The 2021-22 NHL season here which means the all-important question is here too: Which club will end Canada’s long-standing Stanley Cup drought?
It’s a question that you can actually wager on at Sports Interaction. Before getting in on the action, read on to see why the team with the best odds isn’t actually the best bet to pull it off.
First, some history.
Once the postseason hits in May, it’ll be 29 years since the last team north of the border hoisted the best trophy in sports. Back in 1993, the Patrick Roy-led Canadiens bested the Barry Melrose coached Kings in five games. It marked the storied franchise’s 24th championship. Montreal is also the latest club to have a shot as it lost in the 2021 final to the Lightning.
|Franchise||Last Cup||Total No. of Cups|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||1967||13|
Three teams are still waiting to drink beverages out of the Cup: the Canucks, Senators and Jets. It should be noted the city of Ottawa has won before under the original Senators banner (1920, 1921, 1923 and 1927). Winnipeg has never made the Stanley Cup Final but did come close, losing to the Golden Knights in the Western Conference finals in 2018. This incarnation of the Senators went to the final round in 2007 and the Canucks have been there thrice (1982, 1994, 2011).
Calgary has also been in the final three times (1986, 1989 and 2004) and won it all in ’89. The most talked about drought, aside from the all-encompassing Canadian one, is, of course, the Maple Leafs. Entering this season it’s been 54 years since they last won and the city is hungry for another twirl around the rink with the precious trophy.
SN’s dark horse prediction: Winnipeg Jets
They say defense wins championships and the Jets have one of the best goaltenders in the game. Connor Hellebuyck is an absolute workhorse for Paul Maurice’s squad. Between 2018-19 and the 2021 season, Hellebuyck led the NHL in ice time (9,577:31) and faced the most shots (5,182) and still had the fifth-best save percentage (.917) and third-best GSAA (39.19), per Natural Stat Trick. He won the 2020 Vezina Trophy, was a finalist in 2018 and finished fourth in 2021. They also have the likes of Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers and a strong defensive group led by Josh Morrissey. And Maurice steering it all. So, how good is this team?
“This is a Stanley Cup-calibre team,” Hellebuyck said Tuesday — and he may just be right.
SN’s prediction: Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs have the talent. They have guys like Auston Matthews (2021 Rocket Richard Trophy winner), Mitchell Marner, Morgan Rielly, John Tavares. They have a head coach who has won at the AHL level, steering the Marlies to the Calder Cup in 2018. But can they put it all together? It’s a tale as old as time in Toronto. IF they can put the ghosts of first rounds behind them, this team could power through to the ultimate prize. They say they’re hungry and they say they’re angry with what happened in 2021. It’s a long season and that Cup may not come in 2022 but the Leafs are close and could be the team to get Canada over the hump.
Next Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup odds
Odds courtesy of Sports Interaction .
|Toronto Maple Leafs||3.50|