Breaking Down NHL Odds to Win Eastern Conference with Power Rankings

David Lawrence

Monday, March 2, 2015 8:05 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 2, 2015 8:05 PM GMT

Join this handicapper as he analyzes the best NHL odds to win the Eastern Conference using power rankings for four different teams in the East: Canadiens, Bruins, Islanders & Lightning.

1. Montreal Canadiens: 
NHL Odds To Win Eastern Conference: +500
There’s no arguing with the Canadiens right now because Carey Price is having the best season of his career. And when you have the league’s best goaltender, there’s a really good shot you’re going to win the Stanley Cup. Price was the second star of the month in February, going 9-1-1 with a 1.34 GAA and a .949 save percentage. At this point, he’s not only the favorite to win the Vezina Trophy but also the Hart Trophy, given out to the league’s MVP. Defense and goaltending leads to Stanley Cups and the Canadiens lead the NHL in that category. They allow just 2.15 goals per game, which is the best in the business and that’s why they’re the East favorite right now.

Check out our NHL picks to win the Western Conference, too!

2. New York Rangers
NHL Odds To Win Eastern Conference: +550
The Rangers might be the most impressive team in the NHL right now. They’ve been forced to survive without star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist this month and while they’ve been dragged into high-scoring games, they’ve managed to win a lot of shootouts. They’ve won eight of 10 and are third in the NHL in scoring with 3.10 goals per game. Those placing NHL picks know that this is a strong defensive team but if this offense keeps up, they’ll be a tough out in the playoffs.

The Rangers also bolstered their lineup in a big way by acquiring the top defenseman on the market with a trade for Keith Yandle. With Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal and Dan Girardi already on the blue line, the Rangers now may have the best rotation in front of King Henrik.

 

3. New York Islanders
NHL Odds To Win Eastern Conference: +500
The Islanders have been steady as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference all season. The challenge come playoff time is that they’re short on experience. Even so, they have the league’s No. 4 offense, coming in at 3.09 goals per game. And Jaroslav Halak has played well in net, going 33-13 with a 2.46 GAA and .911 save percentage. The challenge is that he’s faded a little bit, posting a 2.80 GAA in January and a 2.60 GAA in February. They need him to play like he did in November (9-1-0, 1.37 GAA) to be a serious contender because this team is short on playoff experience.

 

4. Tampa Bay Lightning
NHL Odds To Win Eastern Conference: +550 from Bovada
The Lightning are a quality team and my preseason prediction to win the East but they have been mediocre of late. They haven’t won more than two in a row since January and they seem to be a real Jekyll and Hyde when they’re at home compared to on the road.

At home, the Lightning are 23-6-1. Goaltender Ben Bishop is 21-5-1 with a 2.07 GAA and .927 save percentage in front of the Tampa Bay audience. But when on the road, Bishop is just 10-5-2 with a 2.75 GAA and .895 save percentage, and the team is merely 15-13-5. The Lightning need home-ice advantage in the playoffs to succeed but they’ll need to play better down the stretch to ensure that they have it for more than one round.

 

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