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A look ahead to the Stanley Cup climax

With the NHL fast approaching the conclusion of the regular season, the attention on the ice is beginning to hot up as it means we get closer to the Stanley Cup finals.

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With the NHL fast approaching the conclusion of the regular season, the attention on the ice is beginning to hot up as it means we get closer to the Stanley Cup finals.

The Vegas Golden Knights are the current holders of the prestigious trophy, having been able to defeat the Florida Panthers in five games to win their maiden title. In doing so, they became the youngest team to win the Stanley Cup since the first major expansion. However, at the moment, their chances to defend the title in the postseason appear to be slipping away from them, as they continue to lose momentum in their pursuit for the playoffs.

Which teams have already qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs?

As we know, a total of 16 teams will qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs, with eight from each conference and four from each of the two divisions within those regions. As of April 11, we already know 12 of those qualifiers.

The Atlantic Division will already know who is going to the postseason, as all four spots have been taken up. The Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leaf’s, and the Tampa Bay Lightning have all qualified from this Eastern Conference division. However, the Metropolitan Division still has two available spots left, with only the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes confirmed. It’s a lot tighter in this group, with the New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Philadelphia Flyers all within a chance to secure those final two spots.

In the Western Conference, there is a very similar story being created, which makes things very interesting. We already know the four representatives from the Central Division, with the Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets, and Nashville Predators having all secured their place. In the Pacific Division, only the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers have secured their place in the postseason, with the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights occupying the two available spots. Nonetheless, the Seattle Kraken and Calgary Flames will be hoping to put together late runs to boost their own chances of competing for the prestigious trophy.

Which teams are the favourites to win the Stanley Cup?

The NHL and ice hockey might not be a sport that gets as much media attention outside the US and Canada as it perhaps should, but when the season enters the race for the Stanley Cup, there is a buzz that can be experienced worldwide. Many like to tune in and watch what happens on the ice, as they like to enhance their experiences with a bet.

The betting sites in this list are known to be among the safest to use, with many of them offering great odds and secure betting experiences, in addition to bonuses that can enhance any session even further.

Looking ahead to the Stanley Cup Finals, there are already a number of sportsbooks providing their list of favourites and who they think will be the main contenders. The odds currently have the Edmonton Oilers as the main favourites, although some have identified the Carolina Hurricanes as their favourites. This can be great for bettors, as it means they can find potential value in the bets that they make, as not all sportsbooks are able to agree on who they believe will be the winners.

Plenty of frantic ice hockey still to play

Perhaps a reason why there is some disagreement about who the favourites for the Stanley Cup currently are, there is still a lot of ice hockey left to be played across the NHL.

There is room for teams to start to find their form and make a late charge, while no one ever really knows what postseason hockey can truly bring, especially when a prestigious trophy is on the line.

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