- BetOnline’s updated Metropolitan Division odds list the Capitals (+175) as the slight favorites
- The Islanders’ nine-game winning streak has shortened their odds from +500 before the season to +200
- The Hurricanes (+450) and Penguins (+700) still have an outside shot at winning the division
The Capitals are the living embodiment of the “Work Hard, Play Hard” mentality, amassing a league-best 25 points while still having time to pop champagne with the World Series champion Washington Nationals.
While they don’t have the party habits or star power of Alexander Ovechkin and the gang, the Islanders aren’t looking too bad either with an NHL-best nine-game win streak.
With both teams listed as Metropolitan favorites, let’s review the updated odds at BetOnline and determine whether any team has a chance at catching them.
NHL METROPOLITAN DIVISION ODDS
|New York Islanders||+200|
|New Jersey Devils||+2000|
|New York Rangers||+2000|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+5000|
The Capitals opened the season as +400 favorites to claim their fifth consecutive division title, but are now all the way up to +175 after going 8-0-1 in the past three weeks.
Sitting with 11 goals and 8 assists, Ovechkin has been as impressive as ever, but the play of John Carlson is the chief reason why Washington is off to their quickest 25-point start in franchise history.
Step into the locker room pregame with the @Nationals
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 4, 2019
The 29-year-old defenseman became only the fourth defenseman in NHL history to accumulate 20 points or more in the month of October, joining Paul Coffey, Al MacInnis and Brian Leetch and sits fifth in league scoring with 23 points.
While Carlson is unlikely to continue on his current 140+ point pace, the strong play of the Norris Trophy favorite is why I expect the Capitals to win yet another Metropolitan division title.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
After winning the Stanley Cup in 2017/18, Barry Trotz moved to the Islanders when Washington wouldn’t give him a well-deserved raise.
The 55-year-coach proved to be worth every cent of his five-year, $20-million deal last year, leading New York to a second-place division finish.
— Islanders Nation (@IslandNationNYC) November 3, 2019
Currently, on their second-longest winning streak in franchise history, the Islanders are duplicating last season’s recipe for success.
They’re allowing 2.23 goals per game, third-fewest in the league, thanks to strong goaltending from their new starting tandem of Semyon Varlamov and Thomas Greiss, who have combined for a .925 save percentage.
It’s tough to bet against one of the league’s hardest-working clubs, but +200 doesn’t offer much incentive.
HURRICANES OR PENGUINS
The Penguins make an intriguing bet at +700 with star center Evgeni Malkin returning to the lineup after missing 11 games with a lower-body injury, however, this is a team with far less depth and defense than their Cup teams of 2016 and 2017.
If looking for an underdog pick, I prefer the Hurricanes (+450). Carolina has stumbled since coming out of the gates 5-0, but this ‘Bunch of Jerks’ has already proven they are plenty capable of getting hot.
Andrei Svechnikov just scored the lacrosse goal pic.twitter.com/wOJSxhRsMW
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) October 30, 2019
Last year, Rod Brind’Amour’s club won 31 of their final 45 games to (storm) surge into the playoffs and eventually make it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals.
With one of the NHL’s top defensive corps and impressive young talent up front with 19-year-old sophomore Andrei Svechnikov and two fantastic Fins in Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho, the Hurricanes are a better bet to displace the Islanders and Capitals atop the Metropolitan.
Best Bets: Capitals (+175) and Hurricanes (+450)