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Sportsbooks can’t find flaws in Stanley Cup favorite

It has been 10 years since the NHL’s best regular-season team also lifted the Stanley Cup.

If any team can break the curse of the Presidents’ Trophy, it’s the Boston Bruins.

Following a record-setting season, the Bruins are consensus favorites at Las Vegas sportsbooks entering the NHL playoffs.

The Westgate SuperBook lists Boston as 3-1 to capture the Stanley Cup, while Circa Sports has the Bruins at +305.

“Boston, they look like clearly the best team, but it’s hockey,” SuperBook vice president of risk Ed Salmons said. “I don’t know why it is, but teams have a habit of not winning the Cup when they win (the Presidents’ Trophy). They’re still priced as a favorite, and they will be until obviously they go out. But they are clearly the best team in hockey as far as a power rating.”

The Bruins set the NHL season record for wins with 65, and their 135 points topped the previous mark of 132 set by the Montreal Canadiens in 1976-77.

Boston led the league in fewest goals allowed and was second in offense thanks to 61-goal scorer David Pastrnak.

But funny things happen in the playoffs. In 2019, Tampa Bay tied the NHL record for wins in a season, but was swept as a -425 series favorite in the first round by Columbus.

The last team to win the Presidents’ Trophy for most points in the regular season and the Stanley Cup is the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks. Only the 2014-15 New York Rangers advanced past the second round during the time.

Since the Presidents’ Trophy was awarded starting in 1986, eight of the previous 36 winners went on to win the championship.

The Bruins are -350 favorites at the SuperBook to win their first-round series over Florida.

“That team is so deep. It’s really hard to find a flaw,” Circa sportsbook manager Jeff Davis said. “The East is kind of interesting because you have Boston, and there’s a pretty big gap to New Jersey, Carolina, Toronto, and there’s not much separating those three teams pricewise. Then there’s another small gap to the Rangers.”

The Golden Knights are 10-1 at the SuperBook to win the Stanley Cup, the same odds as the Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Circa lists Carolina at +950 and the Knights at 11-1, ahead of the Maple Leafs (+1150).

Defending champion Colorado is 7-1 to repeat, the same odds as Edmonton. The Oilers had the league’s best record since March 1 at 18-2-1 (37 points) and feature center Connor McDavid, the runaway favorite for the Hart Trophy as MVP.

Other teams to watch, according to Davis and Salmons, are the Devils (14-1 at Circa), the Rangers (+1450) and the Dallas Stars (+1950), one of the few teams without a question mark in goal.

“I’ve been higher on Edmonton than anybody I’ve talked to for a long time,” Davis said. “I would be very scared of Edmonton if I were a fan of any team playing Edmonton. I would not want to play that team in the playoffs if they get any goaltending at all.”

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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