Florida is not and has never been an ice hockey hotbed and the absence of NHL silverware in the south coast sunshine has always carried a sense of inevitability. Their run to the Stanley Cup final back in 1996 is still discussed on the bleachers and how they would love to go one better in 2022.
Key to the pang of optimism surrounding the Panthers this season is their standing at the top of the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference and they are certainly one of the key teams to beat.
Head coach Andrew Brunette has his side purring and with the end of the regular season looming, the Panthers are engrossed in a maiden Stanley Cup title battle. Fresh off the back of four consecutive wins, the Florida Panthers have only lost 15 of 69 games played and momentum is building in their camp too.
They have set the standard in the Atlantic Division for most of the season and they will want to come good when it ultimately matters. At +350 with NHL current betting offers, the Florida Panthers are sure to be in the mix when it comes to clinching the Stanley Cup and they are notoriously one of the toughest sides to beat in the NHL this season.
This season has seen a sea change in the mindset of both Colorado Avalanche players and fans, with the side having blown away all before them in the Central Division of the Western Conference.
With 49 wins from 69 games played, Avalanche have been far too good for most of the sides in the NHL this term and attention is naturally turning to the post-season play offs and just how far this side can go.
Recent wins over the San Jose Sharks and the Calgary Flames have only strengthened the growing belief around the camp that this could be their year and with matches in the regular season running out, fans, pundits and players are starting to jump on board the bandwagon.
As a consequence of their impressive regular season form, Colorado Avalanche are one of the hot favourites at +400 to win the Stanley Cup, for the third time in the franchise’s history.
Elsewhere in the running are Tampa Bay Lightning, a side that are embroiled with the Florida Panthers at the top of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference and they are starting to build momentum at the right time of the season.
Qualifying as division champions will be the number one priority for Lightning, who are +800 to go on and clinch the Stanley Cup in 2022. Elsewhere, the Carolina Hurricanes and Calgary Flames are two more sides that are sure to be in the running when the gongs are given out.
The Hurricanes are tearing up the Metropolitan Division and they look set to qualify as the league leaders from there. How stiff the competition gets after that remains to be seen of course but they look to have the credentials to make a case for a Stanley Cup run this term.
With the attention sure to be on plenty of other sides, the Carolina Hurricanes represent good value at +900 to go all the way in the Stanley Cup this term. Calgary Flames are a side often fancied for Stanley Cup glory and their standing at the top of the Pacific Division is a reflection of that.
They look well placed to make a play-off push and they have a side packed with talent and they too cannot be discarded this season at +1000 to win their second ever Stanley Cup.