2022 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Updated Odds for All 16 Teams
It's the most wonderful time of the year.
For diehard fans in exactly half of the NHL's 32 cities, that is.
With Sunday's end to the 2021-22 regular season comes the arrival of a titillating two-month odyssey that'll feature scruffy faces, late-night overtimes and unlikely heroes before finally winding to an end sometime in late June after a team wins its 16th game and is rewarded with a career-defining hoist.
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the playoffs.
Now that the postseason field is set, it's high time for the B/R hockey staff to take a look at the updated odds for all 16 teams who'll begin their quest for the Stanley Cup next week across eight first-round series.
Can the Tampa Bay Lightning become the first team in 39 years to win three straight titles? Will the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers parlay their season-long stays at the top of the overall standings into deep playoff runs? And which team will emerge from out of the pack to create an unexpected springtime stir?
Scroll through to see where the good folks at DraftKings are setting the numbers and how our puck heads are viewing the field as it prepares for the opening face-offs. And as always, we encourage you to drop a hot take or two of your own in the comments section.
Nos. 16-13: Kings, Stars, Predators, Capitals
16. Los Angeles Kings (+6000, bet $100 to win $6,000)
The Kings don't quite have the lowest point total of the 16-team field, but they don't seem out of place as the longest shot in the race. Not because they're not good, but instead because they're not yet as good as they will be. A jump from 25th overall to the playoffs in one season is probably good enough for right now.
15. Dallas Stars (+4500)
The Stars won the free-for-all that came with a wild-card ticket to the Western Conference playoff party, which will take place without Vegas for the first time. Still, Dallas has a daunting task simply to score enough to compete evenly in the first round, thanks to an offense that was 21st in the league through Wednesday.
14. Nashville Predators (+4500)
The Predators are a pretty reliable commodity when it comes to reaching the playoffs—having kept alive the second-longest active streak in the league—but they've not gotten past the first round since 2018 and have won multiple series just once in 14 overall appearances. Neither of those footnotes appears likely to change.
13. Washington Capitals (+3000)
The Caps have Alex Ovechkin and a few others from a Cup run in 2018. And they were a 100-point team this season, so a prolonged stretch of success here isn't preposterous. They were 1-1-1 in three games with first-round foe Florida and the league's best road team (25-8-6) too, so if they steal a game, who knows?
Nos. 12-9: Blues, Oilers, Penguins, Wild
12. St. Louis Blues (+2000)
It'd be hard to blame a team for being a bit concerned about meeting the Blues. St. Louis was tied for the league's fourth-best point total (52) from January 1 through Wednesday's games, and the roster is dotted with guys who won a Cup in 2019. If the goaltending holds up, they're bound to be a tough out.
11. Edmonton Oilers (+1800)
Think there's tension in your hockey town? Try Edmonton. The Oilers have two Hart and Art Ross trophy winners but haven't won a series since 2017. They're arriving this year among the league's best since the arrival of coach Jay Woodcroft in early February, but it's going to take a series win or two to satisfy the fans.
10. Pittsburgh Penguins (+1800)
There were times during the season where this price for the Penguins would have been an instant pick, but they were 9-10-2 from March 15 through Wednesday, and a first-round date with the New York Rangers—against whom they were 1-3 with a minus-seven goal differential—doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence.
9. Minnesota Wild (+1600)
The Wild are a prime candidate to make a deep dark-horse run. Only four teams had won more games (51) through Wednesday, and none were any better than the 8-1-1 mark Minnesota has posted over its last 10 games. How far they advance will determine how the deadline deal for Marc-Andre Fleury is judged.
Nos. 8-5: Bruins, Rangers, Hurricanes, Lightning
8. Boston Bruins (+1600)
Window open? Window closed? The Bruins have leaned in both directions at various points in 2021-22, thanks to streaky play, injuries and the sudden retirement of veteran stalwart Tuukka Rask. Can the tandem of Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark get them past Carolina and into the second round? We'll soon see.
7. New York Rangers (+1600)
The Rangers are an interesting proposition, perhaps a year sooner than expected. Goaltending has been top-notch all season, and it'll certainly be a factor in how long they last. Still, they seem to be at a point where either a deep playoff run or a first-round exit against a veteran Pittsburgh club can legitimately be forecast.
6. Carolina Hurricanes (+1200)
The Hurricanes, along with the Colorado Avalanche, had won the most games in regulation (46) through Wednesday's play, and they've been atop the Metropolitan Division all season. So are they good enough to win a Cup? Certainly. But recent goaltending injuries may torpedo things before they get started.
5. Tampa Bay Lightning (+1100)
If you're hunting for a wagering bargain, getting a two-time defending champion at four-digit-plus money might be it. The Lightning were 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and had won four straight through Wednesday, so an argument can be made that they're revving into form. The Eastern gauntlet, though, is daunting.
Nos. 4-1: Maple Leafs, Flames, Panthers, Avalanche
4. Toronto Maple Leafs (+900)
OK, southern Ontario, take a deep breath. The Maple Leafs have a generations-long history of failure at this time of year. But they've also never reached the playoffs with 50-plus wins while boasting a top line featuring a 60-goal scorer and a goalie who's among the league leaders in shutouts. It could happen. Honest.
3. Calgary Flames (+800)
Take a bow if you saw this coming. The Flames were 20th overall and fifth in an eight-team division last season. This season, they've owned the Pacific Division since around the midway point and arrive to the playoffs on a big-time roll. A potential second-round duel with Edmonton could be a throwback epic.
2. Florida Panthers (+550)
By now, everyone knows the numbers. Only six postseason berths in 24 seasons and nary a series victory since Bill Clinton's first term in the White House. A championship would be a wonderful way to cap a return to relevance, but even a couple of series wins would likely satisfy the metropolitan Miami faithful.
1. Colorado Avalanche (+350)
If it feels like we've been here before, it's only because we have. The Avalanche were last season's best team before getting bounced in the second round. Considering their depth of talent and pre-playoff prowess, anything less than a playoff-ending skate with the Cup will be considered a failure.
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