NHL Playoff Power Rankings and Conference Betting Odds
As with everything these days, the NHL 2020 playoffs are going to be unlike anything we have seen before.
Following a four-month pause, 24 teams have gathered for a two-week training camp. Exhibition games will be played July 28-30 and playoff qualifying series begin on August 1. Determining how the layoff will affect various players makes setting playoff power rankings challenging. Eastern and Western Conference championship futures odds give bettors some insight on which teams are the top contenders.
Eastern Conference Power Ranking Favorites
1) Boston Bruins +300
Putting the 2019 Stanley Cup Final loss to St. Louis behind them, Boston (44-14-12) won the regular season Presidents’ Trophy with 100 points. The Bruins were first with 2.49 GPG allowed on defense and 11th with 3.24 GPG on offense. Boston posted a solid 22-4-9 record at home but will never have home ice advantage as playoff games are played in Toronto and Edmonton. Led by David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron up front, plus Tuukka Rask in goal, the Bruins are loaded with skill and experience.
2) Tampa Bay Lightning +300
Tampa Bay was streaky out of the starting gate and had a 17-13-4 record after the first 34 games. The Lightning went on a roll after that as they posted a 23-2-1 record over the next 26 contests. Tampa Bay was 3-6-1 prior to the pause and tied Colorado in third place overall. The Bolts led the NHL with 245 goals on offense and ranked ninth with 195 goals allowed on defense. Bettors are advised to keep an eye on Steven Stamkos as he is dealing with a lower-body injury suffered early in summer training camp.
3) Philadelphia Flyers +500
Philadelphia is the fourth seed in the East and was one of the most improved teams in the NHL this season. The Flyers posted a 37-37-8 record over 82 games last year and improved to 41-21-7 while playing just 69 games this season. Philadelphia finished second in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind Washington, and went on a 9-1-0 run prior the season being paused. The Flyers are another team that loses a home ice edge as they were a league best 25-6-4 at home but dipped to 16-15-3 on the road.
Eastern Conference Round Robin Seeding
1. Boston Bruins: 44-14-12 (.714)
2. Tampa Bay Lightning: 43-21-6 (.657)
3. Washington Capitals: 41-20-8 (.652)
4. Philadelphia Flyers: 41-21-7 (.645)
Qualifying Round Series Seeding
5. Pittsburgh Penguins: 40-23-6 (.623)
6. Carolina Hurricanes: 38-25-5 (.596)
7. New York Islanders: 35-23-10 (.588)
8. Toronto Maple Leafs: 36-25-9 (.579)
9. Columbus Blue Jackets: 33-22-15 (.579)
10. Florida Panthers: 35-26-8 (.565)
11. New York Rangers: 37-28-5 (.564)
12. Montreal Canadiens: 31-31-9 (.500)
Western Conference Power Ranking Favorites
1) Colorado Avalanche +325
Colorado tops the Western Conference power rankings as a slight favorite over Vegas and St. Louis. The Avalanche (42-20-8) finished second, two points behind the Blues, and their +46 GF/GA differential was the best mark in the West. The break helped Colorado as they were dealing with multiple injuries when the season was paused. The time off has helped key players like Nathan McKinnon and Philipp Grubauer. Despite the injuries, Colorado was playing at a high level and will play even better at full health.
2) Vegas Golden Knights +350
The beat goes in Las Vegas as the Golden Knights are back in the playoffs for a third straight season. Vegas (39-24-8) finished third overall in the West and were three points clear of Edmonton for top spot in the Pacific Division. The Golden Knights posted 23 regular season wins against Western Conference teams. That was the third highest total behind St. Louis (29) and Winnipeg (24). Vegas was playing well prior to the pause as they finished the regular season with a solid 11-2-0 record over the final 13 games.
3) St. Louis Blues +450
Defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis (42-19-10) finished second overall, six points behind Boston, during the regular season. The Blues won the Western Conference, by two points over Colorado, and head into the playoffs as the No.1 seed in the West. It was a rollercoaster style season for St. Louis as they had six streaks of three or more consecutive losses and six streaks of at least three straight victories. The Blues played well in Western Conference contests as they had a 29-11-6 record against teams in the West.
Western Conference Round Robin Seeding
1. St. Louis Blues; 42-19-10 (.662)
2. Colorado Avalanche: 42-20-8 (.657)
3. Vegas Golden Knights; 39-24-8 (.606)
4. Dallas Stars: 37-24-8 (.594)
Qualifying Round Seeding
5. Edmonton Oilers: 37-25-9 (.585)
6. Nashville Predators: 35-26-8 (.565)
7. Vancouver Canucks: 36-27-6 (.565)
8. Calgary Flames: 36-27-7 (.564)
9. Winnipeg Jets: 37-28-6 (.563)
10. Minnesota Wild: 35-27-7 (.558)
11. Arizona Coyotes: 33-29-8 (.529)
12. Chicago Blackhawks: 32-30-8 (.514)