The Vancouver Canucks are the odds-on favorite to defeat the Boston Bruins and win the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup for the first time.
The top-seeded Canucks are a 1-2 chance to win the best-of-seven series, Las Vegas Sports Consultants oddsmaker Andrew Patterson said yesterday in a telephone interview.
“They were the best team during the regular season,” Patterson said. “They are on home ice and the West has been better than the East a majority of the year.”
The Western Conference champion Canucks ended the regular season with a league-best 117 points. The Bruins, who are rated a 9-5 chance, tied for seventh overall and fourth in the Eastern Conference with 103 points.
Vancouver, which hosts Game 1 at Rogers Arena tonight, is 7-2 to win in five or seven games and 8-1 to sweep the series. The Bruins are 20-1 to win the first four games, meaning a successful $1 bet would return $20 plus the original stake.
“I like Vancouver in six games,” Patterson said. “I would love to see a Game 7. Game 7s in hockey are the best.”
Boston needed seven games to win the Eastern Conference championship; the Canucks won the Western Conference title in five games.
The Bruins have lost five times in the Stanley Cup Final, most recently in 1990, since they collected the last of their five NHL titles in 1972. Vancouver lost in its previous trips to the final series in 1982 and 1994.
The fact that neither team has been in the championship series for more than a decade has no impact on the odds, Patterson said.
Hockey Still Recovering
“It’s been so long, none of these players have been here before,” he said.
Hockey is still recovering from the impact of the lockout seven years ago and is bet on the least among the four major sports in the U.S., Patterson said.
“I’m guessing in Canada, it’s the biggest,” he said.
Vancouver hosts the first two games of the series, which then moves to Boston for the next two. The fifth and seventh games, if necessary, would be in Vancouver, with the sixth in Boston.