The NHL regular season has just officially ended, and now the real fun starts this Wednesday April 13th with the NHL Playoffs. The Washington Capitals easily ran away easily with the Presidents' Trophy, which is awarded to the team that had the NHL's best record. However, since 2004 only two teams that won the Presidents' Trophy have actually gone on to win the Stanley Cup, so realistically any of the 16 Playoff teams have a chance to win it all.
There will be 4 matchups in each of the two Conferences in the first round of the Playoffs. In the Eastern Conference the Washington Capitals will face off against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Capitals will be the clear favorite to win this series, however these two teams split their regular season matchups 2-2, so sports betting fans should not sleep on the Flyers.
The New York Rangers will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins, which should prove to be one of the better first round matchups of the bunch. The Penguins have been on a roll the last month, and the Rangers have been to the last two Eastern Conference Finals, so this should be a hard fought and entertaining battle.
Another excellent match-up will be the Chicago Blackhawks against the St Louis Blues. These two teams were the second and third best teams in the Western Conference, and there are no strangers in this contest, because they have played each other 7 times this season. The Blues had the slight edge winning 4 of the 7 regular season games, and this playoff match-up will probably go 6 or 7 games in order to determine the winner.
The other very good first round match-up is the Los Angeles Kings against the San Jose Sharks. These two teams have played each other 5 times this season, and the Sharks have won 3 of the 5 games. However, the Kings have been one of the best teams this decade, winning 2 Stanley Cups since the 2011-2012 season, and will be looking to redeem themselves after not even making the playoffs last year.
The other matchups will include the NY Islanders vs Florida Panthers, Minnesota Wild vs Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings vs Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Nashville Predators vs Anaheim Ducks. Each of these series will also prove to be exciting, because there is nothing better than playoff hockey.
In regards to betting, many pay per head sportsbooks, will have many different betting options available. Besides being able to bet on the game, periods, 3 way line, and live betting, players will also have the ability to bet the winners of each series, and updated odds to win each conference, and the Stanley Cup.