Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:
1. According to the Detroit News, the Vegas odds of the Wings winning the Stanley Cup in the 2018-19 season are understandably long…
It’s not an indicator of making the playoffs, but sports betting site Bovada’s opening Stanley Cup odds aren’t kind of the Red Wings, who own 75-1 odds to win their first Stanley Cup since 2007-08.
Sixteen teams make the NHL playoffs. Only three teams — the Arizona Coyotes (80-1), Vancouver Canucks (80-1) and Ottawa Senators (100-1) face longer odds to win the Stanley Cup.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are the favorites, at 9-1. The Washington Capitals, who defeated the expansion Vegas Golden Knights to win their first Stanley Cup, own 14-1 odds, just eighth on Bovada’s list.
2. And the Hockey News’s Jared Clinton offers an in-hindsight selection of players who could have and perhaps should have won the Conn Smythe trophy during their teams’ Cup runs:
SERGEI FEDOROV, DETROIT RED WINGS — 1997
Since the NHL’s original wave of expansion, there are 57 goaltenders who have played at least 20 games in a post-season, and there’s a big gap – a chasm, really – between those netminders in terms of how often they were tested. For example, Tim Thomas faced 849 shots in 25 games during the 2010-11 post-season, but Martin Brodeur was only tested 463 times in 20 games during the 1994-95 playoffs. But Mike Vernon holds the distinction of being the only Conn Smythe-winning netminder to play in at least 20 games while seeing less than 500 shots. The Red Wings goaltender faced only 494 pucks en route to his Conn Smythe win in 1996-97, a run that saw him post a .927 SP and 1.76 GAA.
So, while Vernon’s post-season play was all well and good, it’s difficult to understand how he took the award over Fedorov, who was dynamite for Detroit. Fedorov scored eight goals and 20 points in 20 games for the Red Wings, including four game-winning goals. Better yet, two of Fedorov’s game winners came in the final against the Flyers, and Game 3 against Philadelphia was a monster contest from Fedorov. He finished that game with two goals and four points to help give Detroit to a commanding 3-0 series lead in their eventual sweep of the final.
Continued, and it really was a toss-up between Vernon and Fedorov in 1997.