Canadian Clubs Hit Ice for NHL Playoffs

There will be five Canadian teams among the 16 contenders battling in the NHL playoffs this year, led by the Montreal Canadiens with 9/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup at online sportsbook Bodog.

The Canadiens were Canada’s last winner of the Cup back in 1993 when they knocked off Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings in five games.

And the Kings are the defending Cup champions, but they missed out on the playoffs because the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames both finished strong to steal the last couple postseason spots away from them in the Western Conference.

The Jets qualified as a Wild Card team after winning 10 of their last 14 games, including four of five to close out the regular season. Unfortunately for Winnipeg fans, their team is 25/1 to win the Cup at Bodog and must start the playoffs against the Pacific Division-winning Anaheim Ducks.

The Ducks tied with the Central Division champion St. Louis Blues for the most points in the Western Conference with 109, and they are each 8/1 to win the Cup at Bodog along with the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild. The Flames are 20/1 to win the Cup and have an opening-round matchup against the Vancouver Canucks (16/1), one of two all-Canadian series of the eight overall.

Montreal will meet the Ottawa Senators (16/1) in the other Canadian matchup after winning the Atlantic Division by two points over the Tampa Bay Lightning (12/1). The Lightning won all five regular-season meetings with the Canadiens and could face them in the second round if they get past the Detroit Red Wings (16/1) in the first round.

The favorites on the odds to win the Stanley Cup at Bodog, though, are the Metropolitan Division champion New York Rangers, who are 6/1 as winners of the Presidents’ Trophy, awarded to the team that finishes the regular season with the most points.

The Rangers fell to Los Angeles in the Stanley Cup final last year but will have home-ice advantage throughout the postseason. New York will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins (16/1) in the first round of the playoffs.