The Eastern Conference playoffs are much more wide open than the Western Conference and that’s evident at first glance just from looking at the remaining teams’ NHL odds to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Heading into the postseason, every team in the East that qualified recorded over 100 points in the regular season, which isn’t something you see very much in the NHL.
Typically, you only need upwards of 94 points to make the playoffs, but there was a big gap this year with the teams on the outside looking in.
The two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning had the highest NHL playoff odds to represent the East in the Finals this year at +350, followed by the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins at +600.
With where we currently stand in the East, the Florida Panthers boast the highest odds at +270, with the Toronto Maple Leafs sitting slightly behind them at +300, and the Carolina Hurricanes at +350.
The Lightning and Maple Leafs will face off on Saturday night in a decisive Game 7, which should create some line movement after the winner is decided.
You can make that same argument for the Bruins and Hurricanes series, which will also have a Game 7 on Saturday, where the home team has come out on top in every game in this series, which should give Carolina an edge.
Looking at the ticket percentages at BetMGM, the New York Rangers currently trail the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in their series, but they are taking in 24.3% of tickets and 26.8% of the handle to win the Eastern Conference, which leads both categories.
Aleksander Barkov and the Panthers hold the second-highest amount of tickets at 16.9% after winning the President’s Trophy, while the Carolina Hurricanes boast the third-largest number at 11%.
Behind the Rangers in terms of the handle are the Panthers, who own 20.8% of it, while the Maple Leafs have the third-highest number at 13.2%.
The value number here might be with the Bruins if they can end their road struggles in this series with Carolina, where they boast odds of +1200 after opening at +600.
Brad Marchand and the Bruins currently own just 3.6% of tickets and 2.4% of the handle.
NHL Eastern Conference Odds
|Team||Opening Odds||Current Odds|
|New York Rangers||+1200||+2000|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+350||+1000|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+600||+300|