It’s only February and we’ve already seen some really strange things in 2017. Donald Trump’s took office, the Atlanta Falcons made it to the Super Bowl and the NHL ‘s two most recent expansion teams are sitting in prime positions to make deep runs in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The big question as we gear up for the stretch run to the postseason is whether those teams the Blue Jackets and the Wild have the right stuff or is it all a bunch of fluff. Four teams that have never lifted Lord Stanley’s mug currently sit in the top seven on the NHL features boards and one specifcially holds the top spot of the odds list. I’m of course talking about the first place Washington Capitals and their +600 odds to lift the cup, Washington is one of the 10 franchises that have never won a Cup and if they don’t get it done soon their 42 year drought could last a lot longer. I say it’s because their window is wide open right now with the vast amount of talent they have it in just about every position but with Ovechkin approaching the tail end of his prime they could start to regress. I’ve been saying since before the puck drops on the 2016-2017 season it was going to be either Pittsburgh or Washington that made it out of the East and whichever team did would more than likely win the cup. Four months later I still feel the same way despite the plus +1000 Blue Jackets and the +800 wild jumping out of order in the food chain. I’m starting to believe in Minnesota and their chances to come out of a pretty weak Western Conference this year but Columbus on the other hand has started to show serious regression and that’s going to have its hands full in just about any potential playoff matchup with the roster at the youngest in the NHL. Minnesota has the perfect mix right now of quality goaltending, extremely solid defending and they’ve added a scoring touch that’s been totally absent the last few years. A big reason for the sudden uprisings is transformation of Mikael Granlund. The talented Fin has always had a ton of potential but is turning into an absolute beast these season. He has 48 points in 51 games this year and is near the league lead in plus/minus with a +30 rating. The 5th year centers newfound success is a microcosm of what the Wild have achieved this year and it’s part of the reason why I like the Wild to get out of the West and compete for their first-ever Stanley Cup. There’s also some value here it teams like the +1200 Sharks, +1100 Canadiens and the +2000 Ducks but it’s become obvious that the Capitals and Wild have the most well assemble rosters. You can go ahead and keep on fading the Blackhawks as there is 0 value in there plus +750 line and it looks like it’s time to panic. They’ve been getting progressively worse all season yet their price has barely moved. If books were setting these lines based entirely how teams have played I think they’d have the B-hole’s, I mean the B-Hawks around the +1200 or +1300 range. That’s it for this one but four more lukewarm hockey picks make sure to check out the NHL section at OddsShark.com by clicking the read more button below, follow us on social media for all the way to the odds betting info and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the freshest content.