- Tampa Bay’s Vasilevskiy still Vezina Trophy favorite
- Online sportsbooks still like Lightning despite rough start
- Winnipeg’s Hellebuyck slightly in second in Vezina futures
The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning was going to have a period of growth on the learning curve after losing depth in players like Blake Coleman, Barclay Goodrow, and Yanni Gourde, among other, to free agency.
Oddsmakers stand firm on Vasilevskiy’s odds to win the Vezina Trophy as Bovada posts him as the leader at (+350) odds which have moved forward since he was seen at (+380) just before the season began.
Vasilevskiy’s GAA is currently at 2.53 with a save percentage of 91.1 through seven games. This comes on the heels of a season where Marc-Andre Fleury, then of the Vegas Golden Knights, surprisingly edged out Vasilevskiy for the award despite the Russian netminder’s heroics in goal throughout the second Lightning Stanley Cup Championship in a row.
He did win the Conn Smythe Trophy for the NHL’s MVP of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Lightning have won back-to-back games for the first time this season over Pittsburgh and Arizona as he has combined to stop 52 of 54 shots in those two games, which were coincidentally decided by 5-1 decisions. According to Bovada, Tampa Bay can be found at (+130) to win the Atlantic Division while posting at (+400) and (+425) in some places.
Colorado defeated the Lightning in Tampa, 4-3, in a shootout on Oct. 23.
Pressing the Issue
Hellebuyck has staked the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-2-2 start and the second-best record in the Central Division and the fifth-best in the Western Conference.
He has the second-best odds to win the Vezina at (+800) as he has a 3-2-2 ledger although his numbers have skyrocketed to 3.42 GAA with a save percentage of 89.9 percent. Hellebuyck posted (+1000) odds at the beginning of the season as the Jets are just (+1600) to win the Central Division with the same (+1600) generally to win the Western Conference Winnipeg is at (+4000) long shots to win the Stanley Cup.
Chicago’s Marc Andre-Fleury is still in the mix as he and Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper post at (+1000) to take the Vezina while the Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin and Robin Lehner tie at (+1200).
Log Jam Behind Vasy, Hellebuyck
Amazingly, Andre-Fleury still has odds that high as the troubled Blackhawks organization languishes at the bottom of the Western Conference with an 0-7-2 record.
Sportsbooks post Kuemper even with Andre-Fleury as the Avalanche got off to just a 1-3-0 start as they have adjusted back to 4-4-0. Kuemper some in at 4-3-0, and he has a 2.87 GAA with a 90.4 saves percentage.
Keumper came over in the off-season when Philip Grubauer signed with the Seattle Kraken. Colorado is still a slight favorite to win the Western Conference as the Avalanche post (+200) odds while the Vegas Golden Knights net (+300) in most places but also show (+450).
Oddsmakers at the Bovada sportsbook say that the Avalanche is an overwhelming favorite to win the Central Division with odds at (-220) while the closest team is Minnesota at (+550), but they can also be found at (+475).
The Rangers opened the season at (+2500) to win the Stanley Cup, but have moved forward to (+1800) and are currently getting the third-best odds to win the Atlantic Division. New York nets (+550) with the New York Islanders (+325) and Carolina Hurricanes (+450) on top. The Isles and the Canes are flip-flopped with some oddsmakers as Carolina leads at (+300) to the Islanders’ (+350).
The Golden Knights carry (-170) odds to win the Pacific Division while Edmonton is next at (+400). The Oilers actually pick up favorite odds with some sportsbooks at (-125) with Vegas at (+200). The Golden Knights opened at (+550) to win the Stanley Cup, but are now at (+1000) on most odds boards.