Updated NHL Playoff Picture 2024 & Stanley Cup Odds

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Updated NHL Playoff Picture 2024 & Stanley Cup Odds

The NHL regular season is winding down, and the postseason picture is beginning to take shape. With under two weeks remaining, a number of races are still tight and the standings should shift, but we’re breaking down the bracket as it currently stands. 

The past few NHL postseasons have brought a number of shockers, with the No. 8 Florida Panthers taking down the No. 1 Boston Bruins en route to a Stanley Cup appearance last spring, spoiling Boston’s historically good regular season. In 2019, the No. 8 Columbus Blue Jackets swept a No. 1 Tampa Bay Lightning squad, so truly anything can happen.  

Check out the current Stanley Cup odds and the playoff picture with key dates and NHL betting information below. 

Current NHL playoff picture

As a reminder about the playoff format, the top three teams in each division automatically qualify, and each conference awards two wild card berths in addition to those winners. The top team in each division draws a wild card opponent. 

The New York Rangers, Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, and Panthers have clinched playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, but their seeds could change. In the Western Conference, the Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks, and Colorado Avalanche have clinched a playoff berth. Here is what the first round would look like if the season ended today:

NHL Eastern Conference playoffs

NHL Western Conference playoffs

Updated NHL playoff positioning

The wild card race is tight in the Eastern Conference, with the Detroit Red Wings, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres, and New Jersey Devils in the mix to steal one of those final spots. Only the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild are realistically in the mix to supplant one of the current wild card teams in the Western Conference. 

Eastern Conference standings

  1. New York Rangers (53-21-4; 110 points)
  2. Boston Bruins (46-17-15; 107 points)
  3. Carolina Hurricanes (49-22-7; 105 points)
  4. Florida Panthers (48-24-6; 102 points)
  5. Toronto Maple Leafs (44-23-9; 97 points)
  6. New York Islanders (35-27-15; 85 points)
  7. Tampa Bay Lightning (43-27-7; 93 points)
  8. Detroit Red Wings (38-31-8; 84 points)
  9. Washington Capitals (36-30-10; 83 points)
  10.  Pittsburgh Penguins (36-30-11; 83 points)
  11. Philadelphia Flyers (36-31-11; 83 points)
  12. New Jersey Devils (37-36-5; 79 points)
  13. Buffalo Sabres (37-36-5; 79 points)
  14. Ottawa Senators (34-39-4; 72 points)
  15. Montreal Canadiens (29-36-12; 70 points)
  16. Columbus Blue Jackets (26-40-12; 64 points)

Western Conference standings

  1. Dallas Stars (49-20-9; 107 points)
  2. Vancouver Canucks (47-22-8; 102 points)
  3. Colorado Avalanche (48-24-6; 102 points)
  4. Winnipeg Jets (47-24-6; 100 points)
  5. Edmonton Oilers (47-24-5; 99 points)
  6. Los Angeles Kings (41-25-11; 93 points)
  7. Nashville Predators (45-29-4; 94 points)
  8. Vegas Golden Knights (42-26-8; 92 points)
  9. St. Louis Blues (41-32-5; 87 points)
  10. Minnesota Wild (37-31-9; 83 points)
  11.  Seattle Kraken (32-31-13; 77 points)
  12. Calgary Flames (34-37-5; 73 points)
  13. Arizona Coyotes (33-39-5; 71 points)
  14. Anaheim Ducks (25-48-5; 55 points)
  15. Chicago Blackhawks (23-49-5; 51 points)
  16. San Jose Sharks (18-51-8; 44 points)

Odds to win the Stanley Cup

Sportsbooks have a range of options in terms of the outright favorite to win the Stanley Cup. The Hurricanes, Panthers, Avalanche, and Oilers are in the mix, with the top-seeded Rangers and Stars getting the shortest odds at other books. The Bruins have longer odds this year after bowing out in the first round last postseason. 

NHL playoff schedule, dates, and information

The regular season ends on April 18, and the playoffs begin two days later on Saturday, April 20. The NHL moved up the start of the playoffs from an original date of April 22. 

There are four rounds of action to determine the Stanley Cup champion, with the final running until June 24 if necessary. Each round is a best-of-seven series, and teams are not reseeded in each round, regardless of upsets. 

While there have been a number of shocking upsets in recent years, a wild card team has yet to win the Stanley Cup. The past two champions have come from the Western Conference, with the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche winning the past two championships after the Tampa Bay Lightning went back-to-back in 2020-21.