One of the strangest All-Star breaks has come and gone, and now teams are getting back to the grind for the second half of the season. Here’s a look at the top seven favourites to win it all.


Washington Capitals

Odds: +425

The Capitals have always been able to score goals and this season is no different. They currently lead the league in goals at 3.29 per game; however, where they’ve improved significantly is goals allowed. They’re second in that category (2.24 per game) in large part thanks to goaltender Braden Holtby, who has been excellent this season. The team has bought into the system of coach Barry Trotz. Could this be the year that the Capitals get over the hump in the playoffs?


Chicago Blackhawks

Odds: +500

The defending Stanley Cup champs are sixth in goals scored (2.78 per game) and seventh in goals allowed (2.31 per game). Patrick Kane is the betting favourite to win the Hart Trophy, leading the league with 31 goals, 44 assists and 75 points. The Blackhawks' biggest advantage over everyone else has to be their experience. Their nucleus of Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook have won three Cups in the last six seasons, while goaltender Corey Crawford has been around for the last two championships.


Los Angeles Kings

Odds: +750

The Kings also have a lot of experience, having won two of the last four Cups. One could even argue that the Kings were better off missing the postseason last year because they're a little more rested than the Blackhawks. Los Angeles is fourth in the NHL in goals allowed (2.29 per game) and 12thin goals scored (2.65 per game). If their offense continues to deliver, they’ll be tough to beat.


Dallas Stars

Odds: +1200

We're seeing a bottle neck effect with four teams tied at +1200. The Stars are a bit of a wild card as their offense is second in the league in goals scored (3.25 per game), powered by the duo of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. However, the Stars must improve at the other end of the ice. They're 15th in goals allowed (2.63 per game) and gave up the fourth-most goals in January. A trade to improve the blue could be just what the Stars need to make a push in the Western Conference.


Tampa Bay Lightning
Odds: +1200

The Lightning won the Eastern Conference last season but haven’t looked as crisp this season. The main issue is that their offense has tapered off. They’re 15th in scoring (2.62 per game) after leading the league in that category last year. They'll focus on being first to score in the second half of the season.


Florida Panthers

Odds: +1200

The Panthers offer great value at 12/1 when you consider they're tied for fourth in the futures market, but would actually be the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference if the playoffs started today. Their +33 goal differential is the best in the NHL. If defense wins championships, consider giving them a look: their 113 goals allowed is the second-fewest in the league.


Anaheim Ducks

Odds: +1200

The Ducks are a story of two teams as they were dead-last in the Pacific Division on December 22. They had just 21 points in 14 games. But thanks to a 12-3-1 stretch, they’re now starting to look like one of the Stanley Cup favourites many experts pegged them to be in the preseason. Their weakness has been goals allowed and a lack of defense. They allowed 2.6 goals per game in October, 2.53 in November, 2.00 in December and 2.09 in January. If they can maintain their progress, they could go for another deep playoff run.


See all NHL Futures Odds here.


*Odds as of February 8, 2016