The Stanley Cup playoffs are on the horizon, and while there’s still plenty of hockey to be played before then, it won’t be long before we find out how the postseason bracket is shaping up.
Odds – Outright Winner
This year, the Tampa Bay Lightning have become the hunted as opposed to the hunter, as they are the reigning NHL champions, and it will be fascinating to see how they fare. They are chasing a three-peat after lifting the Stanley Cup in 2020 too.
Naturally, there is always plenty of drama at the playoffs, so you can expect lots of fireworks on the ice. And to whet your appetite ahead of the playoffs, we have run through a few of the likely contenders.
We have also picked out some odds from the outright market for you to chew over before the playoffs get underway.
- Avalanche » +375
- Panthers » +550
- Flames » +900
- Lightning » +900
- Hurricanes » +1000
- Maple Leafs » +1200
- Bruins » +1400
- Penguins » +1600
- Wild » +1800
Tampa Bay Lightning
A natural place to start, is with the Lightning. While they have inevitably found things slightly tougher going this time around, they have still acquitted themselves well in the Atlantic Division, and they haven’t found goals hard to come by.
The Lightning have been marginally better on the road, in terms of picking up more wins on their travels, but they have been well backed up by the likes of Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, who have been explosive, and the latter was named NHL Defenseman of the Year in 2018.
While you imagine the Lightning will be in the mix again, they aren’t fancied by many bookmakers. This includes Betway, who is pricing the Lightning at the +900 mark, and it may be worth a flutter if you are looking for value for money in the outright market.
Success hasn’t come easily to the Carolina Hurricanes. Indeed, they are looking to end a 16-year wait to lift the prestigious Stanley Cup. Their last triumph came in 2006, and they had Eric Staal to thank, as he became the second-youngest playoff scoring leader in the modern era of the NHL.
Anyway, they will be certainly among the franchises to watch following a terrific campaign, there’s nothing to suggest that they can’t have a deep run in the Stanley Cup, and perhaps, even win it.
At +800 with bet365, the Hurricanes may seem like they are quite long price-wise, but they are certainly capable, and you can’t rule out their chances.
If there’s one team that has caught the eye this season, then it would be the Panthers. They have been in control of the Atlantic Division virtually from the first game day, and they have barely looked back since.
There have been some hard-fought wins where they had to show grit and determination to get over the line, however, this has also been coupled with some impressive blowout wins too.
The Panthers have therefore been very entertaining to watch, and they will be a serious threat in the playoffs. Currently, they are priced at around +450 with Betway, but they are targeting their first-ever Stanley Cup triumph, and they could be worth backing as they are in relatively uncharted territory.
Similarly, Colorado Avalanche have been something of a revelation this season, and they haven’t been in the winner’s circle for a while as far as the Stanley Cup is concerned. Their previous Stanley Cup success came in 2001 when they saw off the New Jersey Devils 4-3 in the series.
Although they have had Minnesota Wild breathing down their necks for large periods of the regular season, the Avalanche will be a force to be reckoned with when the playoffs roll around. And a cursory glance at the Bet365 outright market shows the Avalanche are favorites to win the NHL at +400, so maybe this could be their year!