The NHL announced a return-to-play plan Tuesday that ended the regular season and placed 24 teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs:
According to Caesars Sportsbook, the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning are co-favorites to win it all at 6-1 odds, with the reigning champion Blues listed at 9-1 behind the Bruins, Lightning, Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights:
- Boston Bruins +600
- Tampa Bay Lightning +600
- Vegas Golden Knights +600
- Colorado Avalanche +800
- St. Louis Blues +900
- Washington Capitals +1100
- Philadelphia Flyers +1400
- Pittsburgh Penguins +1500
- Toronto Maple Leafs +2500
- Edmonton Oilers +3000
Full odds can be found at Caesars Sportsbook.
The Bruins and Lightning are the top- and second-seeded teams, respectively, in the Eastern Conference.
Boston made it to the Stanley Cup Final last year but fell in seven games to the St. Louis Blues.
The Lightning, meanwhile, recorded an all-time most 62 regular-season wins in 2019 before getting shockingly swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round. It marked the first time the team that won that season's Presidents' Trophy was swept in the first round, according to CBS Sports' Pete Blackburn.
The Bruins were a league-best 44-14-12 (100 points) and the Lightning were 43-21-6 (92 points) when the 2019-20 season was suspended March 12.
Teams eliminated from the playoffs are the Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks, according to ESPN.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said during a Tuesday videoconference with reporters that "it's conceivable" for the Stanley Cup tournament to begin by late July or the beginning of August.