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 Metropolitan Division and the odds of each team heading into the postseason.
Carolina Hurricanes (+1000)
54-20-8, 3.38 GF/GP, 2.44 GA/GP, L10: 8-2-0
The Hurricanes became one of the hottest teams in the league this year, sitting atop the Metropolitan Division. Inspiring performances from Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen elevated the team to a higher level. New arrivals in Tony DeAngelo and Frederik Andersen paid dividends, as both players had major turnaround seasons. Carolina won their last six games of the season, despite a rocky start to April and are coming in on a great note.
The Hurricanes didn’t do a whole lot at the trade deadline, but they didn’t need to. They acquired Max Domi for some additional scoring and sandpaper and completed one minor-league deal. Considering their standing in the playoffs, it was rather peculiar to see them remain as quiet as they were, and we’ll see how that pays off.
New York Rangers (+1600)
52-24-6, 3.05 GF/GP, 2.49 GA/GP, L10: 6-4-0
The Rangers’ chances at making some noise in this year’s postseason rely heavily on five players. They’ll hope for the scoring of Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, and Chris Kreider to continue carrying the majority of their offense. Adam Fox will need to continue doing Adam Fox things, and Rangers fans are holding their breath for Igor Shesterkin‘s regular-season success to translate into the playoffs. There’s a lot of hope in the Big Apple and many reasons why the hype surrounding them is real.
The Rangers made a heavy splash at the deadline to bolster the team’s secondary scoring. Arriving were Frank Vatrano, Andrew Copp, and Tyler Motte at forward and Justin Braun on the backend. They unloaded quite a lot of future assets to acquire these players and could be heading into the 2022 NHL Entry Draft with as few as three picks. It’s a major risk going all in, and they’ll have the Penguins to take on in the opening round.
Pittsburgh Penguins (+2000)
46-25-11, 3.28 GF/GP, 2.71 GA/GP, L10: 5-4-1
This may be the last year for the Penguins to take a full swing at the Stanley Cup. Major players are heading to free agency, including Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, and the band could get separated forever. Malkin was limited to 41 games but still managed a point-per-game pace, as did Jake Guentzel and captain Sidney Crosby.
The Penguins brought in Nathan Beaulieu to solidify their top-six rotation on defense, while Rickard Rakell was acquired for a hefty fee. He’s fit well in the lineup, registering 13 points in 19 games. The one notable absence is goaltender Tristan Jarry, who hasn’t played since April 14. He’ll likely miss the start of the playoffs, which means the team will have to count on the joint efforts of Louis Domingue and Casey DeSmith.
Washington Capitals (+3000)
44-26-12, 3.29 GF/GP, 2.95 GA/GP, L10: 4-4-2
Coming in with the highest return for your buck is the Capitals, who squeaked in with the lowest win percentage of the eight Eastern Conference teams. They’ll have a chip on their shoulder, as they may enter the first round without captain Alex Ovechkin. He was injured in the second-to-last game against the Toronto Maple Leafs and did not play the final game of the season. He’s considered day-to-day, but a banged-up Ovechkin isn’t what the Capitals had envisioned.
The Capitals have options between the pipes, with both Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov coming off seasons with 20-plus wins. They’re capable of carrying the team, and one can fill in if the other slips up. Re-acquiring Marcus Johansson is a nice addition to their top-nine lineup, and Johan Larsson has fit in well too. They have perhaps the toughest matchup going into the first round, taking on a Presidents’ Trophy-winning Florida Panthers, who have a fire lit under them after a 10-2 loss ended their regular season.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.
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