Updated Stanley Cup Odds After Week 17: Hurricanes NHL’s Hottest Team Out of Break

Updated Stanley Cup Odds After Week 17: Hurricanes NHL’s Hottest Team Out of Break

The NHL comes out of its All-Star break on Monday and the hottest team in the NHL is the Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes, who have won seven games in a row and whose 76 points are second in the East. To win the Cup, Carolina is a +750 second favorite on the NHL odds.

The Canes closed the first half with an impressive 5-1 win in Buffalo last Wednesday to improve to 34-9-8. On the very first penalty of the game, Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho extended the team’s run to three consecutive power plays with a goal, connecting just 2:35 in. Scoring first for a league-leading 34th time in 51 games, the marker also extended Aho’s goal streak to six games. The longest streak of his NHL career, only two players in franchise history have had streaks longer (Ray Ferraro and Pierre Larouche).

Here’s what coach Rod Brind’Amour said he thinks is going right for the team amid the winning streak:

“A little bit of everything, and I think that’s the key. Every game there’s something here or there, but we’ve played pretty consistently. They work really hard and that’s the cornerstone of our group. We get contributions up and down our lineup. We haven’t had Jaccob Slavin for a while, and it’s pretty impressive to keep winning despite all the guys that we’ve had out.”

Over the weekend, top-six forward Max Pacioretty was transferred to long-term injured reserve. Pacioretty isn’t expected back before the end of the regular season, though the Hurricanes haven’t specified a return timeline for the winger. He tore his Achilles for a second time in less than a year during a game Jan. 19 versus the Wild. His placement on LTIR opens up some cap flexibility for the Hurricanes in advance of the trade deadline as they look for a potential replacement.

Carolina’s Frederik Andersen (10-3-0), Antti Raanta (12-2-3) and Pyotr Kochetkov (10-4-0) have each earned 10+ wins in 2022-23, marking just the 14th time in NHL history that a team has had three goaltenders post double-digit victories in a single season. The Canes’ three netminders each reached the 10-win mark in just 49 team games. No other team had accomplished the feat in fewer than 60 contests (Tampa Bay, 2010-11). Carolina doesn’t take the ice again until Saturday vs. the New York Rangers.

The Boston Bruins come out of the break with an NHL-best 83 points and are the +500 favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Boston coach Jim Montgomery, goalie Linus Ullmark and forward David Pastrnak lead the Atlantic Division to the title at the NHL All-Star Game on Saturday. Pastrnak picked up breakaway goals in both contests of the tournament (9:47 of the second in Game 1 and 7:14 of the second in Game 2) and added an assist, while Ullmark stopped 10 of 13 shots across the two games, including a perfect 6-for-6 showing in the first half of the title game against the Central Division.

Ullmark is the Vezina Trophy favorite with a league-leading 26 wins, 1.90 goals against average, and .937 save percentage. Pastrnak is currently sitting third in points in the entire NHL, behind only Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. He has 72 points in 51 games, including 38 goals. His previous season high was 95 points in 70 games back in the 2019-20 season. Without the COVID-19 pause, he certainly would have reached over the 100-point mark for the first time. Pastrnak is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and has taken his game to an even higher level.

In the Eastern Conference, six of the eight teams outside of a playoff spot are just six or fewer points from one of the two wild card berths. It’s not often we see that many teams still in the mix in early February. The Western Conference isn’t as tight in the wild card race, but the divisions are super close.

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