What it Takes to Win the 2021 Stanley Cup

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The Stanley Cup is always a hotly contested event, with the odds of winning the Stanley Cup always being up for debate. One such site that debates these odds is the NHL odds site Betway.

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The odds of winning the cup gradually get better in organizations that have strong bonds between players, as this causes a drive for victory among people as well as the aim to impress each other. This could be seen through the playoff performance of the New York Islanders players, Clark Gillies “I think we were all friends. Al Arbour would say if we weren’t pulling for each other. He once came into the locker room, and you’ll remember this Bobby.

He said: “I don’t care if you go to dinner, go to lunch, or if you ever see each other off the ice. You come through that dressing room door, you better be willing to go through a wall for each other.” 

With this in mind, the Tampa Bay Lightning are predicted to have one of the best odds of winning the 2021 Stanley Cup, as each player will need to know their role in the organization. With the way they have played this season, they seemed almost sure that they would qualify again, and as they have kept cool and collected through the season the players’ egos have clearly been kept in check.

When asked about this, Bobby Nystrom mentioned how “Everyone really knew what their role was. The penalty killers would sit on the bench, but then they’re ready to go. I think there was just knowing what you needed to do as a player, knowing your limitations. Al would always tell me: ‘Nystrom you can’t carry a puck, give it to your centerman!’” 

There are also other teams who have a chance at the cup and have this mentality such as the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche. These two teams have both become fairly tight-knit, and the Avalanche especially has had a large spike of comradery over the past couple of seasons, and thus are one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup, reaping a lower reward to those who bet on them.

When looking at what it takes to win the cup, the Avalanche and the Lightning had both been very patient with their teams, not just slotting players to hope it will work, but rather keeping a lot of the same players in order to help build bonds between the players.

This is similar to how the Islanders had started their dynasty, as was stated by Nystrom, “When we lost in ’79 to the Rangers, I thought for sure they were going to change a lot of people on the team. I have to compliment Bill Torrey and Al Arbour for being patient and when they picked up Butch and Kenny, that made a big difference. All the guys came together really, really well. We went out together at night, you know. We had a good group.”

The organizations that have remained in the running for the cup thus far have mostly maintained stability in the front office staff as well, which may have some impact as player relations with the staff help to empathize. With the exception of Montreal, most teams have not undergone many changes in staff during this time. Coaches can truly be a large asset to the team, as was said by Gillies and Nystrom;

CG: I’ve always said that the one of our biggest assets was that he knew each and every guy on that team. He knew what buttons to push.

BN: That’s the truth.

CG: He treated me differently than Bob, he treated Denis Potvin differently from Wayne Merrick. I mean, Denis Potvin…

BN: Tell that story about Denis and the piano!

CG: Arbour would come in and he’d just berate Denny. He would say stuff like: “You know, I don’t mind if you carry a piano on your back, but when you stop and play it, that’s where I’ve got to draw the line.”

BN: That was the funniest thing, the guys were cracking up in the locker room.

CG: Meanwhile, Denny was the best player on the ice and probably already had a goal, but Arbour just wanted to get him fired up and he would go out there and do it the next period.

These insights represent the chances and different abilities that teams may have going into the playoff window, as well as what may be the difference-makers in the chances of winning the 2021 Stanley Cup.

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