NHL

Top 5 Dark Horses to Win the Stanley Cup

Top 5 Dark Horse Teams That May Win The Stanley Cup

Stanley Cup
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In 11 days, the greatest postseason tournament besides March Madness gets underway -- the NHL playoffs. Teams are clinching playoff spots left and right. Postseason matchups are becoming clearer. Here are five teams that are dark horses to win the Stanley Cup.

5. Minnesota Wild

Minnesota Wild
Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports

5. Minnesota Wild

Minnesota Wild
Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild are a goaltender away from being an elite team in the stacked Western Conference. But Ilya Bryzgalov has played well since he was acquired. With players like Zach Parise, Matt Moulson, Jason Pominville, and perennial Norris Trophy candidate Ryan Suter, the Wild can make some noise in the postseason.

4. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning
Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports

4. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning
Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports

When the Tampa Bay Lightning traded captain Martin St. Louis to the New York Rangers, a lot of people were expecting them to fall. They have played great since the trade. Steven Stamkos is back to scoring goals, Ryan Callahan has provided the grit they were lacking and the young forwards continue to flourish. Ben Bishop has been excellent and Jon Cooper is a candidate to win the Jack Adams trophy. Don't sleep on this Lightning team.

3. Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

3. Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

After a dismal start to the season the Philadelphia Flyers have righted the ship. Claude Giroux is back to playing at a high level and the young forwards are coming of age right before our eyes. The Flyers' defense is suspect but the acquisition of Andrew MacDonald has improved the back end. Steve Mason has been solid all season long and Craig Berube has done an amazing job with this team.

2. Colorado Avalanche

Colorado Avalanche
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

2. Colorado Avalanche copy

Colorado Avalanche
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest surprise of the year has to be the Colorado Avalanche. Patrick Roy is the favorite for the Jack Adams award, and rightfully so. This team finished dead last in the Western Conference last year. Even without Matt Duchene, the Avalanche have so much talent up front and Semeyon Varlamov has been excellent. The Avalanche will be making a deep run this postseason.

1. Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

1. Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

There just aren't enough adjectives to describe how amazing the Detroit Red Wings are. They haven't missed the playoffs in over two decades and are on there way to making it again. The scary part is this team is hot right now without their two best players, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. They were one win away from knocking off the Chicago Blackhawks last year and can pose a serious threat in the Eastern Conference this season.