|The Hanley Ramirez Experiment, In General, Must End||Red Sox Trade Alejandro De Aza to San Francisco Giants||Loui Eriksson Entering Contract Season||Judge Berman to Rule On Brady Within Next Two Days|
Introducing your 2015 Stanley Cup champions…The Boston Bruins. Well at least that is what the odds makers at vegasinsider.com seem to believe.
Not ones to revel in the past, Vegas bookmakers have released their odds for the 2015 Stanley Cup champions a mere three days after the Los Angeles Kings hoisted the vaunted trophy after defeating the New York Rangers in five games.
Well the Bruins aren’t favored outright to win the cup. If Vegas odds makers are right, they will be playing the Chicago Blackhawks in the finals, in which case it’s a coin toss as to who wins. Both Boston and Chicago are currently 8:1 favorites to win the cup.
It’s not hard to see why Boston would be among the top two teams favored to win. They are the only Eastern Conference team to win the Stanley Cup in the previous five seasons. There are only two other teams to win the cup during that time, the Blackhawks and Kings, who both raised the cup twice. This is why it makes sense that Chicago would have the same odds as Boston, and L.A. would come in at third with 12:1 odds.
While Boston may not have represented the East in the finals this past season, they did win the President’s Trophy for best regular season record. And the previous season the Bruins faced off against the Blackhawks in the finals.
Consistency and stability are why the Bruins are among the favorites to be etched into the cup next season. They have a strong core of players that will likely see little to no turn over on the entire roster. They will also be healthier with the expected return of defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. General Manager Peter Chiarelli will also likely try to bolster blue line depth with some acquisitions and/or trades.
For the past several seasons the Bruins have been one of the best teams in the NHL and the coming 2015 season should be no different.
But how will they handle such lofty expectations you ask? The Bruins have great veteran leadership in guys like Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron. Most of the team was a part of the 2011 cup winning team and know what it’s like to play with high expectations.
The Bruins will also be playing with several sources of motivation. After falling short in 2013 to the Blackhawks and then being unceremoniously defeated by the rival Montreal Canadiens this season, Boston will be out to prove they have what it takes to top the mountain again.
If the Bruins are able to resign veteran winger and future Hall-of-Famer Jarome Iginla he could provide another spark as the one thing missing from his resume’ is a championship. Iginla fit in seamlessly with the team last season and earned the respect and admiration of his teammates.
Chara, the Bruins captain, could also be nearing the end of his career and no doubt the desire to send their captain out on top is on the minds of Bruins players.
The NHL season is long and demanding but the Bruins are built to grind it out. Barring any major injuries or crazy roster turnover there is no reason to believe that the Bruins won’t be in the discussion for possible Stanley Cup Champions once April of 2015 rolls around.