Itâ€™s tough to be a Chicago Blackhawks or Washington Capitals fan right now. The two top teams are not acting like it and in turn are frustrating people who have wagered on them to win the Stanley Cup.
The Capitals and the Blackhawks were the No. 1 seeds in their respective conferences, but both have struggled so far in the opening round of the playoffs.
Before the playoffs began, both teams were strong favorites to meet in the Stanley Cup finals, but now fans, and those who bet on them, are questioning whether they will even get past their initial opponent.
Chicago Facing Elimination
The No. 1 seed in the Western Conference was the Blackhawks and for good reason. The team finished a tight divisional race and was three points better than the Minnesota Wild. The Anaheim Ducks, who finished first in the Pacific Division, were four points behind.
ChicagoÂ was a plus-400 choice to win the Cup, but has acted anything other than the favorite in the first round. Facing Nashville, who finished fourth in the same division, they find themselves on the brink of elimination, trailing the Predators 3-0.
After losing in overtime Monday night, Patrick Kane said he realizes his team is in trouble.
â€œIt’s tough right now,â€ Kane said. â€œLet this one sting a little bit tonight. We have two [days] in between, so get rested, come back feeling good. Take it one at a time. I know that’s clichÃ© and things you have to say, but at the same time win one game. See what happens after that.â€
Washington in Trouble
The Capitals, who were plus-450 to win the Cup, were the dominant team in the regular season, but find themselves struggling against the young and inexperienced Toronto Maple Leafs. They are down 2-1 in the best of seven series.
Unfortunately this is familiar territory for Washington. Last year they entered as a favorite and lost in the second round to the eventual champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
â€œUntil we change the narrative, that’s going to be the question,â€ defensemanÂ Matt NiskanenÂ said. â€œSo it’s up to us to change it. You can’t talk about it, you’ve got to just go out and do it.â€
They donâ€™t have much time to turn their fortunes around. They face another match up on the road Wednesday and are without defensemanÂ Karl Alzner for the second consecutive game.