The playoffs in any sport are great, but I am of the belief that they don’t get much better than the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The speed of play goes up a notch, as does the intensity and hitting. It’s hard to believe that these guys have anything left in the tank after a grueling 82-game season, but they all seem to find reserves of untapped energy to take on the ice. Only the strongest survive, so who will be left standing when all is said and done? Let’s take a closer look at the odds to win the Stanley Cup while making some predictions.
Updated 2019 Stanley Cup Odds & Expert Prediction
There are still some spots to be decided in the Eastern Conference, but what we already know is that the Tampa Bay Lightning (+185) will be going in as the #1 seed. They have been the class of the NHL this season, racking up a staggering 124 points on their way to the President’s Trophy. They are the obvious favorite to win it all, but let’s not forget that there have only been 8 instances where the team with the best regular season record went on to win the Stanley Cup.
If the Lightning does not conquer the East, who is the team most likely to take them down? You need to look at the Washington Capitals (+1200) as being a likely candidate. They are, after all, the defending champions, and while they have struggled at times in the playoffs, they go that monkey off their back last season. The Boston Bruins (+1000) are another team that should certainly be on your radar. Alongside the Lightning and the Capitals, they are the only other team in the East to have eclipsed 100 points.
If you are looking for a dark horse in this conference, why not take a look at the Pittsburgh Penguins (+1700)? They have a ton of playoff experience and can hang with anyone in a 7-game series.
I am taking the Boston Bruins to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Final.
There is still a little bit of a battle going on in the Western Conference for the two Wild Card spots, which is a battle that will likely go all the way to the final game of the season. It will be the Calgary Flames (+700) who will be the #1 seed in the West, and while they have had a great year, there are still some question marks with their goaltending. Given how this team has spread out the scoring this year, they have threats on all four lines.
A couple of weeks ago, I might have pegged the San Jose Sharks (+1400) as the biggest threat to the Flames, but they have been poor of late. It’s tough to go into the playoffs on a poor run of form and hope to turn it back on. The Winnipeg Jets (+1400) would appear to be the next logical pick, especially if they can hold on and win the Central Division, giving themselves a better seeding.
As for a dark horse pick in the West, I am looking at the Nashville Predators (+1400), as they are always defensively sound, which is always a bonus in the postseason.
I am taking the Calgary Flames to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Final.
Last 10 Stanley Cup Champions
- 2018: Washington Capitals
- 2017: Pittsburgh Penguins
- 2016: Pittsburgh Penguins
- 2015: Chicago Blackhawks
- 2014: Los Angeles Kings
- 2013: Chicago Blackhawks
- 2012: Los Angeles Kings
- 2011: Boston Bruins
- 2010: Chicago Blackhawks
- 2009: Pittsburgh Penguins