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 Pacific Division and the odds of each team heading into the postseason.
Calgary Flames (+700)
50-21-11, 3.55 GF/GP, 2.51 GA/GP, L10: 6-2-2
The Flames became a dominant force in the Western Conference thanks to a change in mentality throughout the organization. With bench boss Darryl Sutter, accountability became the focus across the bench, and players took their roles seriously and with a sense of pride. Both Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau hit 100 points, and Elias Lindholm registered his first career point-per-game season. With a towering defense and an inspiring year from Jacob Markstrom, the Flames are set for a deep run.
The two major acquisitions were home runs by acquiring Tyler Toffoli from the Montreal Canadiens, and fetching Calle Jarnkrok out of Seattle helped build a deep top-nine rotation up front. Calgary hasn’t made it out of the second round since reaching the Final in 2004, but they’re one of the deepest teams in the league and could make an extended push to represent the Western Conference.
Edmonton Oilers (+1800)
49-27-6, 3.48 GF/GP, 3.06 GA/GP, L10: 7-2-1
Edmonton torched the month of April by going 11-2-1 and making sure the rest of the league took notice. While the usual suspects in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl drove the offense again, key additions in Zach Hyman and Evander Kane proved worth the price. Both have fit in wonderfully and give the Oilers a much deeper dynamic. Their 49 wins on their season are the highest since 1986-87 when Edmonton registered 50 wins en route to their third Stanley Cup in four seasons.
While they only made two deals at the trade deadline, the acquisitions were well-timed and made sense with their lineup structure. The arrival of Brett Kulak helps the top-six rotation on defense and brings some physicality, while Derrick Brassard is a capable bottom-six centre who can win important faceoffs in key moments. Since 2006, the Oilers have failed to get past the second round, missing the playoffs entirely in 12 of those 15 seasons. The Oilers underwent 12 coaching changes during that span, but the leadership exhibited by head coach Jay Woodcroft appears to be working well.
Los Angeles Kings (+5000)
44-27-11, 2.87 GF/GP, 2.83 GA/GP, L10: 6-3-1
Up there with the Dallas Stars, the Kings hold the highest odds of winning the Stanley Cup this year, and for many good reasons. Goaltender Jonathan Quick‘s best days were behind him, the core up front lacked inspiration, and the backend couldn’t be held up much longer by Drew Doughty alone. Then a resurgence occurred involving several young up-and-comers, along with key signings in Phillip Danault and Alexander Edler. Suddenly, the Kings were closer to their 2014 Stanley Cup form.
Establishing the year as a fortunate one, the Kings took the path of minimal additions at the deadline, acquiring Troy Stetcher from the Detroit Red Wings. They put full faith into the team that carried them into the postseason and kept their future assets intact. Whether they make it past the first round for the first time in eight years or fizzle out is beyond the point. The additional four games they’ll play, at the minimum, is gravy on top of a season that surprised many.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.
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