NHL Futures Odds: Who Will Reach The Stanley Cup Playoffs In The East?

Doug Upstone

Thursday, March 24, 2016 12:15 PM GMT

Thursday, Mar. 24, 2016 12:15 PM GMT

The NHL Eastern Conference by all appearance looks like the Washington Capitals Invitational. They are decided favorites and have rather vast odds to win the Stanley Cup this spring.

However, not every President's Cup winner even makes it too the conference finals, let alone is able to raise Lord Stanley's trophy over collective heads. Have your power play go on the fritz, your goalie become average and your scorers have slump at wrong time and all the suddenly two snipers and a white hot netminder on the other team beats you four times and golf season opened way earlier than anticipated.

Here is a look the contenders and pretenders for NHL picks along with the NHL odds for each team from 5Dimes at win the East.

 

Washington and Others Who Could Rise Up
Washington is a short +145 choice to win the East, as well they should be. The Capitals head into the last several games of the season trying to switch off autopilot and be prepared to dominate like they had for the vast majority of the season. The talent is in place featuring many veterans and they are in the Top 4 in goals scored (2nd) and allowed (4th) and in power play percentage (1st) and penalty killing (4th). To bet the Caps at this price is not going to bring much of a profit, but to bet against them is not wise either.

Presently, the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay, along with the Florida are +750 as the second pick's on the East Conference Futures Odds Boards.

Tampa Bay is the would appear to have the best chance to knock off Washington, having won the East a year ago and largely having the same cast of players from a year ago, though they have not all played as well. Goalie Ben Bishop will have them chance and at last look, the Lightning actually has surpassed the Capitals in goals allowed. Tampa Bay has been less consistent this season which raises questions, nevertheless, still a strong group.

The Rangers have the offense to compete, ranked in the Top 8 most of the season, but it's defense has gone through rough patches which is a concern in trying to win three series.

Florida has a good young team but has fallen off a little on both ends of the rink and if they were to face Boston in opening series, they have not matched up well with them.

A month ago Pittsburgh would have been a pretender, heck, they were not even a lock to make the playoffs. But now they have legitimate chance to finish second in the Metropolitan and could finish with the second-most points in the East. The Penguins are marching, but can they sustain it through the end of regular season and into late May? Everyone can question that thought based on postseason flops, but right now, Pitt might be best value play on the board.

 

Don't Be Fooled by These Pretenders
Boston at +1000 has attributes, they are among the scoring leaders and they are ranked in the Top 10 of both special teams categories. What makes them frauds? Of the teams expected to reach the playoffs out of the East, nobody gives it more goals than the Bruins and their defensemen as a group are among the weakest in all the NHL.

The New York Islanders are very close to Boston at +1075 and continue to have a very good offensive mixture, have made real strides defensively to reach the Top 10 and have the second-best penalty killers in the game. So what is the problem? What have the Islanders really accomplished in the last few years other than getting better? Enough said.

Either Detroit (+1400) or Philadelphia (+1800) will reach the playoffs and since they have been grinding to reach a spot, they might even push Washington to six games in opening round being more battle-tested, until the talent takes over.

 

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