NHL Playoffs Picture 2019 – Predictions & Updated Odds

Posted by Derrick Harper on April 4, 2019 in

The NHL season wraps up in about a week and the playoff picture is still being figured out. It may come down to the wire with the last few spots being decided when the regular season wraps up April 6. As of now, one thing is certain, the 2019 NHL playoffs belong to the Betting favorites Tampa Bay Lightning, but as of now, who they’ll play in first round is still to be determined.

NHL Playoffs Picture 2019 – Predictions & Updated Odds

Eastern Conference Loaded with Fun

Toronto, Washington, Pittsburgh, and the New York Islanders have all but secured their position to the postseason.

The Canadiens, Hurricanes and Blue Jackets are in the middle of the tight three-way race for the last two wild-card spots. One team will be left out. Simulations predict that Carolina and Columbus will go to the postseason with 86% and 60% probabilities, respectively.

The Canadiens’ postseason chances are 55%, narrowly less than Columbus, which invested heavily at the trade deadline to make a deep push to the postseason.

Columbus has four out of six games on the road, but three of these teams have been eliminated a long time ago. Simulations predict that they take at least three victories and edge Montreal for the last playoff spot.

Carolina plays twice against Philadelphia and once against New Jersey. They have most (3) home games among these three teams and are predicted to win three games of the six left.

Western Conference Should be a Fight

The Western Conference picture is a bit clearer. St. Louis and Vegas have clinched playoffs spots. Behind them, there are four teams vying for wild-card spots: Dallas, Colorado, Minnesota, and Arizona.

Colorado is another team with good chances to continue games after the regular season. The Avs have won five out of their last six games and will have three home games remaining compared to two on the road. The big game to ensure Colorado’s playoff position is on Saturday when Colorado hosts Arizona. Currently, Colorado’s playoffs chances are 79%.

The picture is not looking too rosy for Arizona and Minnesota. Their playoff probabilities based on simulations are 13% and 7%, respectively. They play against each other on Monday that may eliminate one team from the playoffs race. Minnesota has tough opponents as all remaining teams are either fighting for playoffs or already secured their playoff berth.

Arizona’s schedule is a bit easier with three home games and two on the road and one of those games is against rock bottom Los Angeles.

Still, in order to really challenge Colorado for the last playoffs place, they need to win the next two games against Colorado and Minnesota.

So, to summarize, the following teams are locked into postseason play:

Tampa Bay Lightning, Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Winnipeg Jets, San Jose Sharks, Vegas Golden Knights, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, and New York Islanders.

The rest, we are still waiting, but the following teams seem like virtual locks:

Dallas Stars, Carolina Hurricanes, and Colorado Avalanche.

What an NHL Playoffs we shall see!