Can anyone stop the Penguins?

​The defending champions are pre-season favorites. Can they pull off the three-peat?

Can anyone stop the Penguins?

Surprise, surprise… Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are Stanley Cup favorites once again. With sports betting giant Bodog releasing their odds for the 2017-18 Stanley Cup, there’s no surprise the the two-time defending champions are at the top of the list. But the question really is, can anyone stop them? While the Penguins are undoubtedly a strong team, they’re not infallible. So, who can knock them off their throne?

Certainly the Nashville Predators has to be a strong candidate to get back to the Final. The Chicago Blackhawks have to always be considered a threat in the West. How about two young and emerging teams like the Edmonton Oilers or Toronto Maple Leafs? Have the Washington Capitals missed their window of opportunity? These are the questions that will be answered between now and next June when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman hands out the Cup at center ice. 

One former Pen certainly feels that his old team is the team to beat in 2017-18. "When you get Sid, Geno, Letang on the team, you always have a chance," said Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. “That’s how I felt every time. When every season started I always felt like we had a chance to do great. I think they’ll be dangerous again."

The Pens’ bitter rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers are even giving credit where credit’s due. "They’re a good team, and they’re going to continue to be a good team," Flyers blue liner Shayne Gostisbehere said. "They’re the heavyweight champs right now, and you’ve just got to knock them off."

So, what do you think? Is the Cup the Penguins’ to lose? Or are they getting too much love from the hockey world?