With a flurry of moves under their belt and an impressive victory over the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon are the Chicago Blackhawks now in position to become the betting favourites on the odds to win the Stanley Cup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com?
The Blackhawks entered the weekend at +550 on the Stanley Cup odds at the sportsbooks, which had them trailing the +400 Capitals. However, Chicago has also been active on the trade market heading toward Monday afternoon’s deadline, shoring up spots on their roster.
Chicago first landed coveted forward Andrew Ladd, sending prospect Marko Dano and a first-round pick to the Winnipeg Jets in return. The Blackhawks then added defensive depth by acquiring Christian Ehrhoff from the Los Angeles Kings, and bolstered their bottom-six forward group by picking up Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann from the Montreal Canadiens.
And Ladd picked up an assist on Sunday afternoon as the Blackhawks topped the Capitals 3-2 as consensus -125 home favourites on the NHL betting lines at the sportsbooks. Ladd set up Jonathan Toews for his 22nd goal of the season on Sunday, with Patrick Kane potting his 36th marker of the year, and Dennis Rasmussen cementing the win in the third period. Corey Crawford was strong between the pipes for Chicago, allowing just two goals on 30 shots.
Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in the Sunday loss for the Capitals, whose lone deadline move heading into Sunday night had been adding depth defenseman Mike Weber in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres. Despite the defeat the Capitals still have a commanding lead in the Eastern Conference standings heading in the season's stretch run.
The Florida Panthers, leaders in the Atlantic Division, joined the Blackhawks as the most active teams on the market over the weekend, acquiring forward Jiri Hudler from Calgary, forward Teddy Purcell from Edmonton, and defenseman Jakub Kindl from Detroit. The Panthers entered the weekend at +1600 on the Stanley Cup odds, a step behind the leaders.
Sitting with the Panthers at +1600 on those futures were the New York Rangers, who will be looking to turn back the clock after they acquired forward Eric Staal from the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon in exchange for prospect Aleksi Saarela and a pair of second-round draft picks. Staal has picked up just 33 points in 63 games so far this season.
The NHL Trade Deadline is set for 3:00 p.m. ET on Monday afternoon, after which Canadian betting sites will crunch all the movement and publish updated odds to win the Stanley Cup.