NHL Futures: Capitals Moving Up

There is a 3.9% gap between East leaders. The Tampa Bay Lightning lead with a 31.8 percent chance of winning the East and the Washington Capitals are at 27.9%. The gap seems to be lessening. The Lightning chances are down from 38.9 percent. Expect the playoff race to be tight. In simulations, the Panthers average the #7 most wins and the Islanders average the #9 most so the difference (1.4 points) between making and missing the playoffs is expected to be very small. This is a top heavy conference with just 6 teams with at least a four percent chance of winning it.

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EAST FUTURESPROJ PTSWIN DIVPLAYOFFWIN EAST ODDSWIN EAST SIM
Tampa Bay Lightning112.760.6%99.2%7/2 (22.2%)31.8%
Washington Capitals116.689.5%99.8%6/1 (14.3%)27.9%
Boston Bruins108.326.4%96.6%4/1 (20%)12.8%
Toronto Maple Leafs100.35.0%78.3%6/1 (14.3%)9.1%
Pittsburgh Penguins98.53.6%71.2%10/1 (9.1%)5.4%
Carolina Hurricanes97.22.2%65.0%12/1 (7.7%)4.8%
Florida Panthers100.45.5%78.6%12/1 (7.7%)3.7%
Montreal Canadiens97.42.4%65.1%30/1 (3.2%)2.4%
New York Islanders99.03.7%72.8%15/1 (6.2%)1.2%
Philadelphia Flyers92.60.7%39.7%20/1 (4.8%)0.4%
New York Rangers88.80.2%22.0%40/1 (2.4%)0.3%
Buffalo Sabres85.20.1%9.3%40/1 (2.4%)--
Ottawa Senators74.90.0%0.5%500/1 (0.2%)--
Columbus Blue Jackets78.60.0%1.9%50/1 (2%)--
New Jersey Devils70.40.0%0.1%50/1 (2%)--
Detroit Red Wings64.40.0%0.0%250/1 (0.4%)--

There is a large 8.3% gap between the Flames and the Predators. The Calgary Flames lead with a 26.8 percent chance of winning the West and the Nashville Predators are at 18.6%. The difference between these teams is widening as the Predators chances are down from 19.9 percent. There is a 7.56 difference in projected points between the #8 best record and the #9 best record in the West. This is a pretty significant difference even if it does not seem to be at first glance. There are 7 teams with at least a four percent chance of winning the West.

WEST FUTURES PROJ PTSWIN DIVPLAYOFFWIN WEST ODDSWIN WEST SIM
Calgary Flames99.441.3%91.8%10/1 (9.1%)26.8%
Nashville Predators98.424.0%89.5%8/1 (11.1%)18.6%
St. Louis Blues101.039.3%94.1%6/1 (14.3%)12.1%
Colorado Avalanche99.830.3%92.1%7/1 (12.5%)10.5%
Vegas Golden Knights95.621.4%80.3%9/2 (18.2%)10.2%
San Jose Sharks93.112.3%70.0%20/1 (4.8%)8.8%
Winnipeg Jets90.84.6%59.0%15/1 (6.2%)4.7%
Arizona Coyotes94.115.2%74.4%20/1 (4.8%)3.2%
Chicago Blackhawks86.61.6%35.5%40/1 (2.4%)2.1%
Vancouver Canucks89.05.0%47.3%12/1 (7.7%)1.4%
Edmonton Oilers88.94.7%46.1%12/1 (7.7%)1.3%
Dallas Stars80.60.2%12.1%8/1 (11.1%)0.2%
Anaheim Ducks78.80.1%7.0%15/1 (6.2%)--
Minnesota Wild70.90.0%0.7%50/1 (2%)--
Los Angeles Kings67.40.0%0.2%150/1 (0.7%)--

All playoff teams may think they have a shot at winning the Stanley Cup, but only 12 really do with at least a two percent chance. At the top, the Lightning have a 4 percentage point lead over the Capitals. Teams are bunched together at the bottom of the contenders list with just 0.2 percentage points separating the #10 ranked team from the #12 ranked team.

CHAMP CONTENDERSODDSODDS%SIM%TREND
Tampa Bay Lightning7/112.5%24.5%--
Washington Capitals12/17.7%20.0%UP
Calgary Flames20/14.8%10.6%UP
Boston Bruins8/111.1%7.5%DOWN
Nashville Predators16/15.9%7.2%--
Toronto Maple Leafs12/17.7%5.8%DOWN
St. Louis Blues12/17.7%3.5%DOWN
Vegas Golden Knights10/19.1%3.2%DOWN
Colorado Avalanche14/16.7%2.9%DOWN
Pittsburgh Penguins20/14.8%2.8%DOWN
San Jose Sharks40/12.4%2.7%DOWN
Carolina Hurricanes25/13.8%2.6%UP
Florida Panthers25/13.8%1.9%DOWN
Winnipeg Jets30/13.2%1.4%DOWN
Montreal Canadiens60/11.6%1.2%UP