Our SBR Picks NHL Consultant provides us with an Eastern Conference futures update. Join us in reading this enlightening article that includes his favorites, sleepers, and teams most likely to make a 2nd half surge.
Eastern Conference Update
We’re approaching the midway point of the NHL season, and let’s take a look at how the Eastern Conference is shaping up. As of 12/24/2014, the Pittsburgh Penguins at +350 are the favorite to win the Eastern Conference according to the NHL odds at Bovada. The Penguins are currently atop the Eastern Conference Standings with 49-points. There’s a three way ties for 2nd overall in the East with the Montreal Canadiens (+650), Tampa Bay Lightning (+450), and New York Islanders (+600) all having 46-points.
The Best of the Rest
The NHL playoff format in terms of qualification has recently changed. The top three teams in each division would qualify automatically, and there will be two wild card berths awarded in each conference to the teams that amass the next most points. If the season were to end today this would be the scenarios. The Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Detroit Red Wings (+750) would qualify as the top three teams in the Atlantic Division. In the Metropolitan Division it would be Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders, and New York Rangers (+1200) that would be automatic qualifiers.
The Wild Card Teams
The Toronto Maple Leafs (+1200) and Washington Capitals (+1500) currently are in the top two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference. The team that would be a surprising omission is the Boston Bruins (+500) who currently trail the Washington Capitals by 1-point for the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. You may be surprised to know that the Florida Panthers (+4000) would be on the doorstep as well. The Panthers are currently 1-point behind Boston, and 2-points behind Washington.
My Personal Favorite to win the East
Montreal Canadiens (+650)
Tampa Bay Lightning (+450)
New York Rangers (+1200)
Toronto Maple Leafs (+1200)
Teams Likely to Fade
Florida Panthers (+4000)
Washington Capitals (+1500)
Teams on Second Half Surge Watch List
Columbus Blue Jackets (+4000)
Boston Bruins (+500)