NHL Stanley Cup and Conference Futures: Capitals In Top 5

There is a huge 21% gap between the Lightning and the Maple Leafs. The Tampa Bay Lightning lead with a 37.5 percent chance of winning the East and the Toronto Maple Leafs are at 16.5%. The gap seems to be widening. The Maple Leafs chances are down from 18.6 percent. As far as teams fighting for the final playoff spots go, there is a very small difference in projected points between the teams with the #7 best record and the team with the #9 best record. This is a top heavy conference with just 6 teams with at least a four percent chance of winning it.

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Tampa Bay Lightning110.756.1%99.2%3/1 (25%)37.5%
Toronto Maple Leafs104.020.2%94.2%5/1 (16.7%)16.5%
Washington Capitals101.444.0%89.8%10/1 (9.1%)14.1%
Boston Bruins104.120.0%94.4%6/1 (14.3%)11.8%
Pittsburgh Penguins98.328.5%82.1%10/1 (9.1%)8.3%
Carolina Hurricanes94.213.7%67.5%15/1 (6.2%)4.1%
Montreal Canadiens91.31.5%52.1%30/1 (3.2%)2.5%
Florida Panthers92.52.2%58.0%8/1 (11.1%)2.3%
New York Islanders89.45.7%43.8%15/1 (6.2%)1.2%
Columbus Blue Jackets84.91.8%24.3%40/1 (2.4%)0.8%
Philadelphia Flyers86.12.3%28.0%20/1 (4.8%)0.4%
New York Rangers85.82.5%28.4%15/1 (6.2%)0.3%
New Jersey Devils84.01.5%21.3%15/1 (6.2%)0.1%
Detroit Red Wings79.20.0%8.0%50/1 (2%)--
Buffalo Sabres78.10.1%6.6%30/1 (3.2%)--
Ottawa Senators73.60.0%2.4%150/1 (0.7%)--

There is a virtual tie at the top of the West. The San Jose Sharks lead with a 17.5 percent chance of winning the West and the Vegas Golden Knights are at 17.4%. The difference between these teams is widening as the Golden Knights chances are down from 20.6 percent. A difference of 3.34 points may not sound like much but that much of a difference between the #8 best record and the #9 best record in the West is considerable. There are 7 teams with at least a four percent chance of winning the West.

San Jose Sharks101.838.5%93.5%8/1 (11.1%)17.5%
Vegas Golden Knights99.828.9%89.8%7/2 (22.2%)17.4%
Colorado Avalanche98.324.5%84.6%5/1 (16.7%)14.6%
Calgary Flames99.627.8%89.2%10/1 (9.1%)14.3%
Winnipeg Jets99.731.1%87.8%10/1 (9.1%)13.8%
St. Louis Blues96.717.9%79.2%8/1 (11.1%)10.8%
Nashville Predators94.813.1%72.6%10/1 (9.1%)5.5%
Dallas Stars92.58.6%61.3%8/1 (11.1%)2.9%
Chicago Blackhawks89.14.6%45.2%20/1 (4.8%)1.5%
Arizona Coyotes88.33.2%44.2%15/1 (6.2%)0.8%
Vancouver Canucks83.41.0%22.4%25/1 (3.8%)0.6%
Edmonton Oilers81.00.5%14.7%30/1 (3.2%)0.2%
Minnesota Wild80.00.3%11.2%30/1 (3.2%)0.1%
Anaheim Ducks75.50.1%4.2%40/1 (2.4%)--
Los Angeles Kings65.70.0%0.2%40/1 (2.4%)--

There may be 16 playoff teams but there are only 11 true Stanley Cup contenders (at least a 2% chance). At the top, the Lightning have a significant 16 percentage point lead over the Maple Leafs. At the bottom of the contenders list, 1.8 percentage points separate the Jets from the Penguins.

Tampa Bay Lightning6/114.3%26.3%UP
Toronto Maple Leafs10/19.1%10.0%--
Vegas Golden Knights7/112.5%7.9%DOWN
San Jose Sharks16/15.9%7.4%DOWN
Washington Capitals20/14.8%7.3%DOWN
Boston Bruins12/17.7%6.9%--
Calgary Flames20/14.8%6.3%--
Colorado Avalanche10/19.1%6.2%--
Winnipeg Jets20/14.8%5.7%--
St. Louis Blues16/15.9%4.4%UP
Pittsburgh Penguins20/14.8%3.9%--
Nashville Predators20/14.8%1.7%DOWN
Carolina Hurricanes30/13.2%1.7%--