The Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Odds as the NHL Restart

By: Ryan Gilbert 

The Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Odds as the NHL Restarts

If the NHL season resumes, it will do so in a format that has never been seen before. 24 teams are currently eligible to win the Stanley Cup: eight teams that have clinched a spot in the playoffs, and 16 teams that must win a best-of-five play-in series in the “qualifying round.” Luckily, the Boston Bruins are not one of those 16 teams. 

Thanks to a stellar regular season, the Bruins are one of the eight teams – four in each conference – that will instead play in a round-robin tournament to determine the top four seeds. The Bruins will face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, and Philadelphia Flyers in the opening round.  

The Bruins should end up with the top seed, but a lackluster set of round-robin games puts them in danger of falling to the third or fourth slot, which could hurt them in later rounds. 

Bruins’ odds to win the Eastern Conference: +300

The Boston Bruins are looking for their second straight trip to the Stanley Cup Final. After a heartbreaking Game 7 loss last year to the St. Louis Blues, they are once again poised for a run to the Cup. 

The Bruins are co-favorites to win the Eastern Conference, along with one of their round-robin foes: the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bruins and Lightning have been towards the top of the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference not only this season, but in most recent years, so this should come as little surprise. 

The Bruins absolutely should be the favorites, as they were undoubtedly the best team in the NHL this season. They had the most wins (44) and points (100), while losing just 14 times in regulation – six less than the second-best total in the Eastern Conference. 

Boston’s odds aren’t very favorable, however, as a +300 bet has some risk in it. If they are to lose in the playoffs, it will likely be to an Eastern Conference opponent. However, there may be a bet worth making. 

Bruins’ odds to win the Stanley Cup: +650

If you want to bet on the Bruins this postseason, take a look at their odds to win it all. They are still co-favorites with the Lightning, but the Bruins have a much better team with more experience. 

The Bruins have one of the best lines in the league – if not the best – with Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak. The trio totalled 107 goals this season, with Pastnrak leading the way (48 goals and 47 assists for 95 points).  

They have solid depth as well with David Krejci, Charlie Coyle, and deadline addition Ondrej Kase raring to go. 

Not only do they have some of the best forwards in the league, they also have the best goaltender tandem. Tuukka Rask (26-8-6, .929 save percentage, 2.12 goals against average) was great as their starter, and Jaroslav Halak (18-6-6, .919 SV%, 2.39 GAA) was pretty darn good as the backup. If Rask falters in the playoffs, they know they can rely on Halak. 

If that isn’t enough to convince you, the Bruins went 20-6-1 since January 7th, and 15-4-0 since the All-Star Break (January 31st). They are the best bet to win the Stanley Cup. 

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Commissioner Silver Holds Phone Call With NBA Players

Earlier today, Commissioner Adam Silver held a phone call with members of the NBAPA to discuss the remainder of this season and what the plans might be for the future. According to sources close to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, restarting the season, discussing where games could be played, and potential formatting for the NBA Playoffs were all ideas talked about during the call.

The first thing Woj’s sources explained was how the league wants to approach restarting and playing games. Commissioner Silver reportedly said that playing in just one or two locations “would be safer…” Sources also said that the NBA does not feel pressure to restart the season in May or even June.

Woj’s sources also explained that the commissioner is hopeful that the league would have a playoff that featured a seven-game series in every round. Silver also reportedly said that he believes the playoffs would go by quicker if all games were held in just two locations since it will limit the need for travel. Woj is saying that Orlando and Las Vegas are two of the top locations currently being considered by the league.

Wojnarowski said that there was an important message that Commissioner Silver wanted the players to take away from the phone call. “This is going to be hard — and hard for a long time. We need to work together. Hard choices are coming. No one will agree on everything…” Silver said.


League And Players’ Association Agree To cancel International Games

Earlier today, it was announced that the NHL would not be playing any more internationally-scheduled games in 2020. The announcement was jointly made by the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association.

The sides came together to release a statement about the decision. They said, “The NHLPA and the NHL remain committed to maintaining and growing our international presence. We hope that our fans overseas understand the need to postpone the 2020 games, but we look forward to being back with them in 2021.”

The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Colorado Avalanche were originally scheduled to play a regular-season game this year in Helsinki, Finland before the season was paused in March. On top of that, the Boston Bruins and the Nashville Predators are scheduled to play against each other in the Czech Republic to open their 2020-21 regular-seasons. The league was also reportedly hoping to play a game in China in 2021 but that is now unlikely.


League Reportedly Planning To Shorten Upcoming Draft

According to ESPN’s sources, Major League Baseball is planning on cutting down the 2020 Draft to just five rounds. This is a drastic change from the typical MLB Draft which usually consists of 40 rounds. ESPN is saying the decision comes as team owners look to save money amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The reported changes to the draft come after the MLB and the MLBPA agreed back in March to reduce the number of rounds in the 2020 Draft. ESPN said that the agreement “…allows teams to delay signing bonuses, with a maximum of $100,000 to be paid within 30 days of a player signing, 50% of the remainder due July 1, 2021, and the leftover due July 1, 2022.”

According to ESPN, the plan allows teams to sign an unlimited number of draftees for a maximum amount of $20K per player. The 2020 MLB Draft is currently scheduled to begin on June 10th.


League Releases 2020 Schedule

Yesterday, the NFL released the schedule for the upcoming year, including the date and time of the opening game of the 2020 regular-season. The full schedule was revealed last night at 8:00 PM EST.

The NFL’s 101st season is scheduled to begin at 8:20 PM EST on Thursday, September 10th when the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Houston Texans at in KC. The Texans and Chiefs faced off in the Divisional Round of last year’s playoffs. Kansas City would go on to win by a final score of 51-31 despite being down 21-0 in the first quarter of the game.

ESPN’s Stats and Information Department was able to quickly analyze every team’s schedule. Based on 2019 opponents’ records, the New England Patriots will have the toughest regular-season schedule, while the Ravens have the easiest schedule.

Unsurprisingly, Tom Brady will have plenty of opportunities to show off his talent on his new team. The Buccaneers will play in five primetime games this coming season which is tied with seven other teams for most 2020 regular-season games in primetime. The Detroit Lions and the Washington Redskins are the only two teams not scheduled to appear in any primetime games this coming season.

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