by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Tampa Bay Lightning became the latest winner of the Presidents’ Trophy not to win the Stanley Cup last season, but their disappointing finish to the 2018/19 campaign was magnified because they were swept in the first round by the Columbus Blue Jackets. This year, the Lightning are hoping to get back to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2015 as large -500 favorites (bet $500 to win $100) on the odds to make the NHL playoffs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Presidents’ Trophy is awarded to the team that ends up with the most points during the regular season, and the Chicago Blackhawks are the last team to hoist the Cup after earning that honor seven years ago in a lockout-shortened campaign. Tampa Bay was a heavy favorite to win the Cup last season and looks to be the team to beat this year too with a strong core returning for another run at the franchise’s second NHL championship. The Lightning totaled the second-most points ever last season with 128.
If you think Tampa Bay will miss the postseason though, you can get +350 (bet $100 to win $350), which is also the second-largest payout on the board. The biggest favorites to not make the playoffs are the Ottawa Senators at a whopping -1100 on those NHL odds, and that makes a lot of sense considering they had a league-low 64 points a year ago and have traded away most of their best players, including defenseman Erik Karlsson and winger Mark Stone. You can get +625 if you believe the Senators will make the postseason field.
Another team to watch is the Blackhawks, who are EVEN money to make the playoffs and -130 to miss the postseason for a third straight year. Chicago has won three Stanley Cup titles over the past decade and still has Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane playing in their primes at 31 years old and 30, respectively. The addition of goaltender Robin Lehner to help solve some of the team’s defensive woes could prove to be the best offseason move if he can find a way to perform like he did last season as a Vezina Trophy finalist.