Playoff Hockey is WILD 😳

The Presidents' Trophy winner and the defending champs both knocked out in the first round? If you haven't been keeping up with this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, you've missed quite a bit; check in on the new title favorite and tonight's games to watch 🥵 (3 min read)

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Stanley Cup Playoff Update

Man, 2023 has not been kind to top seeds in the first round. The Purdue Boilermakers and Milwaukee Bucks now have additional company in their misery — the Boston Bruins are the latest regular season darling to be sent packing early in the playoffs 😬

  • The Presidents’ Trophy curse continues! 10 straight regular season champs have failed to win the Stanley Cup, and since 2000, eight have lost in the first round 🤯

  • Boston isn’t just your typical Presidents’ Trophy winner either; they’re fresh off the best regular season ever. Oh, and they had a 3-1 series lead…

The Bruins lost seven games at home all season long, and then the Panthers took three out of four in their first round series. That’s just playoff hockey for ya, where the unpredictable is expected, and no one is ever safe. Just ask the reigning champs ⬇️

The Bruins and Avalanche entered the postseason as the two biggest Stanley Cup favorites, and after a pair of Game 7 defeats, both teams are now watching from home. With the second round officially underway, its safe to say title odds are looking a bit different 👇

Odds To Win The Stanley Cup  (subject to change)

  • Edmonton Oilers: +400

  • Toronto Maple Leafs: +500

  • Carolina Hurricanes: +550

  • New Jersey Devils: +550

  • Vegas Golden Knights: +600

  • Dallas Stars: +650

  • Florida Panthers: +700

  • Seattle Kraken: +1600

It’s worth nothing that as I right this, the Kraken are winning Game 1 on the road vs. the Stars. Expect these odds to adjust accordingly

Trivia Question: Of the eight remaining teams, which won a Stanley Cup most recently?

Photo by Josh Lavallee/NHLI via Getty Images

Tonight’s Action

Players hit the ice in Toronto and Dallas for the first two games of the second round last night, and we’re back at it again this evening with two more series openers. Here’s how the lines are shaping up for both matchups 👇

  • Spread: Hurricanes -1.5

  • Moneyline: Hurricanes -126, Devils +105

  • O/U: 5.5 Total Goals

  • When: 7PM on ESPN

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more evenly matched series than this one; after all, just one point separated the Hurricanes and Devils in the regular season as the NHL’s second and third best teams overall 🤏

  • That slight edge in the standings gives Carolina the always-crucial home ice advantage, and as a team that finished up their first round series with a fair share of health woes, they can certainly use the extra leg up

  • At least All-Star Sebastian Aho is healthy (despite taking a puck off the face) and continuing the excellent form we saw all season long 😤

If nothing else, the Carolina players suiting up tonight should be a bit more rested than their New Jersey opponents, who needed all seven games to take down their rivals across the Hudson. But for fans who hadn’t experienced a playoff series win since 2012, it was worth the wait 😏

The biggest X-factor for the Devils on the road tonight is in the net, where Akira Schmid has stolen the show. In his first five career playoff games, the goalie delivered two shutouts and a .951 save percentage; can he keep the momentum going? 🤔

  • Spread: Golden Knights -1.5

  • Moneyline: Golden Knights -110, Oilers -110

  • O/U: 6.5 Total Goals

  • When: 9:30PM on ESPN

Speaking of evenly-matched showdowns, according to oddsmakers, tonight’s Game battle in Vegas between the Knights and Oilers is a true toss-up 🤷🏻‍♂️

  • Even on the road, it’s tough to bet against the electric duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The duo ranked first and second in the league in points this season by a pretty wide margin, and their scoring prowess is why the Oilers now have the best odds to win their first Cup since 1990 💪

This Knights team is legit though, and it feels like they aren’t being talked about enough. They not only finished the regular season atop the West, but then breezed past the Jets in their first round matchup 😤

  • It’s not all good vibes in Vegas, however. Unfortunately, the balky back of star winger Mark Stone has been acting up in practice. If he’s limited or unable to go tonight, it’d be a huge blow 😬

I know, there’s basketball on tonight (Celtics -10). But hopefully this gets you a little juiced up on the underrated NHL playoffs 🥅

Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images

For My Parlay Gurus

Simply put, betting on playoff hockey is not for the faint of heart. But let’s give it a shot anyway. After a statement 4-0 victory in Game 7 over the weekend, I’m sticking with the Devils to stay hot tonight, and I’m also going with the Knights to defend their home ice. Check out this parlay 👇

  • Devils ML vs. Hurricanes: -110

  • Golden Knights ML vs. Oilers: +105

$100 on this bet would win you $291 — if we hit, make sure you email [email protected] for a chance to win up to $100*. Many will enter, only some will win 😉

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Trivia Answer: The Hurricanes have the shortest Stanley Cup drought of all remaining teams, with their last title coming back in 2006. The Panthers, Golden Knights and Kraken are all seeking their first Cup

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