We’ve arrived to the “final four” of the 2018-19 NHL Playoffs, with the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks taking on each other in the Western Conference Finals, and the Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins will battle it out in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Right now the NHL betting sites have the Boston Bruins are the favorites with a +170 number, while the St. Louis Blues are right behind them with +200. Meanwhile, the San Jose Sharks are a bit more distant with +375 odds, and the Carolina Hurricanes come in last at +400.
With the Boston Bruins, it looked like the Columbus Blue Jackets were on their way to another upset after taking the Tampa Bay Lightning out of the postseason — nope. Boston would rally to win three consecutive games and they would advance to the Eastern Conference Finals themselves. As far as the Finals are concerned, with the advantage in experience that the Bruins have, it shouldn’t be a shocker that Boston (+170) are heavy favorites over Carolina (+400). Another championship for Bean Town?
When we travel out west, it would be the St. Louis Blues who would book their ticket to the Western Conference Finals after taking out a pesky Dallas Stars team — they would have to eliminate them in double overtime. After they got the series-clinching victory over Dallas, St. Louis would shoot up to +200 odds as a result. Not too shabby. The Blues will face off against the San Jose Sharks, a team who had an absolute dogfight all series long with the Colorado Avalanche — literally. Even Game 7 would go down by a score of 3-2, it was unbelievably tight. But San Jose clinches their ticket, and they’ll now face off against St. Louis.
I have a wish: Can we please see the San Jose Sharks and Carolina Hurricanes face off in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals? I swear they have the coolest jerseys in sports. Please?
When you look at the standings, you notice that the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes don’t separate each other in the numbers — Boston in the regular season carried a productive 49-24-9 (107 points) record, while Carolina sat at 46-29-7 (99 points). That’s not bad if you’re a Hurricanes fan, but here’s the problem for Carolina: They fail in comparison when it comes to experience. I’ll be honest with you: I’m personally rooting for the Hurricanes because I grew up near Raleigh, but I have serious doubts they can pull it off. As you see, Las Vegas agrees.
The St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks were nearly identical in the regular season — the Blues were 45-28-9 (99 points) and the Sharks were 46-27-9 (101 points). What’s interesting is that despite San Jose having one more win and two more points, the Blues are still higher in the odds at +200. The Sharks sit at +375. But that just shows you how close this series could be, and we could have another dogfight on our hands, especially when you consider that San Jose is a No. 2 seed and St. Louis is a No. 3. I expect this series to go a full out seven games.
I’m honestly a bit surprised that the San Jose Sharks come below the St. Louis Blues in the odds. As I’ve previously mentioned, the Sharks did statistically better in the regular season and have a higher seed in the playoffs. And not just that, but San Jose also has home advantage. I might have to disagree with the odds-makers here, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think the series will go down to the last game — because it will. The Hurricanes-Bruins series will be exciting, but I don’t think nothing can compare to what we’re about to see with these two.
Experience. Experience. Experience. That’s what it all boils down to for the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins. And not just that: Boston is riding hot defense right now, and their offense is also carrying the clutch gene with them as well. Needless to say, the Hurricanes have their work cut out for them. But give Carolina credit: This is the same team that took out the Washington Capitals, the Eastern Conference champions from last season. Go ahead and make Boston the favorite, sure, but place them on upset alert.