There had been speculation about whether or not the league-leading Boston Bruins would look to strengthen their roster ahead of the trade deadline, but those questions were answered on Thursday. The Bruins sent Craig Smith and three picks to Washington in exchange for Garnet Hathaway and Dmitry Orlov. Hathaway and Orlov will provide the Bruins with even more steel, with both players delivering a strong physical game and solidifying their position atop the Stanley Cup betting market at NHL betting sites.
If it wasn't enough that the Bruins have 219 goals this season, from 22 different skaters, goaltender Linus Ullmark chipped in with a goal in Saturday night's win over the Vancouver Canucks. Ullmark became just the 13th goaltender in the NHL to score a goal, and the first since Pekka Rinne did so in January 2020.
With the trade deadline looming, there are still some big deals to be completed. Top of that list is the seemingly imminent move of Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers. Kane, who led Chicago to three championships in his fifteen-year spell with the Blackhawks, has been vocal about his desire to move to a contender, and is looking likely to be the latest new face at MSG, following Vladimir Tarasenko's move from St. Louis. Sports betting apps have been cutting their odds on the Rangers accordingly.
A 6-5 win over the battling Edmonton Oilers on Saturday showed that this Columbus team has the appetite to compete with the best in the business. Aside from key injuries to Zach Werenski and Jakub Voracek, the Blue Jackets remain largely intact. With points in four of their last five games, there are some reasons for optimism in Columbus.
Every now and then, the NHL throws up a result that stops you in your tracks and makes you do a double-take. On Saturday night, the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Carolina Hurricanes, in such a game. It was the second consecutive road win for the Ducks, having beaten the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.
If Patrick Kane is to be traded imminently, and that does seem likely, then his last few games in the Blackhawks sweater will have been vintage Kane. Kane has 7 goals in his last 4 games for the Hawks, including a hat-trick against the Maple Leafs. With New York calling number 88, Chicago will be left with nothing but memories of their golden era.
Just one win in six for the Sharks, as their fanbase comes to terms with the reality that this team is looking at an extended period of time in a rebuild. Timo Meier and Erik Karlsson remain high on the shopping lists of a number of contending teams, which would weaken the Sharks even further. Meier has sat for the last three straight games due to an upper-body injury.
Arizona's nine-game point streak came to an end on Wednesday night, in a 6-3 loss to the Flames. The Coyotes had gone 5-0-4 during their upturn in form, in a run of form that rivalled or bettered most of the playoff contenders. Jakob Chychrun remains out of the lineup for precautionary reasons, as the team entertains offers for their main defenseman.
Canucks fans will be happy to see the back of this season, although there are no immediate signs of improvement for next season on the horizon. With both the playoffs and the first overall pick looking unlikely, the Canucks might have to be patient as the team looks to rebuild around Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and J.T. Miller.
The Montreal Canadiens, without their talisman, Cole Caufield, have a winning record since the All-Star break. Few would have predicted this upturn in form, but consecutive 5-2 wins over the Devils and Flyers this week have the Canadiens in a temporarily good place. Although this season is apparently beyond them, there are still reasons for optimism in Montreal.
The Blues are the only team in the league with five straight defeats. With so much organizational change over the past couple of weeks, it is no great surprise that the team have struggled to find their rhythm. St. Louis claimed Kasperi Kapenen from the Penguins on Saturday, as they look to replace the traded Tarasenko, O'Reilly and Acciari.
With just one win in their last eight games, and with key player Travis Konecny sidelined by injury, the Philadelphia Flyers can consign this season to history as they look unlikely to progress from here. With just one game scheduled in their next seven days, against the bulked-up Rangers, the opportunity to turn this around seems to be in the rear-view mirror.
Although they are by no means out of the running at this juncture, a losing record in their last five games means that the Senators have failed to make any ground in the race for the two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference. With up to seven teams in the running, Ottawa now finds themselves seventh in that race.
The Islanders have been bouncing in and out of the Wild Card spots in the Eastern Conference for a while now. Currently in the first spot, they have the significant disadvantage of only having 20 games left in their season, where those around them have as many as 25. With injuries beginning to mount in Long Island, their hopes hang in the balance.
Seven wins in their last ten games have the Red Wings right in the middle of the hunt for the two wild card slots in the east. Some NHL betting apps have not adjusted to this change in the landscape, and still offer attractive odds on the Red Wings for the Stanley Cup. Although that seems like a stretch, stranger things have happened.
At this point in the season, every game is a must-win for the Preds. Sitting well outside the Wild Card spots, there is no room for error if this team wants to continue its season beyond the middle of April. Nashville plays seven of its next eight games on the road, so US betting sites have understandably lengthy odds on Nashville winning the big prize this season.
One of a handful of teams that are in a position to take advantage of the struggles in Washington and Pittsburgh, is the Florida Panthers. A defeat at home to Buffalo didn't help their chances greatly, nor does the fact that they have played significantly more games than the teams they are competing against. But don't count Florida out just yet.
