Flyers Remain +975 Longshots to Win Metro Despite 10-2-3 Record in Last 15 Games
- With a league-leading 47 points, the Washington Capitals are the favorites to win the Metropolitan Division, with odds of -130
- The New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes possess the second- and third-best odds, at +275 and +775 respectively
- The Philadelphia Flyers have used their recent 10-2-3 record over their last 15 games to overtake the Pittsburgh Penguins, and now have odds of +975 to win the division
Courtesy of their 21-4-5 start to the season, which has them sitting on top of the NHL with 47 points, the Washington Capitals are unsurprisingly the favorites to win the Metropolitan Division. Those odds have only gotten shorter of late, thanks mainly to the Caps’ 14-2-2 run over their last 16 games.
That rich vein of form, and particularly their 5-0-1 run over their last six contests, has seen the chances of the New York Islanders move from an average of +170 out to an average of +390 in the 2020 division odds.
2020 Metropolitan Division Odds
|Team||Odds at Bovada|
|New York Islanders||+275|
|New York Rangers||+5000|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+10000|
|New Jersey Devils||+15000|
Odds taken Dec. 5
A Caps Lock?
Two seasons removed from their lone Stanley Cup championship, Alexander Ovechkin’s team is looking every inch a Cup contender once again. In addition to having the most points, Washington has one of the most potent offenses in the NHL, too, with a league-leading 109 goals scored so far.
Alex Ovechkin has his sights set on another Richard Trophy, but these 4 are hoping to get in his way! pic.twitter.com/VGMnG2uW2P
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) December 4, 2019
In addition to the always-dangerous Ovechkin, who has 20 goals so far, the club is benefiting from a breakout season from Jakub Vrana (14 goals). That’s on top of the otherworldly season being put forward by defenseman John Carlson, whose 11 goals and 42 points has him on course for about 115 points this season.
Via his 2 (both goals) in the @Capitals win tonight, John Carlson finds himself on pace for an unthinkable 115 points this season & a tie for 5th on this list as only Bobby Orr (4 different times) has outpaced him pic.twitter.com/j7BY95g4Gf
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) December 5, 2019
And with 268 high-danger chances generated at 5 on 5, the Capitals’ offensive explosion is no fluke, with that total good enough for joint-third in the NHL.
The Islanders are out to prove that last year’s second-place Metropolitan finish was no mere coincidence. Building on that 103-point campaign, New York is currently nine points back of the Caps, but has four games in hand.
And unlike Washington, the Islanders are doing it with stingy defense. Ably backed up by Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov, New York’s 63 goals against this season is the best mark in the NHL.
whelp we know Thomas Greiss is feeling better!
spinning, diving, making saves. 💯 pic.twitter.com/S53Q9ImOha
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 4, 2019
However, despite a 6-3-1 record over their last 10 games, the Isles have seen their division odds fall from an average of +170 two weeks ago to +390 now, though that’s more testament to Washington’s explosive form than anything else.
Much like the Islanders, Carolina’s odds have been pushed out to an average of +840, mainly due to the surging Capitals. With 33 points from 28 games, the Hurricanes are very much on the outside looking in at what is appearing to be a two-horse division race at best.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) December 2, 2019
Despite the efforts of Sebastian Aho – who is quietly putting together a nice season with 22 points so far – and the goaltending tandem of James Reimer and Petr Mrazek, who have conceded just 78 goals on the year, it would be asking an awful lot of last year’s Eastern Conference finalists to make a realistic run at the division crown.
2020 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
The only other realistic contenders are the two teams from Pennysylvania: the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins. Both face long odds to make a run – the Flyers have odds of +975 to win the Metropolitan, with the injury-riddled Penguins looking down the barrel of +1100 odds.
While the Flyers have benefited from their recent 10-2-3 run over their last 15 games to move a point back of the Islanders, Philadelphia is a middle-of-the-road team both in terms of goals scored and conceded.
— NHL (@NHL) December 5, 2019
The Penguins, meanwhile, have had one bad break after another. Former Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin missed the start of the season with a lower-body injury, and now captain Sidney Crosby is currently out with a sports hernia. On top of that, Patric Hornqvist and Brian Dumoulin are both out, while star defenseman Justin Schultz has missed the last seven games.
The lone bright spot has been in net, where Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry have formed an impressive goaltending partnership.
Pick: It’s hard to look past the Capitals (-130), as a threat to win the Metro, the Eastern Conference and the Stanley Cup itself.
For the last 20 years, Paul Attfield has worked in sports media. Starting out in his native Britain with the likes of The Independent, he eventually switched continents, with his work appearing in the likes of the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Yahoo Sports since.
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