By: Ryan Gilbert
2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs Odds: Flyers vs. Canadiens Series Odds Preview
The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are officially here. After the round-robin tournament and qualifying series, there are 16 teams vying for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
One of the series to keep an eye on in the first round is between the Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens. The Eastern Conference Quarterfinal matchup has two teams that had a surprising performance: the Flyers in the round robin and the Canadiens in the play-in round.
Let’s start with the Flyers. The Flyers went into the round-robin tournament as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and were just hoping to find their groove again before the first round. They were red-hot before the season was suspended and some questioned whether they could pick up where they left off or not.
The Flyers answered that question with a defiant “yes” with three dominant games against the top teams in the East. They outscored the Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, and Tampa Bay Lightning 11-3 en route to locking up the top seed.
Flyers vs. Canadiens Series Odds Preview: Is This a Lock for the Flyers
So this should be an easy series, right? Well, not so fast.
The Canadiens have already shocked the world once by taking down the No. 5 seed Pittsburgh Penguins. Everyone, myself included, had the Penguins winning that series in a likely sweep or four games. Instead, the Penguins only mustered one win in a rather pathetic showing against the Canadiens.
But you have to credit Montreal with showing up and taking down one of the Stanley Cup contenders. Carey Price had an incredible series in goal for the Canadiens, and he might be able to carry them a bit further.
The Flyers’ depth was on full display throughout the round robin. Both Carter Hart and Brian Elliott looked good in net, 14 forwards and seven defenseman rotated in and out to much success, and they were able to put teams away without goals from any of their top players. None of Sean Couturier, Jake Voracek, Kevin Hayes, Claude Giroux, or Travis Konecny scored a goal in three games. That’s five of their top-six forward group.
It’s a double-edged sword, however. If the depth players can’t continue to score, and the top guys stay cold, Price and the Canadiens could take them down. On the other hand, if the depth guys keep scoring a bit, and the top guys pick it up, it could be a short series for Montreal.
With all of that being said, I still believe the Flyers will win the series. They are pretty heavy favorites at -240, with the Canadiens at +195. I would bet on the Flyers at that price, but it may come down to entice you even more. If you want to call your shot, you can bet on the Flyers to sweep (+650), win in five (+335), win in six (+400), or win in seven games (+450). Their series spread of -1.5 games is -130, while -2.5 is +170.