Stanley Cup Playoff Picture: Panthers suddenly in the picture
Big names like Paul Stastny, J.T. Miller, Derick Brassard, Ryan McDonagh, Evander Kane, and Tomas Tatar all moved teams before the trade window closed. Now the top teams are grinding to cement themselves in the postseason.
Top of the Playoff Picture
Still standing as the favourites to win the Stanley Cup at +550 with the best NHL bookmakers, the Tampa Bay Lightning have stayed a few steps ahead of the Boston Bruins. Now at +400 to win in the Eastern Conference finals, the Bruins three games and only six points behind.
The Metropolitan looks to be a three-team dogfight for the top spot, with the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers all within a point of each other. The Penguins are at +1000 to achieve the three-peat this season.
In the Central Division, the Nashville Predators have gone from strength to strength and are almost level-pegging with the Lightning at the top of the overall standings. They’re at +350 to win in the Western Conference finals.
It’s still all about the Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division, with the team of the season a good ten points clear of their closest contenders. The NHL’s newest team is at +1100 to go all the way and win the cup this season.
An incredible story has emerged in the Eastern Conference. The wild card race had become stale, but all of a sudden, with a mighty six-game win-streak, the Florida Panthers are back in it! With at least three games in hand on the playoff hopefuls around them, the Panthers are just one point from a wildcard place.
Despite sitting in divisional playoff places, the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild are all only one or two points clear of the wildcard places. The Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames are in close pursuit.
Playing for Lottery Odds
Following the trade deadline, many teams have turned their noses to the base of the standings and are tanking. The Arizona Coyotes, who are all but out of the playoff race, have surprisingly put together a 7-2-1 last ten record – but they’re still rock bottom overall.
The Coyotes are joined by the Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, and