East is East and West is best. That's how it's worked in the Stanley Cup playoffs in recent springs. The NHL's Western Conference had dominated their Eastern rivals with the battered old mug on the line until the Penguins won the Holy Grail 1n 2016. And the East are outfitted with contenders, including the Pens, Washington Capitals and New York Rangers. The Columbus Blue Jackets are now even entering the fray, but make no mistake, the West still has teams to usurp the East.
The West is rich in deep, talented teams. The Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings and Anaehim Ducks are all league powers, while the St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks are hovering on the horizon as dangerous opponents.
Below them, the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild are starting to make some noise of their own. Those teams are suiting up some of the NHL's most promising young talent and it shouldn't be long until they are knocking on the door.
Best NHL Western Conference Game Betting Lines
Study the NHL Western Conference betting lines frequently and carefully. They can change at a moment's notice. Always double check the number before making a wager.
Be certain you are getting the bet down that you want. Check on key elements such as last-minute injuries, and starting goalies. It's always a good idea to wait until after the morning skate media sessions to see how each team's lineup is expected to shake out.
What Are The NHL Western Conference Standings
These are the NHL Western Conference standings. Standings can change readily in today's parity-driven NHL, with so many three-point games, so paying attention is vital.
A two or three-game losing streak can send a team from a playoff spot into a draft lottery position. Follow along closely and study which teams are consistently in the money and which teams go up and down like a toilet seat.
NHL Western Conference Betting Tips
Make sure you take into consideration the more grueling travel schedule Western Conference teams have to endure over the course of the 82-game season.
It can work in your favor on some bets and should make you extremely wary of other wagers. Watch intently for games involving Eastern Conference teams nearing the end of long Western road swings, especially if they are catching a well-rested Western club.
Remember, when an Eastern time zone team is playing a night game on the West coast, the opening faceoff is basically taking place at what normally would be their bedtime. On the flips side, when a Western Conference team plays an afternoon game in the Eastern time zone, it's generally satrting aroung the time they would normally sit down to breakfast. Never discount the effect the body clock can have on performance.
The Sharks dominated proceedings in 2016 but an aging nucleus is a warning sign for futures bettors. They are still a quality team, but do they have what it takes to make the finals once again. Probably not. Look for other teams, like the Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks to make their presence felt come playoff time.
Other tips to watch for - teams playing back-to-back afternoon games seldom bring their A game the second time around. Be careful when wagering on tradititional rivalries, because the form charts tend to go out the window in those match-ups.
And watch for teams that have a habit of beating up on the other conference. If there's a Western team that persistently succeeds against the East, or vice-versa, that isn't a fluke.
Keep an eye out for teams that are strong at home, as well as those that do well on the road. Road success is especially intriguing because teams that win consistently away from home are generally good bets to turn in strong performances on any given night.
You'll want to look at With our Without You, or the Corsi Ratings, when you start to delve more deeply into the analytics. Basically, it determines how well a key player performs with, and without, their linemate. Does it make a big difference if their linemate is missing? In the 2014 case of Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak, it made a huge difference, as you'll see in the video below:
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