NHL Playoff Picture 2022: Wild-Card Hunt and Updated Stanley Cup OddsApril 17, 2022
NHL Playoff Picture 2022: Wild-Card Hunt and Updated Stanley Cup Odds
The Vegas Golden Knights made the playoffs in each of their first four seasons as an NHL franchise. If they are going to extend their postseason streak to five, they need to move up the standings. But they are quickly running out of time to do so.
On Saturday, Vegas lost 4-0 to the Edmonton Oilers and lost ground in the Western Conference playoff race, as the Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings were all victorious. The Golden Knights are now three points behind the Kings, who are the No. 8 seed in the West.
Three teams clinched postseason berths Saturday: the Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins. The Colorado Avalanche, meanwhile, secured the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and moved closer to their second consecutive Presidents' Cup.
As the regular season winds down, here's a look at the latest Stanley Cup odds, followed by the postseason pictures for both the Eastern and Western Conferences.
Latest Stanley Cup Odds
Colorado Avalanche: +350 (bet $100 to win $350)
Florida Panthers: +550
Toronto Maple Leafs: +900
Calgary Flames: +900
Tampa Bay Lightning: +1100
Carolina Hurricanes: +1200
New York Rangers: +1600
Minnesota Wild: +1600
Boston Bruins: +1600
Pittsburgh Penguins: +1600
Vegas Golden Knights: +2000
Edmonton Oilers: +2500
St. Louis Blues: +2500
Washington Capitals: +3000
Dallas Stars: +4000
Nashville Predators: +4500
Los Angeles Kings: +6000
Vancouver Canucks: +25000
New York Islanders: +50000
Winnipeg Jets: +50000
Eastern Conference Standings
1. x-Florida Panthers: 112 points
2. x-Toronto Maple Leafs: 104
3. x-Carolina Hurricanes: 104
4. x-New York Rangers: 104
5. x-Tampa Bay Lightning: 100
6. x-Boston Bruins: 97
7. x-Pittsburgh Penguins: 97
8. Washington Capitals: 94
9. New York Islanders: 79
10. e-Columbus Blue Jackets: 76
11. e-Detroit Red Wings: 68
12. e-Buffalo Sabres: 67
13. e-Ottawa Senators: 63
14. e-New Jersey Devils: 59
15. e-Philadelphia Flyers: 57
16. e-Montreal Canadiens: 51
x-clinched playoff berth.
e-eliminated from playoff contention.
Of the 16 teams in the Eastern Conference, 14 have either clinched playoff berths or been eliminated from contention. That leaves only two teams battling for one postseason spot, and there shouldn't be much drama over the next two weeks.
The Washington Capitals have a 15-point lead over the New York Islanders, and it likely won't be long before Washington clinches and knocks New York out of the running. The Caps can clinch if the Isles lose to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday or if they beat the Avalanche on Monday.
Washington has been on a roll of late, having won seven of its past 10 games. The Capitals have also tallied four or more goals in each of those victories, including their 8-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.
It's still possible that Washington could move up the standings. It's only three points back of Pittsburgh, which is in third place in the Metropolitan Division, and Boston, which is the other wild-card team.
The Bruins are only three points behind the Lightning for third place in the Atlantic Division. So it's also possible that Tampa Bay could drop down into a wild-card spot before the postseason arrives.
So there are plenty of seeding battles taking place in the East, and teams will want to move as far up the standings as possible. However, unless the Capitals have a huge collapse and allow the Islanders to somehow sneak in, the field is essentially set.
Western Conference Standings
1. z-Colorado Avalanche: 116 points
2. x-Calgary Flames: 101
3. x-St. Louis Blues: 100
4. Minnesota Wild: 99
5. Edmonton Oilers: 94
6. Nashville Predators: 91
7. Dallas Stars: 91
8. Los Angeles Kings: 90
9. Vegas Golden Knights: 87
10. Vancouver Canucks: 84
11. Winnipeg Jets: 81
12. e-Anaheim Ducks: 72
13. e-San Jose Sharks: 69
14. e-Chicago Blackhawks: 61
15. e-Seattle Kraken: 54
16. e-Arizona Coyotes: 49
z-clinched best record in conference.
x-clinched playoff berth.
e-eliminated from playoff contention.
Things are much more up in the air in the Western Conference considering there are eight teams battling for the final five postseason berths. However, the Minnesota Wild are close to clinching one of those spots. They can do that as soon as Sunday if they beat the San Jose Sharks at home.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets are getting closer to being eliminated from playoff contention. That's especially the case for Winnipeg, which is nine points back of Los Angeles for the No. 8 seed and has only six games to play.
The most interesting battle to watch involves the Golden Knights, who are three points behind the Kings for third place in the Pacific Division and four points back of the Predators and Stars, the two teams in wild-card spots in the West.
Vegas has lost three of its past five games and has six regular-season contests still to play. So while the Golden Knights can still get into the postseason, their margin for error is getting smaller, and they will need to have a strong finish.
"We've talked about this, we knew we weren't going to run the table, and we talked about two weeks ago, we were going to drop some points along the way, but we're still right in the thick of things," Vegas head coach Pete DeBoer said, per the Associated Press. "We have to have a short memory and get ready for the next one."
But if the Predators, Stars and Kings keep winning, there's nothing the Golden Knights will be able to do to get into the playoffs. They need one of those teams to lose enough games to fall out of a postseason position down the stretch, so it will be fascinating to see what happens.
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