Every game that the Penguins play feels like life or death right now. A narrow 3-2 win over St. Louis on Saturday did the Pens no harm, as they currently sit in the bottom playoff spot in the east. Behind them are no fewer than four teams within just a single point, so the margin for error in Pittsburgh is miniscule.
With just three wins from their ten games since the all-star break, the Flames are being left behind in the race for the Western Conference wild card spots. Calgary sits fifth in the Pacific Division now, with clear daylight between themselves and Seattle. Canadian betting sites have extended their odds on the Flames of late, as postseason hockey looks set to bypass southern Alberta.
Washington added Craig Smith to their roster this week, as they sent Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway to Boston. It was an interesting hedge bet for the Caps, who added a useful forward and gained some helpful picks at the same time. No team in the league has fewer points than Washington over their past 20 games, so the change might be a welcome one.
The Buffalo Sabres are giving this season a real go. Although there are some glaring frailties in defense, only the Bruins and Oilers have scored more goals than the Sabres this season. With Pittsburgh and Washington continuing to falter, the Wild Card race in the east is now wide open, and the Sabres are well placed to take advantage of that.
At just 2.81 goals scored per game, the Minnesota Wild have the lowest scoring average of any team that currently occupies a playoff spot. A healthy Power Play and strong Penalty Kill have certainly helped the Wild this season, as has the goaltending of Filip Gustavsson, who has 15 wins from 25 starts, with a .928 Sv% and a 2.11 GAA.
Just two games for the Kraken in the past week, but two defeats have not helped their cause. Now sitting in a Wild Card spot in the west, Seattle knows that it must improve if they are to make the postseason for the first time in their short history. For those who have faith, there are some attractive Stanley Cup odds available for the Kraken.
With points in nine of their last ten games, including six wins, Vegas finds itself back atop the Pacific Division. The Golden Knights have struggled to find consistent goaltending, owing largely to a string of injuries in nets, but have managed to sufficiently tighten their defense in order to stay competitive. As always, this team will be a contender.
Special teams have helped the Kings to maintain their strong position in the standings over the past two months. The Kings sit second in the league in Power Play percentage since the turn of the year, and are sixth in the league in Penalty Kill percentage over the same timeframe. Goaltending remains a legitimate concern, however.
Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers seem intent of convincing the league that they can outscore any team at any time. McDavid continues to rack up numbers that have not been seen in close to three decades, but yet the Oilers have still managed to lose four of their last six games. The playoffs look safe, for now at least.
One win in their last five games means that things have really tightened up at the top of the Central Division. Just 4 points separates the 4 teams at the top of the standings there, with Colorado and Minnesota the only teams with a winning record over their last ten games. The Jets need to start picking up wins, and fast.
Victory over the Golden Knights on Saturday evening ended a run of sixteen days without a win for the Stars, as they look to kick-start their stuttering season once again. It was a timely win for the Stars, with the Central Division becoming crowded, from positions one through four. Playoffs should not be an issue for Dallas.
The Lightning remain on course for a first round showdown against the Maple Leafs. As the Leafs begin to make the moves that they believe with improve their chances of progressing beyond Tampa, the Lightning seem to be happy with their lot for the moment. Just a few days remain until the trade deadline, but action seems unlikely in Tampa.
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By the time you read this, it is quite likely that Patrick Kane will be a member of the New York Rangers. Let that sink in. Patrick Kane, the cornerstone of all the success with the Chicago Blackhawks, will be joining the New York Rangers. Make no mistake, with Tarasenko and Kane on board, the Rangers mean business this year.
Carolina's surprise defeat to Anaheim on Saturday night allowed the Devils to close the gap at the top of the Metropolitan Division to just three points, as both the Hurricanes and the Devils look to avoid the increasingly scary prospect of a stacked New York Rangers, in the first round of the playoffs. That run-in is one of the more interesting storylines in the east, this season.
The Maple Leafs and Lightning continue to play out their season in the knowledge that their first-round matchup is all but set in stone. Wins over Buffalo and Minnesota this week helped to alleviate the trauma of losing 5-3 to Chicago last Sunday. Newly acquired Ryan O'Reilly had a hat trick in the 6-3 win over Buffalo, his first goals as a Leaf.
The Colorado Avalanche lead the form table in the Western Conference over the last five, ten, fifteen and twenty games. With Cale Makar still facing concussion issues, and Gabriel Landeskog not yet ready to return, this Avs team can get stronger yet. A scary prospect for the rest of the league, but in particular for those teams battling for playoff spots in the west.
At 8-2-0 in their last ten games, the Carolina Hurricanes defeat against Anaheim on Saturday raised some eyebrows around the NHL. In the grand scheme of things, it will likely turn out to be nothing but a bump in the road, but other teams may use this as a template to beat the Hurricanes, going forward. With that said, John Gibson is in imperious form of late.
Garnet Hathaway and Dmitry Orlov were sent to the Bruins this week, to embolden an already strong Boston roster. With six straight wins, and 45 wins on the season, the Bruins would've been forgiven for thinking that their lineup is strong enough already. But nothing is being left to chance, as the B's chase the Stanley Cup. They'll take some stopping, and are understandably popular when anyone is making their NHL picks.