We are now just one week away from the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with the puck dropping on Tuesday, April 9. While there are still playoffs spots to be won and opening round match-ups to be determined, it’s not too early to start looking ahead at how things might play out. In this piece, I am going to boldly predict the winner of each conference, the betting favorites to win the Stanley Cup, and the player that will walk away with the playoff MVP. It’s a lot to cover and it may all come back to haunt me, but let’s get right to the predictions.
Bold 2019 NHL Playoffs Betting Predictions
Eastern Conference Winner
It would be easy to simply pick the Tampa Bay Lightning and move on to the Western Conference, but I am not so sure that would be a good idea. Yes, the Lightning have been far and away the most impressive team in the league this season, but things tend to change dramatically once the playoffs roll around. This team has all the tools required to win a championship, but they also have history working against them, with only 8 teams ever winning the President’s Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same season. I do think they will make it to the Eastern Conference Final, but I think they will fall to the Boston Bruins once they get there.</p.
Boston Bruins to win the Eastern Conference.
Western Conference Winner
Again, we have a rather clear favorite showing up here, with the Calgary Flames in as the bookies pick to win the West. This is a team that spreads the scoring very nicely, which means that they won’t be relying on one or two guys to carry the team. There are some question marks in net, but the Flames score enough to overcome those deficiencies. I think that the Nashville Predators might well be the team that emerges to challenge the Flames in the West, but at the end of the day, Calgary has the firepower to take out any team they face.
Calgary Flames to win the Western Conference.
Stanley Cup Final Winner
If my crystal ball is working correctly, then we are looking at the Boston Bruins and the Calgary Flames squaring off in the Stanley Cup Final, which would be a fantastic match-up.
These two teams split their regular season series in a pair of high-scoring games. It was the home team that came out on top each time, which is an important factor here, I believe. The Flames would have, courtesy of their better regular season record, home ice advantage in the Final, which might be enough to take them over the top versus the Bruins.
Calgary Flames to win the Stanley Cup in 6 games.
Stanley Cup MVP
We very often see a goaltender help a team go on a great run to the final, but I think we are looking elsewhere this time around. I think we have a couple of different options here, with both players on the Flames Roster, Mark Giordano is a beast on D for Calgary. He can score and also currently at the top of +/- standings. That said, it is Johnny Gaudreau that makes this team tick. He still has a shot at hitting 100 points this season and I think he will carry that over into the playoffs, earning himself the MVP in the process.