Stanley Cup Playoff Picture: First Round Brackets
With the regular season concluded, we get to turn our attention to the business end of the season: the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The first series will start on April 11, with the rest getting underway on April 12.
Western Playoff Picture
Finishing at the top of the entire NHL to win the Presidents’ Trophy, the Nashville Predators will be a force to be reckoned with. Colorado Avalanche scraped into the playoffs by a single point. The Avs must face the +375 favourites to win the Stanley Cup and are not expected to emerge victorious.
Canada’s best hope of a long playoff run, the Winnipeg Jets, face off against the Minnesota Wild. The Jets are favoured to win the series 4-3 at +400 with the top NHL sports betting sites.
San Jose were the better team all season and fell just one point below the Anaheim Ducks. But, the San Jose Sharks are +104 to get past the Ducks.
Then, we get to see the potential starting of a new rivalry. In a very medieval-named matchup, the Vegas Golden Knights will take on the Los Angeles Kings. Despite the Kings being very experienced and this being Vegas’ first playoffs, the Golden Knights are expected to win the series 4-1 at +475.
Eastern Playoff Picture
The most anticipated draw of the first round has to be the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Philadelphia Flyers. The return of the Battle of Pennsylvania should have a fair few fireworks and plenty of goals. The Penguins are a +1000 to win the cup for a third successive year.
Earlier in the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning were heavy favourites to win it all. By sneaking back to the top of the Atlantic Division, they get to face the lucky New Jersey Devils, who just managed to stop the skid to stay in the wild card place.
Boston against Toronto looks to be a great matchup, with the brutish Bruins looking to oust the upstart youngsters of the Maple Leafs. After a strong showing this season, Boston are at +600 to win the cup.
Metropolitan Division victors, the Washington Capitals, will face the tricky Columbus Blue Jackets. If the Caps do make it through, they’ll most likely reignite their rivalry with the Pens in the second round.
The Draft Lottery Odds
All is not lost for those who missed out on the postseason as they get the top picks in the draft. This year, the first overall pick will likely be Rasmus Dahlin, and the Buffalo Sabres have the best odds of landing him at 18.5%.
The Ottawa Senators (13.5%), Arizona Coyotes (11.5%), Montreal Canadiens (9.5%), Detroit Red Wings (8.5%) all have a good shot at beating the odds.