Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

Lightning center Yanni Gourde (37), center, is surrounded by teammates as they celebrate a goal against the Boston Bruins during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
Lightning center Yanni Gourde (37), center, is surrounded by teammates as they celebrate a goal against the Boston Bruins during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published June 8 2018
Updated June 8 2018

This past season didn't end the way Lightning fans might have hoped, but that's no reason to lose hope.

In fact, oddsmakers are more bullish on Tampa Bay than any team in the NHL for next season.

According to at least one sports betting site, the Lightning is the favorite to hoist the Cup following the 2018-19 campaign.

Bovada has Tampa Bay at 9-to-1 odds to win it all.

The Stanley Cup runnerup Vegas Golden Knights are next, at 10-1, along with the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets.

The Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins face 11-1 odds.

The Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals are at 14-1.

The Ottawa Senators, at 100-1, are the biggest underdogs.

Here are the odds for every NHL team:

Tampa Bay Lightning 9-1
Boston Bruins 10-1
Toronto Maple Leafs 10-1
Vegas Golden Knights 10-1
Winnipeg Jets 10-1
Nashville Predators 11-1
Pittsburgh Penguins 11-1
Washington Capitals 14-1
Edmonton Oilers 18-1
Anaheim Ducks 22-1
Chicago Blackhawks 22-1
Columbus Blue Jackets 25-1
Dallas Stars 25-1
Calgary Flames 28-1
Philadelphia Flyers 28-1
Los Angeles Kings 30-1
Minnesota Wild 30-1
San Jose Sharks 30-1
Colorado Avalanche 40-1
Florida Panthers 40-1
New Jersey Devils 40-1
St. Louis Blues 40-1
Montreal Canadiens 50-1
Carolina Hurricanes 60-1
New York Islanders 60-1
Buffalo Sabres 66-1
New York Rangers 70-1
Detroit Red Wings 75-1
Arizona Coyotes 80-1
Vancouver Canucks 80-1
Ottawa Senators 100-1

ESPN also is high on the Lightning, placing it No. 1 in its "Way-Too-Early 2018-19 NHL Power Rankings."

Ryan Callahan said the Lightning played Game 6 against Washington like they knew they had a Game 7 left. Tampa Bay also knew that this group has one more year together to make another a Cup run before Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point, Ryan McDonagh, Anton Stralman and others all need new contracts.

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