Western Conference Odds
The Calgary Flames finished with the most points in the Western Conference, but only have the fifth-best odds to win the Western Conference and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. Here's a look at a complete list of conference odds heading into the playoffs.
According to oddsmakers at BetNow.eu, the Sharks have 11/4 odds to win the Western Conference title. The defending conference champion Las Vegas Golden Knights have the next-best odds at 4/1, while the Winnipeg Jets come in at 9/2. The Nashville Predators are at 5/1, while the Flames are listed at 7/1. Check out our NHL Future Odds Page for the entire list.
San Jose Sharks
A balanced and potent offensive attack has been the calling card for the Sharks this season, which has led them to a 46-27-9 record and 100 points. That was good for the second-best record in the Western Conference. The Sharks also traded in the offseason for star defenseman Erik Karlsson and while he has missed 29 games with injury, he returned after a month-plus absence for the final regular season game and should be good to go in the postseason. In his 53 regular season games, Karlsson accounted for three goals and 42 assists. Fellow defenseman Brent Burns led San Jose in scoring with 16 goals and 67 assists. Martin Jones will be in goal for the playoffs after going 36-19-5 during the regular season with a 2.94 goals-against average and .896 save percentage in 62 games.
Las Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights burst onto the scene last year as an expansion team in advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals during a historic run. While Las Vegas didn't catch anyone by surprise this season, it did have another strong campaign with a 43-32-7 record and 93 points. But the Golden Knights are coming in on a sour note with seven losses in their last eight games. Leading Las Vegas into action is Jonathan Marchessault as he has seemingly busted out from a lengthy scoring slump and has 25 goals plus 34 assists over 82 games. Center William Karlsson accounted for 24 goals and 32 assists. Veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury comes in with a 35-21-5 record plus a 2.51 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage. Las Vegas will open its series Wednesday night at conference favorite San Jose.
The Jets have a fantastic home atmosphere in the postseason and advanced to the Western Conference Finals last season before falling in five games to Las Vegas. Winnipeg enters the playoffs with a 47-30-5 record and 99 points, but did lose six of its last nine games. Pacing the Jets offensively is Blake Wheeler as he notched 20 goals and 71 assists as the main distributor. Mark Scheifele built off his huge postseason with 38 goals and 46 assists, while Kyle Connor tallied 34 goals and 32 assists. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck had a 34-23-3 record plus a 2.90 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage in 63 games.
The Flames combined a strong core with playing in a fairly weak Pacific Division to lead the Western Conference at a 50-25-7 record and 107 points. Oddsmakers don't seem to trust Calgary to win the Western Conference, but with no clear favorite it is firmly in the mix as the top seed. Left winger Johnny Gaudreau had the best season of his five-year NHL career with 36 goals and 63 assists, while four other players - Sean Monahan (82 points), Elias Lindholm (78 points), Matthew Tkachuk (77 points) and Mark Giordano (74 points) all contributed heavily. Goaltending responsibilities have been shared by David Rittich (27-9-5, 2.61 GAA, .911 save pct.) and Mike Smith (23-16-2, 2.72 GAA, .898 save pct.). Calgary opens in the first round Thursday at home versus the Colorado Avalanche.