NHL Eastern Conference Winner 2020 - Predictions & Odds
- The Boston Bruins reign supreme as the only team this season to hit to 100-point plateau prior to the suspension of play
- After a weak start to the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning came around to establish themselves as the second-best team in the conference
- The Columbus Blue Jackets may very well be the best underdog bet within the entire league
With the goal in mind to restart the NHL season at the end of July, oddsmakers have wasted no time in laying out their favorites.
As always, the Boston Bruins are one of the safest bets in the Eastern Conference but there is no such thing as a guarantee in the NHL. Just ask last year’s Tampa Bay Lightning team that tied the record for points only to be swept in the first round of the playoffs.
The East has a whole mix of teams filled with potential. The conference is always so tight in competition that almost any team can become a contender at any given time. Here are the early odds for the Eastern Conference championship.
NHL Eastern Conference Winner Odds
Odds taken on July 20 from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+300|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+1400|
|New York Islanders||+2000|
|New York Rangers||+2000|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+3200|
Favorites to Win the East 2020
It’s a story we’ve all heard before – the Boston Bruins are heavily favored to take the Eastern Conference championship.
The only team to reach the 100-point mark this season, the Bruins boast two players in the top-six when it comes to league scoring (David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand).
They finished with the second-best playoff percentage behind only the Edmonton Oilers, trailing them by only two goals with the man advantage. The Bruins also held the league’s top save percentage, with goalies Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak combining for a .921.
Close behind the Bruins, however, are last year’s Eastern conference champs, the Tampa Bay Lightning. After a horrible start to the season, the Bolts were able to climb their way back up into contention and eventually landed in second place in the East. Last year’s Art Ross winner, Nikita Kucherov, finished with 85 points, and the team finished with the highest combined goal total in the NHL with 243. They also had the top shooting percentage in the league.
No chance to Win the East 2020
Do not spend your hard earned dollars on the Montreal Canadiens. Out of the entire league, the Montreal Canadiens have been given the worst odds to win the Stanley Cup at +4000 – that’s +800 more than any other team.
They allowed the ninth-most goals against this season, had the tenth-worst power play, and the seventh-worst shooting percentage. They finished with 71 points in 71 games and ended the season on a three-game losing streak.
The Florida Panthers, bless their souls, are also highly unlikely to get past the qualifying round of the playoffs. Their offense was on fire this season but their defense couldn’t keep up their end of the bargain.
They scored the sixth-most goals this season but allowed the fifth-most goals against.
Underdogs to Win the East 2020
This is where things get interesting, as almost every team in the East has a shot.
We’ll start with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who have the second-worst odds to win the Stanley Cup when it comes to the Eastern conference, yet finished with 81 points, the third-lowest goals against total, and the seventh-best save percentage. They didn’t finish their season as strong as they would have liked but the time off is likely to help the team rather than hinder them.
The New York Rangers are another team that we’ve been calling as a dark horse all season. The time off the ice has allowed several players on their roster to recover from injury. Their offense finished the season strong and forward Artemi Panarin finished as the league’s third-highest scorer.They finished with 79 points in 71 games and finished the season going 5-4-0 across their final ten games.
Lastly, we can never rule out the punchy Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes secured 81 points (as much as the Blue Jackets) in just 68 games. They finished the year on a three-game winning streak, which included a huge 6-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.