The St. Louis Blues are the new favorites to win the Stanley Cup, according to online bookmaker Bovada.
Here are the Cup odds for the eight remaining teams:
St. Louis Blues 15/4
New York Rangers 9/2
Philadelphia Flyers 9/2
Nashville Predators 5/1
Los Angeles Kings 13/2
New Jersey Devils 9/1
Washington Capitals 9/1
Phoenix Coyotes 11/1
Can’t say I see much value there. Actually, I don’t see any. Gun to head I’d take the Preds.
As for the Blues, this would have to be the first time they’ve been favorites in the elite eight. The year they won the Presidents’ Trophy (2000), they lost in the first round. Maybe 1991, when they lost to underdog Minnesota in the second round. But I still think the Bruins would’ve been considered the favorites at that point.
St. Louis has never won the Stanley Cup. The Blues went to the final three straight times from 1968 to 1970 and were swept in all three series. (When the league expanded in 1968, it put all the expansion teams in one division, so an expansion team was guaranteed to make the final.)
The Rangers await either the Bruins or Senators and the Penguins face the winner of the Leafs – Capitals series out East, but we now know how the West shakes out.
St. Louis Blues vs. Nashville Predators
Both teams provided some of the upsets of this young postseason. Each features a red-hot goalie in Jake Allen and Pekka Rinne. Interesting.
Anaheim Ducks vs. Edmonton Oilers
There will be a lot of orange. We may also see a ton of goals with Ryan Getzlaf on fire, Oscar Klefbom headlining the list of unhealthy players and Connor McDavid possibly able to really take off against a Ducks defense that is beat up in its own right.
Klefbom is dealing with an illness, Coach McLellan says. "It's important for us to get healthy before we get to Anaheim."
It’s already been a strange season out West, with the Kings missing the playoffs and first-round exits for the Sharks and Blackhawks. Get ready – and giddy – for things to get even weirder as the postseason goes along.
Oilers win first series since 2006 after Sharks fall crossbar short of overtime
After making the playoffs for the first time since 2006, the Edmonton Oilers weren’t just “happy to be there.” They confirmed as much by eliminating the San Jose Sharks with a 3-1 victory in Game 6, winning the series 4-2.
Yes, those young Oilers just eliminated the team that represented the West in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. Wow.
Much like the Minnesota Wild earlier on Saturday, the Montreal Canadiens are stunned to approach the golf courses so rapidly.
Many of the responses after the New York Rangers eliminated them in Game 6 sound a lot like what the Wild uttered, though there’s no potential bulletin board material like Bruce Boudreau’s line about the better team failing to win four games.
Now, it’s likely that most teams speak about being shocked and expecting better after being booted from the postseason.
Still, these reactions do shine a light on the staggering nature of some of these exits. Will the likes of the Blackhawks, Canadiens and Wild struggle to be in such prime positions in the future? With the Sharks needing a comeback against the Oilers, could the trend continue on Saturday?
The bottom line is that, instead of preparing for a Game 7 after winning the Atlantic Division, the Canadiens are packing up their stuff and worrying about re-signing Carey Price. That’s a pretty stunning turnaround, regardless of the soundbytes available.
Video: Draisaitl, Slepyshev score on breakaways, Talbot spurns Marleau
Some playoff games or even series come down to something as stupidly simple as one team taking advantage of their opportunities while the other fails to capitalize on chances.
If Game 6 of the Oilers – Sharks series follows the story of the second period, then San Jose may join Saturday’s stream of eliminated teams.
It’s not fair to boil it down to three breakaways, but some might feel that way.
Leon Draisaitl looked like a gritty, strong veteran during his first career playoff goal, bulling his way to the net for 1-0 breakaway tally. About a minute later, Anton Slepyshev was even more alone against Martin Jones, and he scored his first postseason goal to make it 2-0.
That stings for the Sharks, and it doesn’t help that they had a similar chance not long after. This time around, Patrick Marleau couldn’t beat Cam Talbot, so it remained 2-0 for Edmonton.
That’s the same score as the game enters the third period, even with some dangerous late chances for the Sharks.
If the Sharks don’t score at least two goals in the third, their push to return to the Stanley Cup Final could end in the first round.