Las Vegas oddsmakers have made the Tampa Bay Lightning heavy favorites to win the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs
Tampa Bay won an NHL record tying 62 games and 30 wins on the road wins made them only the second team to win 30 road games in a season.
The rest of the top 10 according to Las Vegas oddsmakers are:
7) San Jose
8) St. Louis
10 NY Islanders
The long shots are Columbus, Dallas and Colorado.
Goaltenders always make a difference in the playoffs. A hot goalie can win a Stanley Cup. 15 times a goaltender has won the Conn Smythe trophy as most valuable player in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but the last time it happened was 2006. Alex Ovechkin won it last year as Washington won their first Stanley Cup. Calgary was a big surprise in the Western Conference, scoring the most points (107). Nashville and Winnipeg have plenty of playoff experience, while St. Louis was dead last in the NHL in early January and won 11 games in a row to finish one point out of winning the division. The Sharks fell on hard times late in the season after getting off to a great start, while Las Vegas is back in the playoffs in their second season, but they won’t surprise anyone like they did last year.
In the East, Boston scored 107 points and faces Toronto again, who they knocked out of the playoffs last year. And despite finishing 4th in their division, Carolina is a top 10 favorite to win the Stanley Cup ahead of the Islanders and Pittsburgh.
When you play someone potentially 7 times, a lot of bad blood surfaces and that’s what makes the Stanley Cup playoffs so much fun to watch, even though the Wild are sitting this one out after 6 straight appearances. So who do you think is going to win it all in 2019?