The Stanley Cup playoffs have been exciting so far, and the conference final games should not disappoint, either. There is still one game remaining in the second round between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers before the conference finals teams are set.
Let's take a look at the remaining teams' odds of winning the Stanley Cup. Odds via Bovada.
Los Angeles Kings—2/1
The Kings have been pronounced the favorites heading into the conference finals, and there is no reason to disagree with that. Los Angeles has been a hot spot for sports this season, but no team has been hotter than the Kings.
Goalie Jonathan Quick has been a star and has lifted the Kings to Stanley Cup-contender status. A hot goalie is the most important element in playoff hockey, and no one has been better than Quick.
Expect his performance to stay on the same level, as he will now face the Phoenix Coyotes for a shot to reach the finals.
New Jersey Devils—10/3
The New Jersey Devils were not expected to do much this postseason. Now, they are in the Eastern Conference finals.
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They faced the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round, and after the hot start the Flyers got off to in Round 1 and early against the Devils, hope seemed slim for New Jersey.
After a devastating overtime loss, the Devils bounced back to beat the Flyers in five games.
Martin Brodeur has returned to his old self this postseason and has been very impressive at the age of 40. Ilya Kovalchuk has been leading the Devils offensively, and the winner of the Rangers-Capitals game will have a hard time controlling him when the Devils get in their zone.
The Coyotes played excellently against the Nashville Predators, as the series wasn't even close. The Coyotes look like the best defensive team in the playoffs so far; they create great pressure on the glass and clear the puck out of the zone quickly.
Nashville had a hard time finding the net, and the same will be said for the Kings. The matchup between these two teams should be low-scoring throughout, and I expect there to be even more overtime games.
If the Phoenix offense can match the defense, the Coyotes will have a good chance to reach the finals and contend for the Stanley Cup.
New York Rangers—4/1
The Rangers were the No. 1 seed heading into this postseason, and New Yorkers had high hopes of ending their mini Stanley Cup drought.
They have played well so far and barely escaped the Capitals in Game 5, winning in overtime. The Rangers' good fortune should carry them into Game 7, where they will pull off the series-clinching victory at home.
Take the odds of the Rangers now, before Game 7, because they will most likely be the favorites against the Devils if they get past the Capitals, thus lowering their odds even more.
The Capitals have been questioned for putting their star player, Alexander Ovechkin, on the bench more this postseason. The move can't be questioned, though, as they have been able to push the Rangers to Game 7.
Ovechkin is still a major presence on the ice and the biggest X-factor heading into this final game of the series. If the Capitals get past the Rangers, they will have a difficult time getting past the Devils and an even harder time beating either the Kings or the Coyotes.
Their odds are slim, but with the NHL playoffs being unpredictable, don't count out the Capitals.