NHL Playoff Picture 2021: Latest Standings and Odds for Stanley Cup

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IMay 8, 2021

NHL Playoff Picture 2021: Latest Standings and Odds for Stanley Cup

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    Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

    With the 2020-21 NHL regular season nearing the end, the field for the Stanley Cup playoffs is taking shape. All four postseason berths have been clinched in both the East and West Divisions. And in the North and Central Divisions, there's only one available playoff spot in each.

    However, there are still important seeding battles that will be decided by the final games of the regular season. The only team that has clinched its division is the Carolina Hurricanes, who will be the top seed out of the Central Division.

    The most recent team to clinch a playoff spot was the St. Louis Blues, who secured the fourth berth out of the West Division on Friday night. Although the Blues have lost three of their past four games, they clinched their spot after the Los Angeles Kings lost to the Colorado Avalanche.

    As the postseason gets closer, here's a look at the standings, the latest Stanley Cup odds and more.

Current Standings

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    Peter Power/Associated Press

    East Division

    1. Pittsburgh Penguins (75 points, clinched playoff berth)

    2. Washington Capitals (73, clinched playoff berth)

    3. Boston Bruins (71, clinched playoff berth)

    4. New York Islanders (68, clinched playoff berth)

    5. New York Rangers (58, eliminated)

    6. Philadelphia Flyers (55, eliminated)

    7. New Jersey Devils (45, eliminated)

    8. Buffalo Sabres (37, eliminated)


    North Division

    1. Toronto Maple Leafs (74, clinched playoff berth)

    2. Edmonton Oilers (66, clinched playoff berth)

    3. Winnipeg Jets (59, clinched playoff berth)

    4. Montreal Canadiens (57)

    5. Calgary Flames (47)

    6. Ottawa Senators (47, eliminated)

    7. Vancouver Canucks (43)


    Central Division

    1. Carolina Hurricanes (80, clinched division)

    2. Tampa Bay Lightning (75, clinched playoff berth)

    3. Florida Panthers (75, clinched playoff berth)

    4. Nashville Predators (60)

    5. Dallas Stars (58)

    6. Chicago Blackhawks (52, eliminated)

    7. Detroit Red Wings (47, eliminated)

    8. Columbus Blue Jackets (46, eliminated)


    West Division

    1. Vegas Golden Knights (78, clinched playoff berth)

    2. Colorado Avalanche (74, clinched playoff berth)

    3. Minnesota Wild (73, clinched playoff berth)

    4. St. Louis Blues (57, clinched playoff berth)

    5. Arizona Coyotes (52, eliminated)

    6. Los Angeles Kings (48, eliminated)

    7. San Jose Sharks (48, eliminated)

    8. Anaheim Ducks (42, eliminated)

Latest Stanley Cup Odds

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Colorado Avalanche: +450 (bet $100 to win $450)

    Vegas Golden Knights: +550

    Toronto Maple Leafs: +650

    Tampa Bay Lightning: +700

    Carolina Hurricanes: +900

    Boston Bruins: +1300

    Washington Capitals: +1300

    Pittsburgh Penguins: +1400

    New York Islanders: +1500

    Edmonton Oilers: +2000

    Florida Panthers: +2000

    Minnesota Wild: +2200

    Montreal Canadiens: +2400

    St. Louis Blues: +2400

    Winnipeg Jets: +2400

    Nashville Predators: +2800

    Dallas Stars: +4400

    Calgary Flames: +25000

    Vancouver Canucks: +25000

    Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.

3 Division Titles Still Up for Grabs

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Teams that finish first in their respective divisions will have home-ice advantage through the first two rounds of the playoffs. However, the Hurricanes are the only team that have secured that.

    In the East, the Pittsburgh Penguins have a two-point lead over the Washington Capitals for first place, although they have one less game to play. However, Pittsburgh could clinch the division title if it beats the Buffalo Sabres in regulation on Saturday and Washington doesn't beat the Philadelphia Eagles in regulation.

    The Toronto Maple Leafs have an eight-point lead over the Edmonton Oilers for first place in the North Division. Toronto will clinch the division title with one more point or one Edmonton loss.

    It's still possible that the Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche or Minnesota Wild could finish first in the West Division, although Minnesota is close to being eliminated from contention for that spot. However, Colorado is only four points back of Vegas and has played one less game, so it still has time to ascend to the top of the division.

    All four divisions still have seeding battles occurring, so many teams that have clinched playoff berths still have reasons to play hard to close out the regular season.

Predators, Stars Still Battling for Final Berth in Central

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    On Friday, the Dallas Stars remained alive in the battle for the final playoff berth in the Central Division by defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-2. However, Dallas is going to need help to get back to the postseason after reaching the Stanley Cup Final last year.

    The Nashville Predators have a two-point advantage over the Stars, and each team has two regular-season games still to play. Nashville has a pair of home matchups against Carolina on Saturday and Monday, while Dallas has road games against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday and Monday.

    But the Predators may have already clinched their playoff spot and eliminated the Stars before Dallas next takes the ice. If Nashville beats Carolina on Saturday, it will secure a postseason berth for the seventh consecutive year.

    "This time of year, like playoffs," Predators coach John Hynes recently said per Will Backus of the Nashville Tennessean. "I think the most important thing, obviously, is you have to find ways to win."

    And Nashville only needs one more win to extend its playoff streak.

Canadiens Close to Clinching Spot in Playoffs

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    Larry MacDougal/Associated Press

    It would take a huge collapse for the Montreal Canadiens to be kept out of the postseason. And it's possible they could clinch their spot in the playoffs as soon as Saturday.

    If Montreal beats Toronto and the Vancouver Canucks lose to Edmonton, then the Canadiens will be heading to the postseason for the second year in a row. They will also clinch Saturday if they lose in overtime or a shootout and the Canucks lose in regulation.

    Vancouver is 14 points behind Montreal for the No. 4 seed in the North, but it's played five fewer games, as the Canucks' COVID-19 outbreak earlier in the season caused them to have a long break without playing. The Calgary Flames, who are 10 points behind Montreal, are also still mathematically in the postseason hunt, but it's unlikely they will get into the playoffs.

    The Habs had won four of five games before losing their past two. But as long as they can finish strong, they should be heading back to the postseason.