The celebrations are likely still running high in Los Angeles following the Kings 2013-14 NHL triumph, but they have little time to rest on their laurels, as the 2014/15 fixture list was released on June 22nd. The opening round of fixtures was released just days prior and it is safe to say that there was enough excitement generated from the release of those, let alone the remaining games of the season!
The fixture list did little to upset the outright odds, as the Boston Bruins (5/1), Chicago Blackhawks (11/2) and the defending champions, the LA Kings (15/2) remain as the favourite three to win the Stanley Cup this time out. The money coming in for outright winner’s means that odds are likely to fluctuate and with the summer providing many changes and trades, we could well be seeing a different outlook on the betting come October.
Given the costs of modern-day NHL (the average franchise is worth in excess of $40million), transfers and signings are just as important as what happens on the ice and betting on the Stanley Cup winners has often proved lucrative for members of the public who like to chance their. Given the class of each individual side, the odds are relatively stretched going into each season as any early-season slip ups can cost sides dearly.
While you can get the outright odds at 32red’s sports-book sites it may not cover your hockey fix and saying that, it may be too soon to place your bet just yet, as mentioned previously. Their online casino does however, contain a dedicated ice-hockey slot game, named Break-Away, that can keep you busy while you decide which team may be worth backing for Stanley Cup triumph in the 2014/15 season.
The odds could all change once the opening fixtures have been played however and we take a look at some of the best games in the opening round of fixtures for the 2014/15 season, starting with the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
These two Canadian rivals square off in the opening contest of the 2014/15 NHL season and its fair to say there is a bit of history between the two sides. The pair have the oldest rivalry in the NHL, dating back to 1917 when the league was created. Throughout 1974-1978 the teams faced off as many as 15 times in the play-offs and the Canadiens will no doubt want to avenge last year’s 4-2 Conference final loss to the New York Rangers in some way or another. Defeating their bitter rivals could prove to be quite the remedy.
Another interesting rivalry is once again stoked by the fires at the beginning of the season as the reigning NHL champions, the Kings, arrive in San Jose to face the Sharks. San Jose will want vengeance after the Kings launched an insurmountable comeback to take the playoff series to game seven and ultimately defeat the Sharks 4-3 last year, becoming just the fourth NHL side to do so in the process.
The defeat sent San Jose into a tailspin of upset, inquests and anger and they will no doubt be fired up for this one. They will however, have to be at their best if they are to beat Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick. Quick proved his ability to be very much like his namesake last season, when picking up the NHL’s first Jennings Trophy, which is awarded to the goalkeeper who concedes the least goals.
Next up on the list of opening games to watch is the Chicago Blackhawks’ trip to Dallas to face the Stars on October 9. Antoine Roussel stoked the fires last season when scoring the all-decisive fourth goal Dallas’ 4-3 win in Chicago last year and this is likely a fixture that the Blackhawks will relish, given the disappointment of last season.
Chicago was just minutes away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final, but overtime heartbreak in the Conference Finals at the hands of the Kings saw them fall short of becoming the first repeat-winner of the NHL in this new ‘salary cap era’. It is likely they would have gone on to defeat the Rangers in the final and this is evidenced in the fans’ frustration that has been seen in the post-season so far. This minor, modern-day rivalry can be the perfect way to exorcise some old demons throughout the Blackhawks community.
Just think next season has so many twists and turns for bettors and it has not even started yet.