NHL Playoff Standings 2021: Latest Stanley Cup Title Odds Ahead of PostseasonApril 16, 2021
The Colorado Avalanche are in the best position to win the Stanley Cup since the last time they hoisted the trophy in 2001.
The West Division leader built a dynamic offense around a superstar in Nathan MacKinnon, and it got deeper in net with the recent acquisition of Devan Dubnyk.
Colorado enters Friday with four more points than five other franchises and as the established betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup.
There is a bit of a gap between Colorado and the Tampa Bay Lightning, but there is a chance the two favorites square off before the championship round because of the new postseason format.
The top four teams from each division will qualify for the playoffs, and one will emerge as a league semifinalist. At that point, the final four teams will be reseeded by regular-season point total.
With six teams at, or over, the 60-point threshold, the postseason reseeding could go in any direction.
Stanley Cup Odds
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Colorado (+350; bet $100 to win $350)
Tampa Bay (+600)
New York Islanders (+1300)
Colorado boasts so many title-worthy qualities.
The Avalanche have a top scorer in MacKinnon who can take over games by himself. He leads the team with 53 points from 17 goals and 36 assists.
Colorado surrounded him with a high-volume scorer in Mikko Rantanen (26 goals) and depth at every position that has led to 10 players having 20 or more points through 43 games.
The Avs have stars on the blue line in Samuel Girard and Cale Makar, who have combined for 62 points and a plus-minus of 36.
The addition of Dubnyk to the goalie room should help the Avalanche in completing their run at the best record in the NHL and the Stanley Cup.
Starting goalie Philipp Grubauer will be out for at least two weeks because of COVID-19 protocols. Luckily for the Avs, they just acquired the 34-year-old Dubnyk to provide quality behind Grubauer on the depth chart.
In 26 postseason games, Dubnyk has a 2.72 goals against average from his time with the Minnesota Wild. Grubauer owns a 2.44 GAA over 23 playoff contests.
The Avalanche already have the NHL's best goal differential of 53. If they hold opponents under three goals in the postseason, they may carve out an easy path to the final four and Stanley Cup Final.
The Vegas Golden Knights have the most comparable goal differential and points percentage numbers to the Avs, but only one of them can advance to the league semifinals.
Vegas carries the best betting value of the two West division contenders at +800, and it may be worth a wager since it has the more recent Stanley Cup Final appearance.
Colorado and Vegas split their six regular-season meetings and play two more times on April 26 and 28. If Vegas wins both games, its championship odds may drop a bit, so now might be the best time to take it.
If you are looking for a team that could match Colorado's scoring output, the Washington Capitals are the best choice.
Washington is tied with Colorado for the league lead with 154 goals, has Stanley Cup winning experience from 2018 and just got stronger with the acquisition of Anthony Mantha.
The Capitals will face difficult matchups in the East division playoffs, but they could be better equipped to win multiple series since they have a better road mark than anyone in their division.
Edmonton could be the best betting dark horse at +2000. The Oilers are 7-7 against the two best teams in the North division and possess the most dynamic scoring duo in hockey in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
McDavid and Draisaitl combined for 45 goals and 130 points in 42 games, and they should enter the postseason with a decent amount of momentum.
The Oilers played all of their regular-season games with Toronto and have their last two with Winnipeg at the end of April.
If Edmonton closes strong against the weaker teams in the North division, it could be a force in the postseason.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from Hockey Reference.
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