Canada’s Chances for the Stanley Cup in 2024

No sport is more synonymous with Canada than hockey; it’s in our blood. After all, it was right here that the sport’s biggest prize was created and, even to this day, it continues to bear the name of Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada who helped to popularise hockey in the nation.

In addition to being a competition that was crafted in Canada, it’s the one North American major league sport where teams north of the border can often come out on top. In fact, the first ever Stanley Cup was won by the Montreal Hockey Club, while the modern Montreal Canadiens have lifted the trophy more times than any other in the NHL.

Photo by Tim Trad on Unsplash

Sadly, the Montreal Canadiens are all but out of contention this season. In the outright Stanley Cup betting markets, they have odds of 2000/1, with only the Arizona Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets faring worse. This reflects the fact that Montreal has one of the worst points halls in the entire Eastern Conference and have little to no chance of making it into the playoffs – never mind progressing through them.

While it’s a low point in Montreal’s history, this isn’t a novel situation for the team to find themselves in. Montreal’s record-holding NHL team has languished down the bottom of the league for much of the last five years, falling from performing in a distinctly average fashion for several years before that.

Thankfully for us Canucks, there are other teams ready to carry the torch and prove that Canada remains the country of hockey greatness by winning the Stanley Cup.

Edmonton Oilers

As of mid-March, the Edmonton Oilers sit as the favourites to win the Stanley Cup with odds of 6/1. This is despite the team sitting below the Vancouver Canucks in the Pacific Division and only having the fifth-best points haul in the Western Conference.

Last year, the team made it as far as the second round of the playoffs, being ejected by the ultimate winners the Vegas Golden Knights.

Since then, the team has strengthened and enjoyed a phenomenal run since January, including managing 16-game win streak earlier this year and currently ride high on another nine-game streak.

They have momentum and that’s going to be tough to stop.

Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks have the second-highest Canadian odds in the NHL, sitting joint third in the bookies’ list of favourites. With odds of 8/1, they’re not far behind the Oilers.

In fact, with 94 points, Vancouver sits above the Oilers in the Pacific Division and has the highest points tally in the entire Western Conference.

This is a position earned on merit. The Canucks are in possession of Quinn Hughes, the league’s leading defenceman, Thatcher Demko who is one of the best keepers in the NHL, and a strong attacking force in names like Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller, Elias Lindholm, and Brock Boeser.

These are the right ingredients for success in the playoffs, a tournament they’re sure to earn a spot in. However, the question remains about whether the team has the experience and temperament to handle the pressure that comes from progressing through a grueling a knockout tournament like the Stanley Cup.

Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets are currently 10th favourite to win the Stanley Cup and the third Canadian team in the bookies’ list.

The Jets had a bit of a rough start to 2024, losing five games on the bounce across January and February, but it’s returned to winning ways in the weeks since. This has been helped by the acquisition of some key new talent, including scoring winger Tyler Toffoli to add additional attacking depth, as well as Sean Monahan to play in the centre.

These two join a lineup that includes Connor Hellebuck, one of the best goalies in the entire NHL – an asset that is invaluable in the playoffs.