With just over half of the season played there are still plenty of teams dreaming of booking their place in the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs.
In the Eastern Conference, both Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals look extremely well-placed to secure their spot in the post-season.
The pair are at the head of the ice hockey betting odds to win the Stanley Cup and both teams are expected to make a strong playoff push this term.
The Western Conference is more difficult to predict, with St Blues the only team that have been able to establish a gap between themselves and the chasing pack.
Read on as we take a closer look at some of the main contenders to lift the prestigious Stanley Cup this season.
Bruins on a recovery mission
Boston were beaten 4-3 by St Louis Blues following an epic seven-game series in last season’s final and will be desperate to one better this time around.
The Bruins have plenty of players capable of putting up points, with David Pastrnak undoubtedly their headline performer at the moment.
With the likes of Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron also regularly troubling the scorers, Boston have the firepower to beat any team.
They are also strong defensively, with netminders Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak both averaging excellent save percentage statistics.
While some critics have suggested that the Bruins are a one-line team, the reality is somewhat different and they are strongly fancied to make their mark in the play-offs.
Ovechkin gives Washington a chance
The Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 2018 and proved many people wrong in doing so.
They were eliminated by Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of last year’s playoffs, but it would be no surprise to seem them progress much further this season.
With Alex Ovechkin once again leading the team in scoring, the Capitals are capable of beating any team on any given night.
They are far from a one-man team, with their roster featuring plenty of players who chip in with points on a regular basis.
The Capitals now know what it takes to win the Stanley Cup and it would be a brave move to back against them clinching the trophy once again.
Reigning champions will be tough to beat
St Louis Blues endured a sticky start to 2020, but they are simply too good not to bounce back as the season progresses.
Head coach Craig Berube has already taken action, shuffling his regular lines in the hope of rediscovering a winning formula.
Berube proved he was one of the best coaches around as he led the Blues to Stanley Cup glory last season and he is fully expected to guide them into the playoffs once again.
Players such as Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron are amongst the best in the NHL, but the Blues’ strength is their team-first ethic.
However, winning back-to-back Stanley Cups is never easy and the Blues may find it difficult to see off the challenge of the Bruins and Capitals.