Of all the major sports leagues who came back in the midst of the pandemic, you have to say that the NHL was the one that handled the bubble the best. Last season’s playoffs were outstanding, as was the set-up that included play-in series. The NHL has been forced to adapt again for this season, going to a 56-game season and realigning the divisions in a way that has a lot of hockey fans excited. The divisions are all regional, including one that is home to all the Canadian teams. That also means that the playoff set-up is different, which is where things get really exciting. With no conferences this season, we could get a Stanley Cup Final featuring a pair of teams that would never meet otherwise. Let’s take a look at some potential matchups that would be great so you can start planning ahead your bets and place them against their Stanley Cup odds.
NHL Betting – Really Early 2021 Stanley Cup Possible Matchups
Boston Bruins Vs Montreal Canadiens
One of the complaints that came with the setup for this season was that some traditional rivalries would fall by the wayside. The Bruins and Canadiens are bitter rivals, but they will not meet in the regular season in 2021. While that is a bit of a blow for all hockey fans, imagine for a moment what it would be like if they met in the Stanley Cup Final, which is possible this season. The Bruins are among the favorites to win it all this season, and while the Canadiens are more of a dark horse, this is a series that is a definite possibility.
Colorado Avalanche Vs Edmonton Oilers
The format for this season is one that suits Canadian hockey fans, as we will definitely see a team in the Stanley Cup semi-final. The Edmonton Oilers will fancy their chances of going all the way, and I think a lot of us would love to see them face the Colorado Avalanche in the final. There are a lot of great young players in the NHL right now, but perhaps none better than Connor McDavid and Nathan McKinnon. How cool would it be to see those two go head to head in the Stanley Cup Final?
Toronto Maple Leafs Vs Pittsburgh Penguins
The Toronto Maple Leafs are something of a sleeping giant, and even if you aren’t a fan, it would be good for the league to have them competing with the best again. The bookies certainly believe they have a shot at rising to prominence this year, as Toronto are in as one of the favorites to win it all. There are a lot of potentially great matchups for the Leafs, but how about a series against arguably the best Canadian player of the past 10 years. Sidney Crosby has nothing left to prove, but it sure would be fun to see him face off against a Canadian team in the final.
Tampa Bay Lightning Vs Boston Bruins
If you took a poll among hockey fans asking who they believed the best team in the league to be, you can bet that the Lightning and the Bruins would get a ton of votes. This is another Stanley Cup Final matchup that simply wouldn’t happen under normal circumstances, but I think we can all agree that this would be a beauty. Of the potential games listed in this group, this is perhaps the one that is most likely to happen.