- BetOnline still has the Golden Knights (-125) as the favorite in the Pacific
- The Canucks (+250) are battling injuries, but are just four points back in the division
- The Oilers (+550) lost to Vegas on Wednesday night, dropping them four points back
The three teams in the hunt for the Pacific-division title were all declared NHL trade-deadline winners by hockey scribes after adding key veterans for their playoff push.
Not every acquisition works out, however. Just ask the Coyotes, who are eight points back of the Golden Knights in the division and out of a playoff position despite adding former league-MVP Taylor Hall in December.
Let’s check the latest odds at BetOnline and decide whether the Oilers or Canucks have a chance to catch Vegas in a crowded Pacific division.
NHL PACIFIC DIVISION ODDS
|Team||Current Odds||Trending||Dec. 27, 2019|
|Vegas Golden Knights||-125||↑||+150|
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
With a 3-0 win over the Oilers on Wednesday night, the Golden Knights (-125) are finally starting to gain some separation in what’s been an extremely tight race in the Pacific. Vegas is now four points up on both Vancouver and Edmonton, although the Canucks have three games-in-hand and the Oilers have one.
Looking to make a postseason run more in line with their 2018 Stanley Cup Final appearance than last year’s first-round exit to the Sharks, Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon brought in veteran netminder Robin Lehner at the deadline to provide competition for 35-year-old Marc-Andre Fleury.
#VegasBorn Marc-Andre Fleury records his 5th shutout of the season, tying #CBJ Elvis Merzlikins for the most in the NHL. It was his 61st career shutout, tying Turk Broda for the 17th-most in NHL history. pic.twitter.com/LoNeSjmvjc
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) February 27, 2020
Last year’s Vezina finalist was 16-10-5 with a 3.01 goals-against average and .918 save percentage with the Blackhawks, while Fleury is now 5-0-0 in his last five starts after earning his 61st career-shutout versus Edmonton.
With their goaltending secured and the league’s fourth-easiest schedule down the stretch, the Golden Knights are on track to win their second division title in just three years of existence.
WESTERN CANADIAN CONTENDERS
The Canucks, whose odds shortened to +250 from +650 at last check in, also made a big move at the deadline, sending picks and prospects to the Kings for 27-year-old forward Tyler Toffoli.
Unfortunately, however, the addition is offset by a rib injury that will keep 22-year-old winger Brock Boeser out of the lineup for the next eight weeks. Vancouver will also be without their starting goaltender for at least three weeks after Jacob Markstrom underwent a minor “lower-body procedure”.
#Canucks' Quinn Hughes on pace for one of the best seasons ever by a rookie defenceman… if he keeps this up he’ll pass the likes of Lidstrom, Chelios, and Bourque https://t.co/DYGecFWM0F pic.twitter.com/7qVH7F5ULl
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) February 27, 2020
Defenseman Quinn Hughes, the leading scorer among all rookies, will need to continue to light it up to keep his team in the race, but if they can stay in contention, the Canucks do play Vegas twice in the season’s final two weeks.
The Oilers (+550) went 3-2-1 during the recent injury absence of captain Connor McDavid, spurring GM Ken Holland to add talent at the deadline. Puck-moving blueliner Mike Green, 25-year-old forward Andreas Athanasiou and veteran winger Tyler Ennis will all add much-needed speed to Dave Tippett’s team.
Still, it’s hard to imagine Edmonton winning the Pacific after their dispiriting shutout-loss in Sin City on Wednesday night.
Best Bet: Vegas Golden Knights (-125)