NHL Futures: Capitals Sitting at #3

There is a huge 20.3% gap between East leaders. The Tampa Bay Lightning lead with a 39.7 percent chance of winning the East and the Washington Capitals are at 19.3%. The difference between these teams is widening as the Capitals chances are down from 29.4 percent. There is a 10.49 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 is not a lot of parity and power is concentrated at the top of the West with just 6 teams having at least a 4% chance of winning it.

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Tampa Bay Lightning109.720.2%98.6%7/2 (22.2%)39.7%
Washington Capitals115.186.3%99.8%6/1 (14.3%)19.3%
Boston Bruins117.777.1%99.9%4/1 (20%)18.4%
Carolina Hurricanes99.23.5%77.0%10/1 (9.1%)7.0%
Toronto Maple Leafs96.70.6%64.3%8/1 (11.1%)4.3%
Pittsburgh Penguins98.63.0%74.8%10/1 (9.1%)4.2%
Florida Panthers100.42.0%82.7%12/1 (7.7%)4.0%
New York Islanders100.45.6%81.2%10/1 (9.1%)1.8%
Montreal Canadiens89.90.1%25.8%30/1 (3.2%)0.5%
Philadelphia Flyers95.31.3%56.5%25/1 (3.8%)0.4%
New York Rangers90.90.2%30.9%50/1 (2%)0.4%
Columbus Blue Jackets82.20.0%4.0%100/1 (1%)--
Buffalo Sabres82.60.0%4.4%40/1 (2.4%)--
New Jersey Devils69.40.0%0.0%50/1 (2%)--
Ottawa Senators73.20.0%0.2%250/1 (0.4%)--
Detroit Red Wings55.10.0%0.0%250/1 (0.4%)--

The percentage difference at the top of the West is large at 6%. The San Jose Sharks lead with a 19.8 percent chance of winning the West and the Nashville Predators are at 13.8%. The gap seems to be widening. The Predators chances are down from 19.9 percent. Expect the race for the final playoff spot to be tight. In simulations, the Flames average the #8 most points and the Blackhawks average the #9 so the difference (1.61 points) between making and missing the playoffs is expected to be small. There is parity in the conference. There are 8 teams winning the West in at least four percent of our playoff simulations.

San Jose Sharks97.239.9%87.0%10/1 (9.1%)19.8%
Nashville Predators93.46.2%69.7%9/1 (10%)13.8%
Colorado Avalanche101.633.6%95.2%7/1 (12.5%)12.8%
St. Louis Blues103.951.0%97.6%7/1 (12.5%)12.3%
Vegas Golden Knights92.716.5%67.9%7/1 (12.5%)10.0%
Edmonton Oilers93.619.8%71.5%10/1 (9.1%)6.9%
Winnipeg Jets94.16.5%73.4%12/1 (7.7%)6.6%
Calgary Flames89.16.6%46.6%15/1 (6.2%)5.5%
Chicago Blackhawks87.51.1%36.5%25/1 (3.8%)3.9%
Arizona Coyotes91.512.4%61.3%10/1 (9.1%)3.7%
Dallas Stars89.31.6%45.7%7/1 (12.5%)2.6%
Vancouver Canucks87.54.7%37.1%15/1 (6.2%)1.9%
Minnesota Wild79.80.0%7.0%50/1 (2%)0.1%
Anaheim Ducks77.10.1%3.2%20/1 (4.8%)--
Los Angeles Kings72.50.0%0.7%100/1 (1%)--

There may be 16 playoff teams but there are only 12 true Stanley Cup contenders (at least a 2% chance). At #2, the Bruins have a 14 percent chance of winning the Stanley Cup, which is 20 percentage points behind the Lightning. At the bottom of the contenders list, there is just 0 percent separating the Penguins from the Golden Knights.

Tampa Bay Lightning7/112.5%33.7%--
Boston Bruins8/111.1%13.6%UP
Washington Capitals12/17.7%13.4%DOWN
San Jose Sharks20/14.8%6.9%UP
Nashville Predators18/15.3%4.5%DOWN
Carolina Hurricanes20/14.8%4.3%DOWN
St. Louis Blues14/16.7%3.3%DOWN
Colorado Avalanche14/16.7%3.2%DOWN
Toronto Maple Leafs16/15.9%2.8%DOWN
Pittsburgh Penguins20/14.8%2.3%DOWN
Florida Panthers25/13.8%2.3%DOWN
Vegas Golden Knights14/16.7%2.3%DOWN
Winnipeg Jets25/13.8%1.5%DOWN
Edmonton Oilers20/14.8%1.4%DOWN
Calgary Flames30/13.2%1.2%DOWN