( Photo Credit: Gene J. Puskar | Associated Press )

By: Sam Minton | Follow Me On Twitter @sam_minton22

Boston Bruins fans won’t be happy with the latest odds coming out of Las Vegas. The oddsmakers don’t seem to believe that the B’s will be contenders in the 2021-22 season.

Vegas seems to think that the Colorado Avalanche will be lifting the trophy at the end of the season as they are the favorite as of right now. The Avs are followed by Tampa Bay Lightning, who just won their second straight Stanley Cup, as well as the Vegas Golden Knights.

But after that, Bruins fans will be disappointed to see that the Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs round out the top five. The B’s and the New York Islanders are currently tied with the sixth-best odds.

Now, of course, it is way too early to even begin thinking about the Stanley Cup. Boston doesn’t even know if Tuukka Rask, David Krejci, or Taylor Hall will be back on the roster. Fans don’t even know when the next season will even begin.

But the lack of confidence from oddsmakers is rather concerning. Especially considering that Boston has been viewed as a contender in recent years. At least right now, they seem to be on the decline.

Now there might be some questions about Boston and what their roster will look like, but there are some certainties. Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand will continue to cause chaos for opponents in the offensive zone while Charlie McAvoy leads the way on the blue line.

But there is no doubt that Boston needs to make some improvements. Ideally, that starts with ensuring that Hall returns, but they also need to improve defensively.

While the Bruins had to deal with an absurd amount of injuries on the blue line, it’s clear that they need to improve at the position. With Kevan Miller’s status for the upcoming season in question after he continued to get hurt last season, Boston can’t rely on him to be a day in and day out player. Also, the B’s would be better served to improve their options in the third defensive pairing.

It’s clear to oddsmakers and fans alike that if the Bruins want to do better in the postseason, they need to make some improvements. Just running things back with the same roster won’t get the job done. Cam Neely even said so himself.

So Vegas doesn’t seem to be confident in the Bruins, and it’s hard to blame them. Boston needs to make some changes if they want to compete for a Stanley Cup. If they don’t fix their problems on the blue line and find some goal-scoring depth, the B’s will be in the same position they were in last season or even worse.

If Boston makes the required moves this off-season, they are definitely worth a look, depending on the odds. One has to expect that they will enter the top five depending on who they bring back and who they bring in, but for now, the Bruins are on the outside looking in.