We have finally made it into the conference finals in what has been a very entertaining NHL postseason. The Vegas Golden Knights are preparing to take on the Dallas Stars over in the Western Conference. While that matchup makes sense in terms of seedings, the matchups in the East are far more surprising where the Carolina Hurricanes will square off with the Florida Panthers. BetAnySports.eu has lines up on the showdowns, so let’s take a look and see what the best bets are.
Western Conference Finals: Stars vs. Golden Knights NHL Odds at BetAnySports: Golden Knight -135
First things first, we’ll discuss the Golden Knights. Vegas is an incredibly deep team all around, especially in the net. Their rookie goalie Logan Thompson went through the regular season with 21 wins, then when he went down, they replaced him with Laurent Brossoit. Brossoit helped the team get the top seed and pushed them through a playoff series before getting hurt himself. After Brossoit, Adin Hill stepped in and carried them through their series win over the Edmonton Oilers.
Simply put, their goaltending instills a lot of confidence in what they can do. That depth goes beyond just their goaltending as well, with 13 different skaters scoring a goal in this postseason. Their area for concern is the penalty kill. They were 19th in the NHL in success rate at just 77.4 percent. Going up against the fifth best power play unit in the Dallas Stars could create problems.
Then on the other hand there are the Stars. Goalie Jake Oettinger showed his true potential during Game 7 against the Seattle Kraken and makes this team look legit moving forward. Oettinger has been one of the better goalies in the league all season but has had struggles in the first two series. Luckily, they have a platoon of skaters that can create offense.
Roope Hintz is the second-best scorer in the postseason so far, Joe Pavelski had a game where he scored four goals in the second round, then new trade deadline pickups Max Domi and Evgenii Dadonov were playing larger roles. The best part is that their only true player that’s underperformed is their best one, Jason Robertson, and yet they still find themselves here. Robertson had 109 regular season points, and if he gets going, Dallas gets even tougher to beat. Dallas has a hot offense that will be going up against a brutally deep Vegas squad that wins by association.
Stars vs. Golden Knights Pick: Golden Knights In 6
Eastern Conference Finals: Panthers vs. Hurricanes Odds at BetAnySports: Hurricanes -145
The Hurricanes come storming into this series with a lot of confidence. They completely dismantled the New Jersey Devils in five games, only underperforming once in the series. Their overall goaltending has been phenomenal. Frederik Andersen was thrown into the fire during the first round and has gone 5-0 since, having just the one poor performance. That came against the Devils and he wasn’t hit with the loss due to being pulled early on. Outside of that, Andersen and the Carolina defense were very good in the first two rounds. They have allowed the fewest shots per game in the postseason, so their opponents don’t get a lot of opportunities.
What’s also impressive is that they have 14 different skaters with goals and have a specific play set that separates them from the rest. In particular, we saw Jordan Martinook score 10 points in five games against the Devils. Sebastian Aho has 10 points throughout the postseason as well. Not to mention that this has all been after they lost Andrei Svechnikov and Max Pacioretty to injuries.
They face the Florida Panthers. Florida has been on a run like no other. A team that barely squeaked into the postseason is running through teams right now, beating the record-breaking Boston Bruins and then the Toronto Maple Leafs in five games. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is 7-2 in the postseason with a .918 save percentage and a 2.82 GAA. He’s been one of the best in the position as of late, and without him, they might not be here.
The Panthers also just work as a team and take each matchup one at a time. They stay in the moment, get physical with their opponents, know that they’re the underdog, and embrace it. It’s hard to pinpoint any one player in the Panthers skater group outside of Matthew Tkachuk, as they truly do get the job done as a unit. Don’t expect an easy fight with Florida on the horizon.
Both Carolina and Florida play physical styles of defense and rely upon their overall team to get the job done rather than just one guy. The team play will be important overall as multiple players will need to get involved.
Panthers vs. Hurricanes Pick: Hurricanes In 5.
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