding it hard to predict a winner.
The favourites at the time of writing are New York Rangers, with betfair placing them at 7/2 to win it. They were the first ever Stanley Cup winners back in 1928 and since then have won it four times, most recently in 1994. That’s quite a long time without a win and last year they came close but lost out in the finals to Los Angeles Kings 4-1. At the moment, Rangers are managing to hold the opposition to a very solid 2.21 goals per game. This is a great defensive record but the power play continues to be a nagging weakness.
Another very strong favourite are the Anaheim Ducks. They have only won one Stanley Cup in 2007 since the team’s inception in 1993. They’re looking good now with goaltender Jonas Hiller playing at a very high level, although he hasn’t seen that much action with the team playing the way they are. The only problem they have is that there is not much forward depth behind the front three players.
Up there with the top teams once again are five-time Stanley Cup winners Chicago Blackhawks. They picked up their last trophy in 2013 and, with key players Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in exceptional form, they could well grab another. At the moment, they are averaging 3.22 goals per game and rank third in the league in terms of offense. Their main weakness is their penalty kill.
But it is still all to play for and there are plenty of other teams that could sneak in for the kill. Game on.