- BetOnline’s updated Eastern Conference odds list the streaking Lightning (+350) as the favorite to make the Cup Final
- The Bruins (+400), Penguins (+450) and Capitals (+600) are no strangers to playoff success
- Monday’s NHL Trade Deadline could provide a missing piece for each of the East’s top contenders
There are no fresh faces or first-timers at the top of the Eastern Conference. Having made the Stanley Cup Final three times in the past decade, the Bruins currently lead the NHL with 88 points.
Despite their success, last year’s President’s Trophy winners in Tampa Bay are currently favored to come out of the East after winning their last 11 games. Then there’s the Penguins, winners of three championships since 2009, and a Capitals team that’s just two years removed from raising the Cup.
Who will win this battle of the titans come playoff time? Let’s check the latest odds to win the East, courtesy of BetOnline.
NHL EASTERN CONFERENCE ODDS
|Team||Current Odds||Trending||Nov. 29, 2019|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+350||↑||+550|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+1000||↓||+800|
|New York Islanders||+1400||↓||+700|
|New York Rangers||+2000||↑||+2500|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+2500||↑||+5000|
|New Jersey Devils||+25000||↓||+3300|
HEAVYWEIGHT CUP CONTENDERS
Boston (+400) is 14-4-2 since the calendar flipped to the new year, largely thanks to the play of goal-scoring machine David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, who has quietly evolved into one of the league’s premier set-up men with 52 assists (3rd in NHL) on the year.
Despite their extended stretch of hot play, the Bruins have still lost nine points in the standings to the Lightning (+350) since January 1st.
Speed burst: Engage!
— NHL (@NHL) February 18, 2020
Borderline unbeatable with a 19-3 record in 2020, Tampa Bay sits only three points behind Boston with a game in hand heading into Thursday night’s action.
Jon Cooper’s club looks destined to win their second-straight President’s Trophy, but we all remember what happened last April.
THE RIVALRY CONTINUES
Sidney Crosby’s Penguins defeated Alexander Ovechkin’s Capitals in the playoffs during each of the franchise’s successful Stanley Cup runs in 2009, 2016 and 2017 before finally falling to Washington in their triumphant 2018 season.
Once again on a collision course in the Metropolitan, both teams have already made deals ahead of Monday’s NHL trade deadline. The Caps grabbed big-bodied defenceman Brenden Dillon while Pittsburgh’s newest addition, Jason Zucker, has been on a scoring spree (3G, 1A) on Crosby’s wing.
Evgeni Malkin's resurgence has helped fuel the injury-plagued Penguins in the Metropolitan Division race:https://t.co/oR3oPDUCtZ
— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) February 15, 2020
The Penguins’ odds to make the Cup Final have shortened to +450, making us feel very good about our recommendation to snag them at +1400 back in November when Sid was out with a sports hernia injury.
Meanwhile, the Capitals’ odds have slid to +600 after a recent cold streak (1-4-0 in their last five games) dropped them behind Pittsburgh for the division lead.
Before betting on any of these Eastern Conference giants, however, you should probably wait for the smoke from Monday’s trade deadline to clear. With little separating these superpowers, one move could make all the difference.