Well, that escalated quickly. The team that everyone’s been talking about all season is out of the NHL playoff picture. The one-seed Tampa Bay Lightning were swept 4-0 by the Columbus Blue Jackets and just like that, their Stanley Cup hopes are over. Don’t worry though, Vegas has already picked its new favorite to win: Oddsmakers are calling for a repeat victory by the Washington Capitals. We’ve got all your NHL Playoff odds, tickets, and updates here.
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We don’t have any words and we know you don’t want to hear them.
We understand your anger, your frustration, your sadness. Everything you’re feeling – we get it.
This isn’t the ending we imagined, and certainly not the one we wanted. Thank you for being there the entire way.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) April 17, 2019
The Presidents Trophy winners for this season, the Lightning, were previously favored to win the whole thing with 2/1 odds but they didn’t even manage to win one playoff game. Their depressing apology tweet to fans about the loss got Twitter all fired up. Now that they’re out, the Caps appear to be the most likely to take home that big shiny cup with 5/1 odds. The Vegas Golden Knights are just behind them with 6/1 odds. The only other team out of the playoffs as of Thursday are the Pittsburgh Penguins… but nobody really thought they were gonna win it all anyway.
Odds to Win the Stanley Cup
as of April 16th via @B/R Betting and Caesars Palace:
|Vegas Golden Knights||+700|
|St. Louis Blues||+700|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+800|
|New York Islanders||+800|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+900|
|San Jose Sharks||+2000|
Each round in the NHL Playoffs is a best-of-seven series. Number-one seed Washington is currently leading their series against the wild card Carolina Hurricanes 2-1, but they’re not totally in the clear if they hope to make it through to the Second Round (where they’d have to take on the New York Islanders). Carolina just shut the Caps out 5-0 in their last game in Raleigh. The Canes dominated possession of the puck and took shots from all over the ice, while the Capitals had perhaps their worst game of the season.
As unsettling as that was for Capitals fans, Washington’s star player Alexander Ovechkin said, “You just don’t think about it. I think we learned from last year. We’ve been in bad situations. We’ve been in worse, but we stick together. Game by game. Win or lose, we forget it and move forward.”
The oddsmakers’ home team, the Vegas Golden Knights, shut out the San Jose Sharks in their last meet-up. The Knights got hot late in the season and after game 4 of this series, they’re up 3-1. The Las Vegas team is looking forward to advancing to the second round where they’d take on either the Calgary Flames or the Colorado Avalanche. Against the Sharks, Knights’ goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had 28 saves – along with his 15th playoff shutout – while left winger Max Pacioretty racked up four points (two goals and two assists). That makes three losses in a row for the Sharks, who need to start scoring if they hope to dig themselves out of this hole.
Another one-seed in the NHL Playoffs, the Nashville Predators have been contenders all season long, but they’re currently tied with the Dallas Stars 2-2 in the first round. The Stars just pulled off a crushing 5-1 win to tie the series, scoring four goals in the first period alone – the Preds’ goalie Pekka Rinne had a poor start to say the least. Oh and despite nabbing a one-seed in the playoffs, the St. Louis Blues, New York Islanders, and Toronto Maple Leafs all have better odds to win the Stanley Cup than the Preds.
Meanwhile, the Avalanche are dominating the one-seed Flames 3-1 so we might see upsets all over the place. Colorado won their last game in epic fashion, coming from behind to win 3-2 in a thrilling overtime. They head back to Calgary for their next game on Saturday to force the Flames to fight for their lives.
The Winnipeg Jets just won their second game in a row against the Blues to tie up the series 2-2 and they did it in overtime in St. Louis nonetheless! (Similarly, the Jets lost their first two at home.) There were a ton of saves on both ends in this last game, and the two teams appear to be pretty evenly matched. The Jets head back to Canada for their next game to see if they can finally win one at home!
The Maple Leafs are still battling it out with the Bruins and Game 4 just ended with another Boston victory to make this series 2-2 as well. Wednesday’s game was tied until David Pastrnak scored back-to-back goals, and while Toronto attempted to rally late in the game, they fell short, losing 4-6. Hey, blame Drake.
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