And then there were four. The 2019 National Hockey League playoffs are in full swing and the race for the Stanley Cup is well and truly on. We are entering the Conference Finals stage of the postseason and all four teams will be confident of victory.
The Boston Bruins have been here and done it all before. Currently 19/10 favourites with 888sport to lift ice hockey’s ultimate prize, the Atlantic Division side will fancy their chances ahead of their series with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Over in the Western Conference, the San Jose Sharks find themselves heavily involved at the business end of the season once again. The St Louis Blues are no slouches though and this could be the more exciting series of the two for neutral Canadian hockey fans.
Without further ado, it is time to take a look at the latest NHL betting odds. The Stanley Cup battle is heating up and we could see a few shock results along the way. Boston and Carolina have already played Game 1 but there will be plenty of twists and turns to go…
EAST: Boston Bruins vs Carolina Hurricanes
The Bruins advanced to the Eastern Conference finals with minimal fuss, recording a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Boston were struggling in Game 1 before notching four goals in period three to open the series with a victory. Based on that contest, this isn’t going to be as straightforward as many were predicting…
With 107 points acquired during the 2018/19 regular season, Boston are one of the most consistent teams in the NHL. On paper, the Bruins have enough quality in key areas to go all the way this year and that is probably why Boston are Stanley Cup favourites. We will know a little more about their chances later in this series.
Meanwhile, Carolina have done incredibly well to get this far. The Hurricanes were outsiders in their series with the New York Islanders but secured a 4-0 whitewash success. It looked like Carolina were going to snatch another dramatic upset but for a bizarre final period and the Hurricanes will have to regroup quickly ahead of Game 2.
Sebastian Aho was Carolina’s leading points scorer in the regular season and he has carried his form into the playoffs. The Hurricanes star notched a goal on the powerplay in Game 1 but sadly it wasn’t enough to secure the win. If Aho plays well in Game 2, Carolina could come out on the right side of the result.
TIP: Boston to win the series (4/11 with Black Type)
WEST: San Jose Sharks vs St Louis Blues
The Sharks have now reached the Conference Finals in four of the previous 10 years but a first Stanley Cup success continued to elude their grip. Could this finally be San Jose’s year to emerge victorious on the biggest stage of all? Opening their Western Conference Finals series with a win over the St Louis Blues would be the perfect way to build momentum.
Brent Burns is one of the most consistent players in the National Hockey League and Sharks fans will be expecting big things from him in this series. 83 points for any player is a decent feat but it is all the more impressive considering he is a defenseman by trade. Burns will be looking to make a positive impact in Game 1 on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, St Louis were outstanding during the regular season and that series victory over the Dallas Stars last time out was enough to win many neutrals over. The Blues are on the verge of something special and plenty of punters will be backing St Louis at 7/2 to win the Stanley Cup in the latest Sportingbet ice hockey markets.
There are no real standout names on the St Louis roster but that is testament to the work of their coaching staff this year. The Blues have focused on improving as a team and NHL fans will notice their work ethic and organisation. There is no substitute for effort and endeavour – the Sharks will have to work very hard indeed to keep St Louis at bay.
TIP: San Jose to win the series (4/5 with 888sport)