By: Ryan Gilbert
NHL Play-in, Stanley Cup odds: Islanders May End Up Stranded
The New York Islanders are back in the playoffs, and they’re looking to make some noise.
The Islanders will face the Florida Panthers in the qualifying round of the NHL playoffs. The qualifying round is a best-of-five series against the Panthers to make the “official” 16-team playoffs, rather than this year’s unique 24-team setup.
It was a rough second half for the Islanders, who lost their final seven games in the regular season and won just two of their last 13 games of the season. They were hampered by injuries, and it was hurting their playoff chances. Now, however, they just need to win three games against the Panthers to get into the playoffs.
The Islanders are the favorites in the series against the Panthers, but their Stanley Cup odds and Eastern Conference odds tell the story of an underdog looking to upset some teams on the road to the Cup.
New York Islanders’ Odds vs. Florida Panthers
New York Islanders’ Odds vs. Florida Panthers: -122
New York played Florida three times in the regular season, and the Islanders won all three times.
They played early on in the year with the Islanders winning 3-2 in a shootout on October 12th. Less than a month later, the Islanders once again took down the Panthers in a one-goal game by a final score of 2-1. Their third and final meeting of the season was another low-scoring affair, this time in Florida. The Islanders came away with the road win by a 3-1 score.
The Islanders seem to have the Panthers’ number, and the two teams are headed in different directions. The Islanders are recovering from some injuries and coming into the playoffs as a full unit. On the other hand, the Panthers were sellers at the trade deadline and may not be up to task.
You still can’t count the Panthers out, though, due to their star goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
If Bobrovsky is on, it could be a frustrating series for the Islanders. If he’s not, the Islanders could win it in three or four games. If you want to take a risk you could bet on the Islanders -1.5 games for +190. If you have a strong feeling that the Islanders could sweep, you could make a pretty penny at +575 for the Islanders to win the series 3-0.
Unfortunately for the Islanders, they don’t appear to be built for a long playoff run.
New York Islanders’ Odds to Win the Eastern Conference
New York Islanders’ Odds to Win the Eastern Conference: +2000
Of the 12 Eastern Conference teams in the qualifying round, the Islanders are tied for the fifth-worst odds at +2000.
The Islanders may be able to get past the Panthers, but that will likely be their last series victory.
While they are getting a few players back, they still had an under .500 record (13-16-8) from December 17th until the end of the season after a 22-7-2 start.
They could win one more if they get hot, but there isn’t enough there to bet on them to win the Eastern Conference or Stanley Cup.
New York Islanders’ Stanley Cup odds: +4300
In the 24-team playoffs, the Islanders are tied for the 17th-longest odds to win the Stanley Cup.
If you’re a believer, you can cash in at +4300, but I wouldn’t recommend it.