2021-22 NHL Playoff Specials: Who Will Miss and Make Postseason?

  • BetOnline has posted playoff odds for all 32 National Hockey League teams
  • The Vancouver Canucks (+145) have an easy path to the postseason in the pathetic Pacific division
  • The Bruins (+475) and Penguins (+170) could be casualties of a strong Eastern Conference

The NHL returns to its traditional Stanley Cup playoff format and qualification system this season, which guarantees only the top three teams in each of the four divisions a spot in the tournament. The remaining four wild-card slots will be filled by the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference, based on regular-season record. Basically, this means one division in each conference could send five teams to the postseason while the other sends just three.

After previewing the Atlantic and Metropolitan divisions in the Eastern Conference and the Central and Pacific divisions in the West, let’s find some good bets to make and miss out on the playoffs. Also, be sure to check out our NHL betting tips page with resources on NHL MVP betting and more.

NHL Playoff Specials

BetOnlineTo Make PlayoffsOdds
Anaheim DucksYes+1600
Arizona CoyotesYes+1600
Boston BruinsYes-750
Buffalo SabresYes+1400
Calgary FlamesYes-115
Carolina HurricanesYes-200
Chicago BlackhawksYes-125
Colorado AvalancheYes-5000
Columbus Blue JacketsYes+1100
Dallas StarsYes-240
Detroit Red WingsYes+1000
Edmonton OilersYes-325
Florida PanthersYes-550
Los Angeles KingsYes+215
Minnesota WildYes-325
Montreal CanadiensYes+185
Nashville PredatorsYes+240
New Jersey DevilsYes+200
New York IslandersYes-325
New York RangersYes-155
Ottawa SenatorsYes+1200
Philadelphia FlyersYes-125
Pittsburgh PenguinsYes-210
San Jose SharksYes+250
Seattle KrakenYes-135
St Louis BluesYes-190
Tampa Bay LightningYes-2500
Toronto Maple LeafsYes-1100
Vancouver CanucksYes+145
Vegas Golden KnightsYes-1800
Washington CapitalsYes-155
Winnipeg JetsYes-140

Potential Playoff Teams

The Colorado Avalanche (-5000), Tampa Bay Lightning (-2500), and Vegas Golden Knights (-1800) are viewed as the surest bets to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs, meaning neither of the three offers much of a return on investment. When looking for clubs with plus odds to make the postseason these two stand out:

Nashville Predators (+240). GM David Poile said his club was in a “competitive rebuild” after shipping out Ryan Ellis and Viktor Arvidsson. Star winger Filip Forsberg and stalwart defenseman Mattias Ekholm could also be on the move with each entering the final season of their contracts. But if they stay, the Central division is wide open after the Avs. Captain Roman Josi and goaltender Juuse Saros will help keep pucks out of the net and there’s still talent upfront with Ryan Johansen, Matt Duchene, and Eeli Tolvanen.

Vancouver Canucks (+145). The Pacific division is grisly after the Vegas Golden Knights and Oilers, and the Canucks are in win-now mode after acquiring Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland from the rebuilding Coyotes. With an exciting young core of centers Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat, right-winger Brock Boeser and defenseman Quinn Hughes, Vancouver could easily beat out Calgary, Seattle, and Los Angeles for the third playoff seed in the division.

Nashville PredatorsTo Make Playoffs
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Vancouver CanucksTo Make Playoffs
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Surprise Misses

The NHL’s Eastern Conference looks much stronger than the West, which means some teams that we now view as contenders could surprisingly miss the postseason.

Boston Bruins (+475). A roster with Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, and Charlie McAvoy will probably find itself in the postseason, but the B’s have questionable depth down the middle after David Krejci packed his bags for the Czech Republic. If Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman can’t fill the void Tuukka Rask left in the net, this aging club could be in trouble with a few untimely injuries.

Pittsburgh Penguins (+170). New GM Ron Hextall has done surprisingly little in the offseason, choosing to clean up the club’s salary-cap issues rather than maximize the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin/Kris Letang Cup window. While that’s smart business, it’s a formula that could spell the end to the NHL’s longest active playoff appearance streak (15 years).

Pittsburgh PenguinsTo Miss Playoffs
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Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on heart-clogging eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.

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