NHL Futures: Lightning at the Top

There is a very large 10.5% gap between the Lightning and the Capitals. The Washington Capitals at 18.6% trails the Tampa Bay Lightning at 29.1%. The difference between these teams is widening as the Capitals chances are down from 26.6 percent. As far as teams fighting for the final playoff spots go, there is a small difference in projected points between the teams with the #7 best record and the team with the #9 best record. In terms of having a realistic chance of winning the West, there are 7 legitimate contenders (those with >=4% chance).

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Tampa Bay Lightning107.623.9%98.7%4/1 (20%)29.1%
Washington Capitals113.678.9%99.9%5/1 (16.7%)18.6%
Boston Bruins113.271.3%99.8%4/1 (20%)17.5%
Florida Panthers101.93.3%89.3%15/1 (6.2%)9.1%
Carolina Hurricanes102.04.2%88.5%10/1 (9.1%)8.6%
Toronto Maple Leafs99.21.5%77.7%6/1 (14.3%)7.5%
Pittsburgh Penguins104.611.7%94.8%7/1 (12.5%)6.7%
Philadelphia Flyers93.50.2%35.5%25/1 (3.8%)1.2%
New York Islanders101.34.9%85.7%12/1 (7.7%)1.2%
New York Rangers88.80.0%12.5%100/1 (1%)0.3%
Columbus Blue Jackets89.30.0%12.3%140/1 (0.7%)0.2%
Montreal Canadiens84.80.0%3.3%50/1 (2%)0.1%
Buffalo Sabres83.40.0%2.0%50/1 (2%)--
New Jersey Devils72.70.0%0.0%500/1 (0.2%)--
Ottawa Senators70.40.0%0.0%1000/1 (0.1%)--
Detroit Red Wings51.70.0%0.0%1000/1 (0.1%)--

There is a large 9.3% gap between West leaders. The St. Louis Blues lead with a 26.6 percent chance of winning the West and the Nashville Predators are at 17.3%. The difference between these teams is widening as the Predators chances are down from 24.5 percent. Expect the playoff race to be tight. In simulations, the Canucks average the #7 most wins and the Oilers average the #9 most so the difference (3.45 points) between making and missing the playoffs is expected to be small. This is a wide open conference with 8 teams having at least a four percent chance of winning.

St. Louis Blues109.681.2%100.0%5/1 (16.7%)26.6%
Nashville Predators95.32.3%83.6%15/1 (6.2%)17.3%
Colorado Avalanche102.114.7%98.0%6/1 (14.3%)15.5%
Vegas Golden Knights92.721.5%73.0%7/2 (22.2%)8.9%
Arizona Coyotes93.022.9%72.8%8/1 (11.1%)6.3%
Calgary Flames91.815.0%64.2%15/1 (6.2%)5.5%
Vancouver Canucks93.928.1%77.4%12/1 (7.7%)5.5%
Winnipeg Jets90.70.3%56.1%15/1 (6.2%)4.1%
Edmonton Oilers90.411.1%55.1%20/1 (4.8%)3.2%
Chicago Blackhawks86.00.0%21.9%100/1 (1%)2.9%
Dallas Stars94.01.5%76.3%7/1 (12.5%)2.9%
San Jose Sharks84.11.4%16.1%25/1 (3.8%)1.1%
Minnesota Wild81.50.0%5.9%25/1 (3.8%)0.2%
Anaheim Ducks71.50.0%0.1%150/1 (0.7%)--
Los Angeles Kings69.00.0%0.0%150/1 (0.7%)--

Below are the latest NHL Futures for winning the Stanley Cup. At #2, the Capitals have a 12 percent chance of winning the Stanley Cup, which is 9 percentage points behind the Lightning. At the bottom of the contenders list, 2.5 percentage points separate the Maple Leafs from the Golden Knights.

Tampa Bay Lightning8/111.1%21.6%UP
Washington Capitals10/19.1%12.4%DOWN
Boston Bruins8/111.1%12.2%DOWN
St. Louis Blues10/19.1%11.1%UP
Nashville Predators30/13.2%6.6%DOWN
Florida Panthers30/13.2%6.0%UP
Carolina Hurricanes20/14.8%5.3%DOWN
Colorado Avalanche12/17.7%5.2%DOWN
Toronto Maple Leafs12/17.7%5.0%DOWN
Pittsburgh Penguins14/16.7%3.6%DOWN
Vegas Golden Knights7/112.5%2.5%DOWN
Calgary Flames30/13.2%1.6%DOWN
Arizona Coyotes16/15.9%1.4%DOWN
Winnipeg Jets30/13.2%1.2%DOWN
Vancouver Canucks25/13.8%1.1%UP