2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs

As of this writing, the team that sports bettors in Vegas have appeared to pick as their Stanley Cup champion is the Colorado Avalanche. Already starting the season extremely well, the Avalanche have only gotten better, dethroning Tampa Bay Lightning at the top of the power rankings. After NHL trade week, the Avalanche have only added depth to their team as they head into the last few games of their season. Avalanche is the resounding favorite for the Stanley Cup game, although there is much disagreement on who the runner-up will be. 

As of May 6, twelve teams have clinched playoff spots. They are as follows: Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights, Minnesota Wilds, and the Colorado Avalanche. The rules for the 2021 playoffs state that the top three teams in the four divisions will proceed to the playoffs. This puts the Winnipeg Jets into playoff territory and leaves 4 playoff spots up for grabs.

Graph courtesy of Moneypuck.com (As of May 6, 2021)

Currently, the betting markets have the Washington Capitals as the second-highest percent to win the Stanley cup. This position, however, has changed hands five times between¬† April 24 and April 26, so it is reasonable to expect that the Capitals might not be in the final game. It’s still too early to pick a Stanley cup winner. Despite this, here are the top 4 most likely teams to play the Avalanche in the Stanley Cup game this year. The Washington Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, and the Carolina Hurricanes. The betting market has these as top contenders, and all the power rankings suggest these are teams that can make it to the end of the playoffs, where the other ones might not have the endurance to play through all the games.