The NHL and NHLPA are finally gaining traction and urgency in the return to play. Time is short, and urgency is intense as the sides met three times last week and all weekend. It seems a forgone conclusion we’ll’ll have a 24-team playoff format, which will likely feature the 12th seeded Montreal Canadiens against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a short play-in series. Still, a Bodog review shows oddsmakers aren’t keen on the Penguins chances for a long Stanley Cup run.
Regardless if the Penguins draw the worst team in the tournament or the second-place Philadelphia Flyers, oddsmakers are lining up in their restart, which blessedly moved beyond posting odds for video games and simulated games.
Penguins who fans think the oddsmakers know a thing or two about the 2020 Stanley Cup, if and when it is played, may not like the Penguins odds (We used Bodog because it is a well-known brand and provides good service). Bodog shows the Penguins are a 15-1 shot at winning the Stanley Cup. The Washington Capitals are a 14-1 bet, and amazingly Philadelphia is the favorite in the Metro Division at 8-1.
And a short PSA—if you’re going to wager a few nickels, you can always read a Bodog review to double-check your work.
The overall favorites are the Boston Bruins at 6-1 and the Colorado Avalanche at 7-1.
I like the odds
The Pittsburgh Penguins are a good bet at 15-1. You should hope they fall farther down the list. If and when the NHL return comes to fruition, the Penguins will presumably have a healthy Jake Guentzel and Jason Zucker in the lineup. The defensive corps will also be healthy for the first time this season.
Despite the injuries, Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin carried the Penguins to the fourth-best record in the NHL during the first half of the season. The more simple the Penguins play, the better their results.
Zucker’s blend of speed and offensive finish is a significant upgrade over the revolving door on the Penguins left wing. GM Jim Rutherford also added Patrick Marleau at the trade deadline, too.
Whether Guentzel or Zucker sticks on Sidney Crosby’s’s LW is less critical than the Penguins overall health. The Philadelphia Flyers had an incredible hot streak, but their lineup is thin. They’re certainly not deep at center, which is where the Penguins would gain an insurmountable advantage.
Once the Penguins advance to Round Two or beyond, there isn’t a more experienced team in the NHL, unless Chicago is included as the Western Conference 12th seed and makes a magical run. Corey Crawford and Matt Murray would be the only goalies with multiple Stanley Cup rings.
Under the best circumstances, the Penguins would have a brutal run to the Stanley Cup. Washington and Boston are the likely Division and Conference Final opponents, but the Penguins and Washington split their regular-season series.
We like the Penguins payoff.
And the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues are lurking at 10-1, according to the Bodog review. With the NHL season suspension, tired legs won’t be an issue. And most importantly, they’ll have All-Star Vlad Tarasenko back, too.
This could get very interesting.