Stanley Cup Playoff Picture: Bruins Close in on Tampa Bay
Still sitting above all others are the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts lost most recently to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but their stellar play overall has them as the favourites to win the Stanley Cup this season. Boasting the most complete team, the Lightning are +600 to win it all with the best NHL bookmakers. However, the Boston Bruins are now only three points behind with two games in hand.
In the Metropolitan Division, the Washington Capitals still sit on top, with two games and four points on the Pittsburgh Penguins. The reigning champions are +700 to get to and win the Eastern Conference finals. The Philadelphia Flyers have been able to break into the top three of the division, only one point behind the Penguins.
Over in the West, the Nashville Predators have asserted their dominance over the Central Division, emerging on top by two points with two games in hand on the Winnipeg Jets. The Predators are +450 to get to and win in the Western Conference finals.
The Pacific Division is still in the hands of the newest team in the NHL, the Vegas Golden Knights. The Golden Knights are at +1150 to win it all this season. The steady San Jose Sharks remain in second, and their California rivals have been bumped for the Calgary Flames.
Finding a string of wins has been troublesome for the playoff pushers in the East. The New Jersey Devils dropped to the wild card places after four consecutive wins. But, the win streaks of the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers could base a charge on the divisional places.
While sitting in a wildcard place, the Dallas Stars are incredibly close to getting into the Central places. The Minnesota Wild have been consistent enough to hold onto their wild card place, but the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, and Colorado Avalanche are biting at their heels.
Trade Deadline Rumours
On February 26, the trade deadline will be battled by teams on all fronts.
Rick Nash has a modified no-trade clause in his contract. So, Nash has handed the New York Rangers his trade list, which he says includes teams in Canada.
Elsewhere, the Blues seem to be the leaders in the race to get Evander Kane. The Penguins are huge favourites to get Thomas Vanek, and the Maple Leafs may look to bolster their blueline with Lu