Montreal Canadiens Odds to Win 2009 Stanley Cup: Payout 8/1

Written by:
Ean Lamb
Published on:
Sep/26/2008

The Montreal Canadiens are among the favorites to win the 2009 Stanley Cup, but offer a lucrative enough payout potential since there are teams considered "better" (a la the Detroit Redwings and maybe the Pittsburgh Penguins).

Expectations for the Montreal Canadiens are high after they wound up finishing the 2007-2008 regular season as the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They entered last season as a team that had little hope of going over .500, let alone making the playoffs.

The Montreal Canadiens odds to win the 2009 Stanley Cup were set at +750 for a potential payout of $750 with every $100 bet at Sports Interaction.

Dan Di Sciullo of the Sports Network:

The key for Montreal last year was the excellent season turned in by enigmatic winger Alexei Kovalev and the veteran sniper will once again be the x-factor for the Habs. Will Kovalev be the player who scored 84 points a year ago or will he revert to the lows of his 47-point campaign in 2006-07?

With or without Kovalev, things are looking up in Montreal and the rabid fan base is beginning to smell Cup no. 25.

As for defense, Jesse Campigotto of CBC Sports says its going to be essential for the Canadiens to get good goaltending.

Twenty-year-old Carey Price grew up faster than expected last season, posting an excellent .920 save percentage and 2.56 goals-against average in 41 games while wresting the No. 1 goalie job from Cristobal Huet.

But the laid-back Price cracked in the playoffs, letting in some soft goals in Montreal's tougher-than-necessary win over Boston in the first round. The youngster was briefly yanked in favour of backup Jaroslav Halak, and struggled to recapture his form as the Canadiens bowed in five games to Philadelphia in the second round.

Price is too talented to stay down for long, but his ability to recover from the disappointment and criticism he endured last spring could be the x-factor in Montreal's season.

Campigotto likes Montreal's odds (again paying nearly $800 for every $100 bet at Sports Interaction):

The Habs were one of the league's biggest surprises last season in claiming the top seed - in the Eastern Conference, but their notoriously demanding fans will want more this time around. Adding to the pressure will be the team's 100th anniversary festivities, which promise to be no small affair given the Canadiens' knack for celebrating their accomplishments like no other franchise in sports.

But even with all the pomp and pageantry - including the all-star game in January - it's hard not to like the Habs as a Stanley Cup contender. Price could be even better now that he's got more seasoning, and emerging forwards Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Kostitsyn and Christopher Higgins figure to provide even more scoring punch.

If Kovalev can stay motivated and the power play can avoid another playoff burnout, the Canadiens could cap their centennial with the biggest party of all.

----

Ean Lamb, Gambling911.com

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