The Chicago Blackhawks have earned at least a point in 15-straight games to open the 2013 NHL season. After their latest win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, it’s hard to imagine that any opponent will have what it takes to win four games against the Blackhawks in a single playoff series this season. While it is still very early, what Chicago has done early on this year cannot be overlooked. The Blackhawks have rocketed to the top of the Western Conference and taken a commanding eight-point lead over the next best team, and that has made them the early online sports betting favorites to win the Stanley Cup in 2013.
With Chicago’s incredible start on the verge of reaching historical proportions, it’s important to remember the teams that came before them and how they used excellent starts to reach the biggest stage. The Montreal Canadiens opened the 1933-34 regular season with 14-straight wins and won the Stanley Cup that year, a feat matched by the Edmonton Oilers in 1984-85. The Anaheim Ducks then won the Stanley Cup in 2007 after their record-setting points start, and while the Blackhawks still have a lot of work to do, the online sportsbook numbers at this point are overwhelming.
Chicago has earned 27 of a possible 30 points up for grabs this season, with a 12-0-3 start to the year. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, 18 of those 27 points have come on the road where the Blackhawks are 8-0-2, having played twice as many games on the road as at home early on. Chicago leads the NHL with a plus-20 goal differential, which is six goals better than the Pittsburgh Penguins, which hold the best mark in the Eastern Conference. The Blackhawks rank second in the NHL in goals per game with 3.3, with Patrick Kane leading the way in both goals and assists with nine and 12 respectively for a team-high 21 points. With Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Sharp leading the way up front it’s obvious that Chicago has the offensive firepower to compete with any team in the league, but what about the fact that they rank second in the NHL in goals against per game as well? Corey Crawford has registered a 1.65 goals against average to rank among the best in the NHL while the Blackhawks as a team have allowed an average of 1.9 goals per online betting contest. Special teams have also been a strength as Chicago owns the third-ranked penalty kill and 13th-ranked powerplay in the NHL.
With numbers like those, it’s hard to argue against the Blackhawks’ dominance or what they have the potential to do this sports betting season. Chicago has gotten the job done at both ends of the ice and that has allowed them to fly out of the gate with a historic start to the season. While it is still early, there is no reason to doubt the Blackhawks as the early Stanley Cup favorites. For all of the latest NHL news and betting odds, be sure to check out the best sports betting sites.