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2019 NHL Playoffs Second-Round Series Odds & Picks

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky
Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky backstopped the Columbus Blue Jackets to a sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning in their first-round Stanley Cup series. Photo by Michael Miller (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License].
  • The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs was historic
  • The second round of NHL playoff action will be missing all four division winners
  • Neither of last spring’s Stanley Cup finalists made it to the second round

The first-round of the 2019 NHL playoffs was a round like no other.

The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning? Buh-bye. The defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals? See ya. The reigning Western Conference champion Vegas Golden Knights? Crapped out.

For the first time since the NHL went to a four-division format in 1974-75, not a single division winner survived the opening round. Five of eight opening-round series ended in upsets.

From a betting standpoint, these developments have certainly thrown the chase for Lord Stanley’s mug wide open. If there ever was a year to play a longshot, this year certainly looks to be it.

2019 NHL Eastern Conference Playoffs Second-Round Odds

Team Odds to Win Series at Bovada
Columbus Blue Jackets +120
Boston Bruins -140
Team Odds to Win Series at Bovada
Carolina Hurricanes +105
New York Islanders -125

*Odds taken on 04/25/19

Of the four remaining Eastern Conference teams, only the Boston Bruins (2011) have won the Stanley Cup in the past decade. Carolina won its lone Cup in 2006. The New York Islanders haven’t won the Cup since 1983 and Columbus has never won the Cup.

Feels Like the First Time

Columbus had never won a playoff series since entering the NHL in 2000 but when they finally did it, the Blue Jackets delivered in style. They became the first team ever to sweep a Presidents’ Trophy winner in the first round of postseason play when they took out the 62-win Lightning.

The regular-season series was split 2-2. It featured two overtime games and two blowouts – a 7-4 Blue Jackets win and a 6-2 Bruins verdict.

Columbus has won 11 of its last 12 overall but that one loss was to Boston. The Blue Jackets are a heavier, more physical team than the Toronto club Boston toppled in Round 1. They are solid defensively, goalie Sergei Bobrovsky can steal games, and Cam Atkinson (41 goals) and Artemi Panarin (87 points) are offensive threats.

The Bruins were a dominant home team this season with 29 wins but lost two of four at home to the Leafs. Boston is deeper than in recent springs and should be able to take advantage of rust on the Blue Jackets, who haven’t played since April 16th, to get a jump in this set.

The Pick: Boston Bruins (-140)

Isles Brace for Storm Warning

Both the Islanders and Hurricanes were born in 1972 – the Islanders as an NHL expansion franchise and Carolina as the New England Whalers of the fledgling WHA. They’ve never met previously in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Storming back to beat the Capitals, Carolina saved Islanders coach Barry Trotz from endless questions about facing his old team in the postseason. Trotz led Washington to the Cup last spring and is seeking to join Tommy Gorman (1993-34 Chicago Blackhawks, 1934-35 Montreal Maroons) as the only coach to win consecutive Stanley Cups with different teams.

Carolina beat the Islanders once in four tries this season. The Isles, who swept Pittsburgh, were the NHL’s best defensive club this season but their special teams struggled. This is the fourth time in the playoffs for the Hurricanes since 2002, but in their three previous appearances, they won a Cup (2006), reached the final (2002) and lost the conference final (2009).

The Pick: Carolina Hurricanes (+105)

2019 NHL Western Conference Playoffs Second-Round Odds

Team Odds to Win Series at Bovada
Dallas Stars +120
St. Louis Blues -160
Team Odds to Win Series at Bovada
Colorado Avalanche +115
San Jose Sharks -135

Old School Enemies

The playoff rivalry between the Stars and Blues extends back to 1968, their first NHL season, when St. Louis edged the-then Minnesota North Stars in a seven-game semifinal series.

Overall, it’s their 14th playoff meeting. St. Louis holds a slight 7-6 advantage. Five of those series have gone the distance, including their most recent meeting in 2016.

The Stars were one of the few teams to get to Blues rookie goalie Jordan Binnington. His save percentage against Dallas was .879.

The Stars were one of the few teams to get to Blues rookie goalie Jordan Binnington. His save percentage against Dallas was .879. Stars goalie Ben Bishop was .945 with a 1.90 GAA in their first-round win over Nashville.

Dallas relies heavily on its top line of Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Alexander Radulov. The Blues are deeper and that’ll be the difference.

The Pick: St Louis Blues (-160)

What Will Sharks Have Left in the Tank?

San Jose made history in the first round, rallying to beat Vegas after being down 3-1. Both Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl scored six goals in the series.

Not only did the Sharks go seven, they needed OT to win the last two games. And they’re an older team that plays a shorter bench.

The Avs are young and skilled. Nathan MacKinnon might be the best player left in the playoffs. They’ll take advantage of erratic Sharks netminder Martin Jones to pull the upset.

The Pick: Colorado Avalanche (+115)

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