2020 NHL Playoff Picture, Predictions and Odds
The trade deadline has passed, and with the NHL playoffs just a mere month away now teams will start eyeing a shot at the Stanley Cup. We are starting to get a clearer picture of what the matchups and chances of each team will be. Sportsbooks have also updated their odds, giving us a clearer idea from a betting perspective.
William Hill has the favorites as Boston, listing the team at +500 to win the Stanley Cup. The Bruins will look to finish it off this season after losing its grip on the Stanley Cup in 2018-19 Stanley Cup Finals four games to three to the St. Louis Blues.
Unsurprisingly, the Blues come in just behind Boston at +650, with Tampa Bay (+700), Colorado (+750), and Vegas (+750) right behind.
Both Unibet and 888sport agree with the Bruins in the top spot (both at +650), however the Blues do not make the top three spots on either site. Instead both have the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second spot tied with Boston at +650.
|St. Louis Blues||+650||+1100||+1100|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+700||+650||+650|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+750||+1000||+1000|
Depending on your NHL perception, the Blues potentially represent a great value at +1100 on both sites.
NHL Playoff Picture
If the playoffs started today, here are the matchups that we would see:
- Boston Bruins (43-13-12) vs New York Islanders (35-23-8)
- Tampa Bay Lightning (42-20-5) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (35-24-9)
- Washington Capitals (40-20-7) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (32-21-15)
- Philadelphia Flyers (40-20-7) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (39-21-6)
- Vegas Golden Knights (37-23-8) vs. Minnesota Wild (34-26-7)
- Edmonton Oilers 36-24-8) vs. Calgary Flames (35-26-7)
- St. louis Blues (40-17-10) vs. Vancouver Canucks (34-26-6)
- Colorado Avalanche (40-18-8) vs. Dallas Stars (37-22-8)
NHL Division Winners and Odds
All three divisions, excluding the Pacific, looks to be a wrap for playoff spots. So far, there have not been many surprises throughout the season, as teams like the Boston Bruins, Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals have thoroughly dominated, retaining top spots in their divisions.
However, the NHL is a competitive league, and the NHL Playoffs are usually a free for all with the world’s best hockey players all facing off. So, beyond the top front runners for the Stanley Cup, we would like to look at some teams who have a real chance to take Stanley home while still retaining attractive odds.
Boston is almost certainly a lock for the Atlantic division, currently holding a nine-point lead over the second-place lightning. However, the other three divisions are wide open for leaders. No more than three points separate the first and second place teams in the other three divisions.
The Philadelphia Flyers, Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers will all look to overtake first place in their divisions in this closing month:
Philadelphia Flyers Heating Up
The Flyers have given its loyal fans in Philadelphia perhaps the biggest scare imaginable this NHL season. Losing eight games in a row with the NHL Playoffs right around the corner.
However, the yin and yang going on in Philadelphia saw the team following its eight-game losing streak by going on an eight-game win streak.
What once looked like a team spiraling out of control has been reversed, and the team is now tied with the Washington Capitals at the top of the Metropolitan. Getting hot at the right time is not the only thing in need of celebration.
The team’s core is once again on track during the streak, with Flyer legend Claude Giroux scoring eight points, Jakub Voracek grabbing nine and Logan Couturier doing it all with five goals and five assists.
The Flyers’ defense has also been tremendous, with the team leading the NHL with 176 blocked shots and Shayne Gostisbehere racking up four assists in five games. A fearless group, as Robert Haag leads the NHL with 31 blocked shots, while Travis Sanheim is second with 26.
The 20-year-old goalie Carter Hart has been solid at the back as well, winning seven of the eight games with a 2.40 GAA and a .934 save percentage. He also leads the league with 241 saves.
The Mighty, Mighty Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche currently sit two points behind the reigning Stanley Cup champions the St Louis Blues, who are also on an eight-game win streak. However, the Avalanche represent the new era of the NHL: solid defense combined with goal scoring forwards who skate faster than lightning.
The team just picked up its first loss in eight games in an overtime defeat to Anaheim but have proclaimed that it is ever focused on winning the Central Division. Center Nathan McKinnon has been nearly flawless this season, and is a strong candidate for MVP, on pace to surpass 40 goals and 110 points.
Together with Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog the Avalanche have one of the most fearsome lines in the NHL. When those three are on the ice, they have outscored opponents 46-29 and have had more than 54 percent of the shot attempts.
The defense has also been exceptional and as the push for the Central Division and playoffs heats up, the Colorado Avalanche have another advantage: its schedule.
Most of the team’s remaining seventeen games will be played against teams in the Pacific Division, which has been arguably the most mediocre. In fact, the only difficult remaining games the team will play are against Vegas and Edmonton. Good for the Avalanche, bad for the Blues.