The Stanley Cup Playoffs are set to begin on May 2 with Game 1 of four series, two from each conference. This betting guide will offer some insight into the Atlantic Division and the odds of each team heading into the postseason.
Florida Panthers (+550)
58-18-6, 4.11 GF/GP, 2.95 GA/GP, L10: 7-3-0
The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers made the wise choice of resting some of their top players ahead of the postseason. In doing so, they were blown out by the Montreal Canadiens in the final game of the season, but that’s now in the past. Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Sam Bennett will all be fresh for Game 1 against the Capitals, and being the only team to average over four goals per game should continue.
Florida was among the most active teams leading up to the trade deadline, pulling off five deals. They were the big winners in the Claude Giroux sweepstakes and paid a big price to bring in defenseman Ben Chiarot. The sacrifice was a bunch of draft picks, including their 1st and 2nd in 2022, along with Owen Tippett. It’s Florida’s year to do some damage, and they hold the second-lowest return in odds, behind the Colorado Avalanche.
Toronto Maple Leafs (+1000)
55-21-7, 3.80 GF/GP, 3.07 GA/GP, L10: 7-2-1
The first-round curse has plagued the Maple Leafs for 16 years, and it’s still fresh in the minds of many of their stars. Auston Matthews is coming off a brilliant 60-goal season and hopes a repeat of last postseason isn’t on the menu. Both Matthews and Mitch Marner finished top-10 in scoring for the second consecutive year, but the big question is in the crease. Jack Campbell is coming off a rib injury and stumbled last postseason, while Petr Mrazek is unreliable and Erik Kallgren is unproven.
To make matters worse, they’re up against the Lightning, who have Andrei Vasilevskiy to lean on. The Leafs acquired Mark Giordano for some help on the backend and the power play, while Colin Blackwell brings grit to the bottom six. They have all the tools at their disposal, so Toronto needs to figure it out between the ears and hopes to rise from previous years’ shortcomings.
Tampa Bay Lightning (+1100)
51-23-8, 3.48 GF/GP, 2.78 GA/GP, L10: 7-3-0
The defending, back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Lightning look to add to Toronto’s misery on their journey to a three-peat this spring. Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov both put on wonderful displays of offensive outburst this year, and Victor Hedman was exactly who he has been his entire career. The team is poised to go far once again this year, but their road to the Stanley Cup isn’t as easy as it may seem.
The Lightning once again brought in some bottom-six help, hoping the likes of Nicholas Paul and Riley Nash can mimic the contributions of last year’s additions. Vasilevskiy is a dangerous beast come the postseason, but he’s tasked with stopping Matthews, Marner, and William Nylander. It won’t be easy, but the Lightning are more than capable of handling the heat.
Boston Bruins (+1600)
51-26-5, 3.09 GF/GP, 2.66 GA/GP, L10: 6-4-0
The Bruins were one of six Eastern Conference teams to reach the 50-win mark this year, and they did so without the services of long-time Bruin Tuukka Rask. They’ll once again rely on the offensive output of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak, while Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark will wait to see who gets the nod. The Bruins are an interesting watch, and their odds are intriguing to look into.
The Bruins were big winners at the deadline, bringing in defenseman Hampus Lindholm to help solidify their top-six rotation. The package they sent to the Anaheim Ducks was a lofty price to pay, but getting him under contract for eight more years helps alleviate some of the pain. With Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and Matt Grzelcyk in the lineup, along with Lindholm, the Bruins’ defense can punish teams and move the puck efficiently. Don’t count them out of it too quickly; Boston has the potential to surprise teams.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.
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