NHL Playoffs: Canadiens, Lightning on Verge Of Final Four

NHL Playoffs: Canadiens, Lightning on Verge Of Final Four

NHL Playoffs Picks Updated

The Montreal Canadiens were one loss away from elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs. A week later, the Canadiens are defying the NHL playoff odds and are one win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup final four. The defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning is also one triumph from reaching the semifinal stage of the NHL playoffs. Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders and Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights are both 2-2 in their series after four games.

  • The Tampa Bay Lightning are at odds of -1200 to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes in their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series
  • In the Boston Bruins-New York Islanders series, it's the Bruins who are -200 favorites
  • The Colorado Avalanche are the +110 favorites to win the 2021 Stanley Cup

On some fronts, the picture is growing crystal clear as to which teams will be advancing in the Stanley Cup playoffs. In other series, though, things are tight and uncertain, but that means there are solid betting lines to be played in the NHL Stanley Cup odds.

One thing that's been learned already in the hockey postseason. First certainly isn't foremost. The Toronto Maple Leafs, first-place finishers in the North Division, bowed out in the opening round of the NHL playoffs for the fifth successive year. Toronto hasn't won a Stanley Cup series since 2004.

Colorado Avalanche+110+155
Boston Bruins+350+550
Tampa Bay Lightning+400+225
Carolina Hurricanes+1400+2000
Montreal Canadiens+1400+1400
Vegas Golden Knights+1500+900
New York Islanders+3300+1300
Winnipeg Jets+3300+3500

Elsewhere, the top two finishers in the NHL's East Division - the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals - also made first-round exits despite being favored in the Stanley Cup Vegas odds. Carolina, the top team in the Central Division, are a loss away from heading home.

Let's look at where all the second-round series stand and which way you should be playing them in the NHL playoffs picks.

Montreal Canadiens vs Winnipeg Jets

The Canadiens came back from a 3-1 series deficit to defeat the Maple Leafs. In the history of the Toronto-Montreal playoff series, the winner of the series has always advanced to the Stanley Cup final.

The Canadiens won three times in Toronto in the first round and then again defied the NHL playoff picks by opening the second round with successive wins over the Jets in Winnipeg. Montreal leads the series 3-0 and has won six straight games.

The Habs haven't won a series beyond the second round since their most recent Stanley Cup triumph in 1993. That win was a surprising Cup run fashioned by a Conn Smythe Trophy-winning performance from Montreal goalie Patrick Roy.

Coming into the playoffs with the worst record of the 16 playoff teams, Montreal has relied on the stellar netminding of Carey Price and opportunistic scoring, especially by the Canadiens special teams.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Carolina Hurricanes

The defending champs also opened with a pair of wins at Carolina. Following a Game 3 setback at home, they outscored the Hurricanes 6-4 in Game 4.

Tampa Bay's power play is clicking at 41.2 percent in the playoffs.

Boston Bruins vs New York Islanders

The Islanders are seeking to follow the lead of the Canadiens and be a fourth-place team in the final four.

Boston has never beaten the Isles in a playoff series (0-2). Each time New York beat the Bruins, they went on to win the Stanley Cup.

Colorado Avalanche vs Vegas Golden Knights

When Colorado won Game 1 by a 7-1 count, it looked like this one might end quickly. Three games later, it's 2-2 and the home team has won every game.

There's a growing sense the team that wins this series will go on to win the Cup.

MacKinnon Conn Smythe Favorite

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon remains the chalk to win the Conn Smythe Trophy at odds of +125. He's tied for second in playoff scoring with 13 points.

Surprisingly, bettors can still access a +900 betting line in the NHL playoff odds on Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov winning the Smythe. He missed the entire regular season following hip surgery. However, Kucherov is currently the top postseason scorer with 18 points.

Where To Bet On NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs?

There are a number of leading online sports betting sites that will provide bettors with the chance to place a wager on the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. The best bet you can make is to shop around in advance and seek out the right deal before joining one of these sportsbooks. Check out BetUS and MyBookie as examples.

The signup bonus offers that are in place at all of these recommended sites will prove advantageous to the bettor. And since you'll get a good deal wherever you go, why not check out several sites and find the ideal fit for your needs?

Do you want a risk-free first bet as a signup bonus? Perhaps you find a no-deposit bonus to be enticing. Or maybe you simply like the feel of cold, hard cash in your account and you want to go for a matching first deposit bonus. Whatever option you choose, you're already a winner.

Remember that new players and returning customers are eligible for better bonuses when they deposit using Bitcoin. As well, take advantage of the betting advice offered at these sites to help newcomers acclimatize to sports betting.

See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the right one for you: