The NHL season is due to get back up and running in a modified format from Saturday (Aug. 1 2020), with a host of burning questions waiting to receive their answers in Canada.
Edmonton and Toronto will host matches in a 24-team bonanza, with the top four teams from each conference entering a round-robin contest to decide seedings for the final play-offs while the eight teams after them in each conference set to duke it out in a knockout qualifier tournament.
The Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning are joint-favorites to lift this year’s Stanley Cup at +650 (7.50) with SugarHouse NJ bonus code (SUGARGAMBLER), but there are a number of obstacles between either outfit and the Finals.
Many have opined that despite the glum circumstances by which this year’s changed competition came about, we may be looking forward to the best play-offs in a number of years. Each outfit’s response in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic will bear a great weight in determining how far they run in the post-season, with some more pleased with the changes than others.
Will the Bruins be able to rediscover the same form that saw them win 16 of their 20 games prior to the pause? They’ll be pitted against the Philadelphia Flyers in the first matchup of their round-robin pool, a team against whom they’ve already lost twice this season.
The Lightning face Alex Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals in their initial return on Monday and are one team that could benefit from the delay. Barclay Goodrow and Blake Coleman had limited production for their new team after signing not long prior the COVID-19 suspension, but extra time to settle in their new surroundings could pay dividends following the delay.
The league confirmed no new coronavirus cases were recorded from the 4,256 tests administered to more than 800 players in their latest round of results, per ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, in what should help make for a smooth return to play.
Fans can rejoice at the sport’s return to the ice after four months without any action, and the NHL drama won’t take long to ramp back up as the play-offs kick off Saturday.
NHL Restart Odds, Predictions
Saturday, August 1
- New York Rangers (+110) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (-132) – Hurricanes
- Chicago Blackhawks (+128) vs. Edmonton Oilers (-155) – Oilers
- Florida Panthers (+100) vs. New York Islanders (-121) – Panthers
- Montreal Canadiens (+128) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (-155) – Penguins
- Winnipeg Jets (+102) vs. Calgary Flames (-122) – Jets
Sunday, August 2
- Arizona Coyotes (+105) vs. Nashville Predators (-127) – Predators
- Philadelphia Flyers (+110) vs. Boston Bruins (-134) – Flyers
- St. Louis Blues (-107) vs. Colorado Avalanche (-113) – Avalanche
- Columbus Blue Jackets (+135) vs.Toronto Maple Leafs (-165) – Maple Leafs
- Minnesota Wild (+100) vs. Vancouver Canucks (-121) – Wild
Monday, August 3
- Washington Capitals (+106) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (-129) – Lightning
- Dallas Stars (+102) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (-124) – Golden Knights