Canucks enter season as Canadian Cup favourite

Vancouver, which hits the ice for the first time this season on Thursday night in San Jose, comes in at 16/1 on the Stanley Cup odds, putting them ahead of the other six Canadian franchises. (AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
October 1, 2013, 12:58 PM

The Vancouver Canucks still haven’t cleared that final hurdle and claimed their first championship in franchise history, but they head into this week’s start of the NHL season as the top Canadian team on the odds to win the Stanley Cup.

Vancouver, which hits the ice for the first time this season on Thursday night in San Jose, comes in at 16/1 on the Stanley Cup odds, putting them ahead of the other six Canadian franchises but behind five clubs from the United States – the Blackhawks (6/1), Penguins (15/2), Bruins (10/1), Kings (12/1) and Blues (12/1).

With John Tortorella now behind the bench and Roberto Luongo the undisputed starter between the pipes, the Canucks will be looking to make up for last year’s first-round playoff exit – when they were swept in four games by the Sharks.

One sportsbook couldn’t help but continue the Luongo versus Cory Schneider competition, posting odds on which goalie would have the best save percentage this season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are the next Canadian club on the Stanley Cup odds at 18/1 as they prepare for their opener on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal. The Canadiens, who like the Maple Leafs and Canucks were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last season, are further back at 28/1 on the Stanley Cup odds list.

And that actually has Montreal fifth amongst the Canadian teams on that chart, with the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators both ahead of them as well at 20/1 odds.

Edmonton also gets its season underway on Tuesday night as they play host to the Winnipeg Jets (and favoured at minus-140 earlier Tuesday) – who sit amongst the longshots at 66/1 on those NHL betting futures.

The Senators’ first game of the season takes place on Friday night in Buffalo, and Ottawa was the only Canadian club to make it to the second round of the playoffs last season – they knocked out the Canadiens before falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins in five games in the second round.

Ottawa, though, will have to get by without former captain Daniel Alfredsson this year after he left as a free agent to join the Red Wings. Online shop Bodog is having some fun with this as well, adding NHL player props on whether Alfie or new Senator Bobby Ryan will get more points this season.

Finally, the Calgary Flames are back at 100/1 on the Stanley Cup odds at the sportsbooks, ahead of only the 150/1 Florida Panthers heading into the season. Calgary’s season-opener comes on Thursday night on the road against the Washington Capitals and Alexander Ovechkin – last year’s Hart Trophy winner.

Prop odds on whether Calgary’s coach and GM will be fired this season were also added today and the ‘yes’ bet is favoured in both cases.

Check out NHL odds every day here at Sportsnet.ca.

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