by Mark Mayer | No team has won back-to-back Stanley Cup titles since the Detroit Red Wings of 1996-98, which may explain why the Wings are a relatively high 5-1 favorite to repeat as NHL champions. It was the second NHL title for Detroit this decade, having won the Cup in 2002. Finals MVP Henrik Zetterburg, Pavel Datsyuk and goalie Chris Osgood are reasons Detroit has been installed as the team to beat.
Stanley Cup runnerup Pittsburgh is right behind at 6-1. The Penguins lost to Detroit in six games and were denied their first Stanley Cup since 1992. The Anaheim Ducks, Stanley Cup champs in 2007, are next at 8-1, followed by the San Jose Sharks at 10-1 and the New York Rangers at 12-1. The Dallas Stars, which lost to Detroit in the Western Conference finals, are 15-1, along with the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals.
The Philadelphia Flyers, beaten by Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference finals head a group at 20-1 that includes the New Jersey Devils, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild. The longshots are St. Louis, Atlanta and Los Angeles each at 100-1.
Here is the Hiltons early 2009 Stanley Cup breakdown.
10-1: San Jose
12-1: NY Rangers
15-1: Dallas, Montreal, Ottawa, Washington.
20-1: New Jersey, Philadelphia, Calgary, Minnesota, Colorado
30-1: Vancouver, Chicago
40-1: Nashville, Carolina
50-1: Florida, Edmonton, Tampa Bay, Boston, Buffalo.
60-1: Toronto, NY Islanders, Columbus, St. Louis.
100-1: Phoenix, Atlanta, Los Angeles.
The Hilton SuperBook next week will release odds to win the Eastern and Western Conference.