Stanley Cup Playoff Picture: Huge deadline deals for the stretch
On February 26, the trade deadline came and passed. Many big trades were completed, and many teams have new elite-level players to welcome to their lines. Now begins the final push for the playoffs.
A strong run of form has earned the Tampa Bay Lightning their place back on top of the Atlantic Division and the NHL overall. The Bolts are now +300 to win in the Eastern Conference finals and +550 to win the Stanley Cup with the best NHL bookmakers.
Their rivals, the Boston Bruins, slipped up a bit this week, losing to the Buffalo Sabres to sour Rick Nash’s debut. The Toronto Maple Leafs sit second in the division and are at +650 to make it to the conference finals and win.
Riding an incredible 9-0-1 in their last ten games and a six-game win streak, the Philadelphia Flyers suddenly sit atop the Metropolitan Division. With the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Flyers on 63 games, the Penguins are favoured to win the Cup at +1100.
The Central Division continues to be scrappy, with the Nashville Predators on top. The Minnesota Wild have finally strung a very good set of wins together to push into the top three at the expense of the Dallas Stars. Nashville is at +350 to win in the Western Conference finals.
Vegas still has a stranglehold on the Pacific Division. The Vegas Golden Knights are seven points clear of their nearest rival and are at +1150 to complete the fairytale start to their franchise and win the cup.
In the Eastern Conference, playoff pushing teams are still struggling to win consecutive games. The New Jersey Devils and Columbus Blue Jackets are sitting fairly comfortably in wild card places.
A good five teams are in the running for the two wild card places in the Western Conference. Only three points separated the Dallas Stars in the top wild card place and the Colorado Avalanche. The Los Angeles Kings, Calgary Flames, and St. Louis Blues all sit in between.
Trade Deadline Recap
One of the biggest trades saw the San Jose Sharks, now +1150 to win in the Western Conference finals, acquire prized sniper Evander Kane. Tampa Bay bettered its standing by adding Ryan McDonagh and JT Miller.
The Vegas Golden Knights paid an arm and a leg for Tomas Tatar. The Devils snapped up Patrick Maroon, and the Winnipeg Jets traded in Paul Stastny.
On February 26