The Stanley Cup playoffs are set to begin in less than 48 hours, and already, sites such as Bodog, are taking your predictions as to which teams will be moving onto the next round. This year’s sweet 16-hockey tournament, features teams that have been there often, as well as a few newcomers. For all intents and purposes, this is the year, that the odds for many teams, are at their highest. With that in mind, today we will be looking at which teams are going to move past round one in each Conference.
When comparing the East and Western Conferences to one another, the first thing that fans, media and handicappers alike will notice, is that the two conferences couldn’t be more different. Essentially, the Eastern Conference has a huge gap in style and success from the top two ranked teams, to the bottom two remaining teams. At the same time, the seventh and eighth seeded teams could easily thwart the top Western Conference teams. Here is a bookie software exam of which teams from each conference, will move on to the next round.
In the Eastern Conference, fans and especially the media are backing the favorites in almost every series. If it were up to the media, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins would receive byes to the Eastern Conference Championship, before Pittsburgh moves on to face Vancouver in the Stanley Cup. However, in our opinion, the four teams coming out of the Eastern Conference first round, will be, the New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers. At first glance, you probably think we are crazy, for taking two sportsbook review slugs such as the underachieving Capitals and the overachieving Panthers. The truth is, entering the playoffs as a seven seed could be the best thing to ever happen to Washington. Meanwhile, the Panthers as a three seed enter as a huge underdog no matter how many rounds they win.
With this being the case, the Capitals and Panthers will be playing pressure free, as anything they do will be seen as a bonus by their critics. As we noted earlier, entering as a lower seed could be the best thing to happen to Washington. The reason for this is that all of their star players have a chip on their shoulders, and will therefore play better in the playoffs. Ovechkin and Semin look to be on a whole different planet, while Mike Green is finally healthy, making for a scary Capitals lineup.
In the Western Conference playoffs, the teams we believe will shock the NHL handicappers and move on to the second round, include, the LA Kings, St. Louis Blues, Phoenix Coyotes and Nashville Predators. LA like Washington enters the playoffs with hardly any pressure. Despite falling to the eighth seed, the Kings, have enough tools to at the very least take the Vancouver Canucks to seven games in the first round. On the other hand, the Phoenix Coyotes and Nashville Predators are two teams everyone wants to pull off an underdog upset. Facing two of the last four Stanley Cup Champions in the first round, Phoenix and Nashville could end up facing each other in the Western Conference finals, if all goes according to plan.