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Debating the leading candidates to win the Stanley Cup in 2023

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With the NHL playoffs set to begin on April 17, it is time to start looking at which teams deserve a place in the Stanley Cup favorites 2023 discussion.

There are some obvious teams that have been talked about all season, but there are also a couple of others that should not go unnoticed heading into the postseason.

Stanley Cup favorites 2023

The format of NHL Playoffs will remain the same for 2023 despite the backlash from fans and players. That means the top three teams in each division will qualify, along with two wild card teams in each conference.

Although many of the best teams in the preseason power rankings are high up in the standings, there are a few teams who have been a surprise to many this season as they continue to fight for a playoff spot. With that being said, there are a handful of teams who look better than the rest and should get the most attention heading into the postseason.


The Boston Bruins are the best team in hockey right now.


Boston currently leads the league in wins, points, save percentage, and goal difference. Linus Ullmark has been a huge reason for their success. He is a massive favorite to win the Vezina Trophy this season, leading all goalies in both save percentage and goals against average.

Another reason for the team’s success has been the balanced scoring throughout the lineup. The Bruins currently have nine players that have tallied more than 40 points this season. The biggest contributor on offense has been David Pastrnak. He has surpassed the 50-goal mark for the first time in his career and also leads the Bruins in assists.

With first place in the league already locked up, the Bruins do not have much to play for the rest of the regular season. What they can do is go after the NHL record for both wins and points in a season. If they were to break one of those records and cap off the season with the Stanley Cup, they could be regarded as one of the greatest teams in league history.


Despite having a worse-than-expected regular season, the Colorado Avalanche are still one of the favorites entering the playoffs. They currently have the second-best odds to win the Stanley Cup, according to DraftKings, who have them at +650.

With only a handful of games remaining, the Avalanche find themselves in a tight battle for the top spot in the Central Division. Although Colorado’s had its ups and downs, they have seemed to have found their rhythm as of late, winning eight of their last ten games to end the month of March.


Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon have led the team up front throughout the season. Rantanen is on the cusp of 50 goals, while MacKinnon is a few points shy of 100. Cale Makar is another big piece for the team, averaging more than a point per game this season.

No matter where the Avalanche finish in the regular season, they will be the favorites to come out of the Western Conference. It is hard to bet against the defending champions, especially when they are all healthy. So, although they have not shown the same dominance in the regular season as last year, they should still be on everyone’s radars come playoff time.


The Carolina Hurricanes had high expectations coming into the season and have done a good job proving why they deserved it.

Carolina is one of the best defensive teams in the league, allowing the second-fewest goals of any team this season. The Hurricanes do not have a clear number one goaltender, as Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta have both started more than 20 games this season. Andersen has been getting the starts as of late, with Raanta missing most of March because of injury.

On the offensive end, the Hurricanes are led by Sebastian Aho, Martin Necas, and Andrei Svechnikov. All three have surpassed the 20-goal mark this season. Aho currently leads the team in goals, while Necas leads the team in points.

To make a deep run in the postseason, Carolina will need significant contributions from their top players. Last season, Svechnikov and Necas combined for just 10 points in 14 playoff games. They cannot rely on others to step up if they want to beat the likes of the Rangers, Devils, and Bruins.


The Rangers are fresh off a run to the Eastern Conference Finals last year. They have already clinched a playoff spot and currently sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division.

For a team that made it to the final four last season, they will be flying under the radar coming into this year’s playoffs. With the amount of Stanley Cup contenders in the Eastern Conference, it is easy to overlook the Rangers when looking at possible favorites to win the Stanley Cup.

Although Igor Shesterkin’s level has dipped this season, he is still one of the best goaltenders in the league. He has the potential to steal games for the Rangers and will need to be at his best if they want to take down the big teams in the East.

Based on current seeding, it is likely that New York will play the New Jersey Devils in the first round. This matchup will not disappoint, as fans certainly remember game seven of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals when one of the best playoff games ever took place.

Golden Knights

After missing the playoffs last season, the Vegas Golden Knights are in a position to make a deep run this year.

The Golden Knights have many notable names on their roster. Some of their key players include Jack Eichel, Jonathan Marchessault, Alex Pietrangelo, Reilly Smith, Phil Kessel, and Chandler Stephenson. Although they do not have any superstars, Vegas has a deep team with many players who can contribute on any given night.

The Golden Knights have made the playoffs every year but once since they entered the league in 2018. In their four appearances, Vegas has made it to at least the Conference Finals three times. Simply put, this team knows how to win in the postseason.

Vegas will have a tough time getting out of their division, but if past success has proven anything, they should be in the Stanley Cup favorites 2023 discussion.

Maple Leafs

The last team on this list that deserves mentioning is the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It is hard to make a great case for why they should be considered Stanley Cup favorites, especially since they have not won a playoff round since 2004. However, Toronto has one of the best rosters in the NHL.

Mitchell Marner, Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and John Tavares all have at least 75 points this season. It is clear that this is one of the best teams in the league in the regular season, but now they need to prove it in the playoffs. The players must be sick and tired of talking about first-round exits, just as all Leafs fans are.

Winning the first round will be difficult, especially against a tough opponent like the Tampa Bay Lighting. However, if they do get it done, they will have a huge weight lifted off of their shoulders that could propel them to make a deep playoff run. You have to think this will be the last year this core will stay together if they do not get a series victory in the playoffs.

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