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2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conference Matchups

2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs

At the onset of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Boston Bruins are the favorite to win it all.  Boston will face the Florida Panthers in the first round.  Florida is a dangerous 8-seed with just enough talent to keep the Bruins focused.  Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs will try to avenge their NHL betting playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.  While the New Jersey Devils face the New York Rangers in the Battle of the Hudson River.  And then Caroline Hurricanes take on the New York Islanders. 

NHL Betting:  2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Eastern Conference Matchups  

1-Boston Bruins -320 vs. 8-Florida Panthers +250

Bruins vs. Panthers Schedule

Game 1 (at BOS): April 17, 7:30 ET (ESPN)
Game 2 (at BOS): April 19, 7:30 ET (ESPN)
Game 3 (at FLA): April 21, 7:30 ET (TNT)
Game 4 (at FLA): April 23, 3:30 ET (TNT)
Game 5 (at BOS): April 26, TBD
Game 6 (at FLA): April 28, TBD
Game 7 (at BOS): April 30, TBD

The Florida Panthers are 42-37-8 straight up and 42-30 over/under the total.  Also, Florida is 8th in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.  In comparison, the Boston Bruins are 65-12-5 straight up and 36-40-6 over/under the total.  Boston is 1st in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.

Last summer, the Boston Bruins surprisingly didn’t renew the contract of head coach Bruce Cassidy.  Consider Cassidy won 67% of his games at Boston and led them to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in all six of his seasons.  And in 2019, Cassidy led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final.  Boston lost in a 7-game

best sportsbook online heartbreaker to the St. Louis Blues.  Subsequently, they never advanced past the second round.

Jim Montgomery took over behind the bench this season.  As a result, Boston posted the best record in NHL history.

Best Bet:  Boston Bruins

2-Toronto Maple Leafs -150 vs. 6 Tampa Bay Lightning +130  

Lightning vs. Maple Leafs Schedule

Game 1 (at TOR): April 18, 7:30 ET (ESPN)
Game 2 (at TOR): April 20, 7 ET (ESPN)
Game 3 (at TB): April 22, 7 ET (TBS)
Game 4 (at TB): April 24, 7:30 ET (TBS)
Game 5 (at TOR): April 27, TBD
Game 6 (at TB): April 29, TBD
Game 7 (at TOR): May 1, TBD

The Tampa Bay Lightning are 46-30-6 straight up and 40-33-9 over/under the total.  Additionally, Tampa Bay is 6th in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.  Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs are 50-21-11 straight up and 36-42-4 over/under the total.  Toronto is 4th in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.  

It has been 56 years and counting.  Consider the Toronto Maple Leafs have an arrogant and privileged opinion of themselves.  Their fans are the most entitled and annoying in the NHL if not all sports.  Most fans and gamblers retort with the cruel fact that puts Leafy Boys in their proper place.  Specifically, Toronto’s last Stanley Cup championship was in 1967.  That was the final season before the Great Expansion.  Indeed, those were the prehistoric Original Six Days.

Now there is a Betting on NHL sense beyond Leaf Nation that this could be the year.  Toronto is one of the most talented and skilled teams in the NHL.  But do they have the heart of a champion?

Best Bet:  Toronto Maple Leafs

2-Carolina Hurricanes -205 vs. 7-New York Islanders +165

Hurricanes vs. Islanders Schedule

Game 1: | Monday, April 17, 7 p.m. | at CAR | TV: ESPN2
Game 2: | Wednesday, April 19, 7 p.m. | at CAR | TV: ESPN2
Game 3: | Friday, April 21, 7 p.m. | at NYI | TV: TBS
Game 4: | Sunday, April 23, 1 p.m. | at NYI | TV: TNT
Game 5*: | Tuesday, April 25, TBD | at CAR | TV: TBD
Game 6*: | Friday, April 28, TBD | at NYI | TV: TBD
Game 7*: | Sunday, April 30, TBD | at CAR | TV: TBD

The New York Islanders have a hockey betting record of 42-31-9 straight up and 35-43-4 over/under the total.  Also, New York is 7th in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.  In turn, the Carolina Hurricanes are 52-21-9 straight up and 35-42-2 over/under the total.  Carolina is 2nd in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.

In the middle of the 2017-18 season, the Carolina Hurricanes franchise was on life support.  Correlate that years of losing cost the Canes most of their pro hockey betting fan support.  The team was hemorrhaging money and was rumored to seek a new home.  And then came Tom Dundon.

In February 2018, Dundon took over the moribund franchise, injecting it with new ideas and great enthusiasm.  Also, he believed that a bloated org chart cut be cut and consolidated.  The rest of the NHL derided Dundon and sneered at his ways.  That was then.  Nobody is laughing at Dundon now.

Best Bet:  Carolina Hurricanes

3-New Jersey Devils -120 vs. #5 New York Rangers +100 

Devils vs. Rangers Schedule

Game 1 (at NJ): April 18, 7 ET (TBS)
Game 2 (at NJ): April 20, 7:30 ET (TBS)
Game 3 (at NYR): April 22, 8 ET (ABC)
Game 4 (at NYR): April 24, 7 ET (ESPN)
Game 5 (at NJ): April 27, TBD
Game 6 (at NYR): April 29, TBD
Game 7 (at NJ): May 1, TBD

Overall, the New York Rangers have an NHL gambling record of 47-22-13 straight up and 35-44-3 over/under the total.  Also, New York is 5th in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.  By contrast, The New Jersey Devils are 52-22-8 straight up and 40-37-5 over/under the total.  New Jersey is 3rd in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.

Two games into the season, New Jersey Devil fans were screaming for head coach Lindy Ruff to be fired.  They chanted their demands in unison during home games at the Prudential Center.  But two months later, those same fans sang the praises of Ruff and chanted support for the coach they previously wanted to be fired.  The Devils are in the playoffs for the first time since 2018.  And just the second time since 2012.

Now comes the hard part.  There is a distinct difference between the regular season and playoff hockey.  And the New York Rangers will be tough in the first round.

CashBet Best Bet

New Jersey Devils


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