Bruins at 8/1 to Repeat as Stanley Cup Champs
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 6/17/2011
The city of Boston is once again celebrating a sports championship following the Bruins’ six-game victory over the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup final. For those counting, that makes all four of Beantown’s most popular pro teams that have won it all in the 21st century, with the Patriots’ three Super Bowls, the Red Sox’s two World Series and the Celtics’ NBA title.
Clearly the B’s felt left out and used that as motivation.
Whether or not the Bruins can do it again next year is another story. At Bodog, we’ve released our 2012 odds to win the Stanley Cup, with Boston at 8/1. Our favorite is the Canucks at 11/2, with the Washington Capitals (17/2), San Jose Sharks (10/1), Philadelphia Flyers (11/1) and Pittsburgh Penguins (11/1) all in the mix as well.
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So how are the Bruins less of a favorite than Vancouver considering what just happened? Do we think the Canucks will be motivated by all the rioting or something?
No, but there are other factors.
First off, there was the dazzling performance of goalie Tim Thomas, who allowed just eight goals in all seven games of the final on his way to claiming the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs. Thomas is a great goalie, but he was beyond great versus the Canucks. He was practically superhuman, and you can’t bank on the repeat of such an accomplishment.
Secondly, there was the injury to Vancouver’s best defenseman, Dan Hamhuis, in Game 1 of the series. Clearly the Canucks had trouble coping without Hamhuis, as would any team that lost such an integral player.
There’s also the upcoming retirement of Bruins forward Mark Recchi to consider. The 43-year-old racked up eight points against the Canucks, not to mention the veteran leadership he provided.
"He's contributed in a lot of different ways and scored some big goals and obviously made some big plays at opportune times,” Boston coach Claude Julien said of Recchi. “He's a guy that shows up every game no matter what the situation is.”
Finally, there’s the fact we booked a ton of action on the Canucks to win the Stanley Cup all season. Obviously Vancouver hockey fans are willing to show support for their team, emotionally and financially. Maybe that support will be lessened in light of what happened in the final, but we’d prefer to err on the side of caution at this point. We can always raise the odds later if we feel bettors need a bit more temptation.
If you’re looking to make a futures wager on next year’s Cup winner that has some value, you might consider the Chicago Blackhawks at 15/1. The 2010 champs struggled for much of this season, with the team’s best players – Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook particularly – enduring a hangover of sorts following both the NHL playoffs and the Olympics. They should be back and more refreshed next year.
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