Stanley Cup Playoff Picture: Can the Panthers Claw In?
It’s been a long season, but teams are finally embarking on their final push to make it to the heralded Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Top of the Playoff Picture
Somewhat surprisingly, the Tampa Bay Lightning have been bumped from the top of the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference by an insurgent Boston Bruins. This has greatly increased the Bolts’ odds of winning the Stanley Cup with the best NHL bookmakers to +500, with Boston at +525.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have secured their playoffs spot, as have the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Washington Capitals will win the Metropolitan division and are +600 to win in the Eastern Conference finals.
In the west, the Nashville Predators have remained dominant over the entire league, now at +375 to go all the way. The Winnipeg Jets have gone on a blistering run to land on the same points tally as Tampa Bay after 79 games.
The surge of the Florida Panthers looks to have come to an end. With a game in hand on the New Jersey Devils, the Panthers sat five points back with four games left. They need the Devils to implode to make it.
The Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Devils look set to clinch in the coming days.
There’s still a huge battle in the Western Conference for the final Pacific place, between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks, as well as for a wildcard place. The war between the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche looks to go to the wire.
After an appalling run of 2-6-2, the Dallas Stars are out of the playoff race.
Playing for Lottery Odds
Top of the running for Rasmus Dahlin as the first overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft is the Buffalo Sabres. They are followed by the Ottawa Senators, Arizona Coyotes, Montreal Canadians, and Vancouver Canucks.