NHL Playoff Picture 2022: Latest Stanley Cup Bracket, Odds and Picks

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 18, 2022

NHL Playoff Picture 2022: Latest Stanley Cup Bracket, Odds and Picks

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    Four spots in the NHL postseason are up for grabs over the next two weeks.

    Each of those positions is in the Western Conference, where the second and third spots in the Pacific Division and the two wild-card berths have not been decided.

    Five teams still have a chance to lock up the final two playoff spots in the West. The Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators are the front-runners to land those positions, with both franchises having 91 points going into Monday.

    The Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks might have better luck chasing down the Los Angeles Kings for the third position in the Pacific Division. Vegas is three points back of the Kings, while the Canucks are six points adrift with two games in hand. Those are smaller deficits compared to the gap between them and Nashville for the last wild-card spot.

    The eight-team Eastern Conference playoff field is locked in. The only question left to answer relates to seeding. The Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals are both three points behind third place in their respective divisions, and they could drop the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins into the wild-card spots if results go in their favor.

Stanley Cup Odds

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    Colorado: +350 (bet $100 to win $350)

    Florida: +550

    Toronto: +900

    Calgary: +900

    Tampa Bay: +1100

    Carolina: +1200

    New York Rangers: +1600

    Minnesota: +1600

    Boston: +1600

    Pittsburgh: +1600

    Vegas: +2000

    St. Louis: +2500

    Edmonton: +2500

    Washington: +3000

    Dallas: +4000

    Nashville: +4500

    Los Angeles: +6000

    Vancouver: +25000

    Winnipeg: +30000


    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook. 

Eastern Conference

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    Chris Seward/Associated Press

    Current Bracket

    Atlantic Division

    No. 1 Florida vs. Wild-Card No. 2 Washington

    No. 2 Toronto vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay


    Metropolitan Division

    No. 1 Carolina vs. Wild-Card No. 1 Boston

    No. 2 New York Rangers vs. No. 3 Pittsburgh


    The eight teams in the Eastern Conference playoff bracket are confirmed, but the seeding order and matchups are far from finalized.

    The Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers enter the week level on 104 points at the top of the Metropolitan Division. Carolina plays four of its final six games on the road, but it has a fairly easy schedule that includes two clashes against the New Jersey Devils and one with the league-worst Arizona Coyotes.

    Carolina and New York meet one more time April 26. The Rangers need a near-perfect record in the buildup to that contest because of the Canes' easier schedule.

    The top team in the Metropolitan will face the first wild-card team. The Florida Panthers have a 10-point gap on the No. 1 overall seed in the East, which comes with a first-round matchup against the second-best wild-card team.

    Boston and Washington can still avoid a showdown with the Panthers by making up ground in the hunt for third place in their respective divisions.

    Washington's fight to land that spot is more realistic because it has two games in hand on the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Caps need to win two of their next three games—against the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas and Arizona—to be in great shape going into the final week of the regular season.

    The Capitals could at least overtake Boston at the top of the wild-card standings because the Bruins will have faced St. Louis, Pittsburgh and the Rangers by Saturday evening.



    Florida vs. Boston

    Toronto vs. Tampa Bay

    Carolina vs. Washington

    New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh

Western Conference

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    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    Current Bracket

    Central Division

    No. 1 Colorado vs. Wild-Card No. 2 Nashville

    No. 2 St. Louis vs. No. 3 Minnesota


    Pacific Division

    No. 1 Calgary vs. Wild-Card No. 1 Dallas

    No. 2 Edmonton vs. No. 3 Los Angeles


    All eyes are on the Pacific Division when it comes to the Western Conference playoff race.

    The Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks are closer to the third-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division than the Nashville Predators in the second wild-card spot. Los Angeles needs to preserve its spot in the Pacific in order to avoid dropping out of the postseason.

    The good news for the Kings is they have one of the easiest finishes in the NHL. Their next four games come against teams outside of the playoff spots in the West. The regular-season finale between Los Angeles and Vancouver might mean nothing because the Kings can wrap up a playoff spot before then.

    Vegas and Vancouver need to root for the Anaheim Ducks to upset the Kings twice in the next week to narrow the gap going into the final week of the regular season. Vegas plays the New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals and San Jose Sharks at home before Sunday is out. The Golden Knights need to sweep their remaining home games to be in the conversation going into the final week of the regular season.

    Vancouver's saving grace is its two games in hand on the Kings and one on the Golden Knights. The Canucks need to go 4-0 in the next week to be in a great position to land a playoff spot. But one loss could damage the Canucks' chances, especially if it comes Monday at home to the Dallas Stars. Vancouver also plays the Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames this week.

    A Dallas win over Vancouver would be a massive help to the Stars' hopes of clinching a wild-card spot. As would a Nashville victory over Calgary on Tuesday.

    Dallas and Nashville are in solid shape because of their four-point edges over Vegas. They need to finish the job over the next few games to avoid a pressure-packed final contest.



    Colorado vs. Nashville

    St. Louis vs. Minnesota

    Calgary vs. Dallas

    Edmonton vs. Los Angeles


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