NHL Second Round of Stanley Cup Playoffs

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
Published on:

There’s no reason to think the second round of the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs won’t be as exciting as the first. As of this Tuesday writing, a pair of series have already begun, with another starting this (Tuesday) evening and the ‘straggler’ getting going tomorrow (Wednesday) night.

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Any of the eight remaining teams is capable of hoisting the Stanley Cup next month, with each series providing solid betting options as well.

Here’s a look at each conference semifinal at this point…

In the East

It’s difficult to find much, if anything, separating this quartet of teams. There were just five regular-season points between them (New York Rangers–league-leading 114 points, Carolina Hurricanes–111, Carolina Panthers–110, Boston Bruins–109).

Metropolitan Division foes New York and Carolina play this (Tuesday) evening at Madison Square Garden, where the Blueshirts came away with a hard-earned 4-3 series-opening win Sunday afternoon. Mika Zibanejad scored twice, both in the opening period, when New York built a 3-1 lead. New York, which swept away the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs, entered Tuesday with seven wins in a row (dating to regular season).

Carolina didn’t do itself any favors by failing in any number of man-advantage situations.

New York is priced at -130 to advance (Carolina at +110), according to NHL series odds.

Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins showed no effects of having to win a Game 7 (against the Toronto Maple Leafs), then a quick turnaround and a trip to south Florida.

In an Atlantic Division rematch of last season, when the Panthers stunned the Bruins a 1-8 pairing, Boston had a long memory. Florida did score the game’s first goal Monday evening, but the Bruins netted the final five. Boston had three goals in just under seven minutes late in the second period, while Jeremy Swayman stopped 38-of-39 shots in the 5-1 win.

Game 2 is Wednesday night, also in Sunrise. Boston is 5-0 against the Panthers this season.


BetUS Odds to Win the Stanley Cup - 2024

Boston Bruins         +650
Colorado Avalanche         +600
Edmonton Oilers         +425
Carolina Hurricanes         +550
New York Rangers         +500
Florida Panthers         +600
Dallas Stars         +500
Vancouver Canucks         +1800

Live odds here

In the West

The schedule-maker gave the Eastern semis a bit of a head start in its games. Tuesday evening. It’s a Central Division series opener with the Colorado Avalanche visiting the West-leading Dallas Stars in Texas. The ‘Lanche went 3-1 against the Stars during the season.

Dallas had itself pushed to the max by the defending Cup-champion Vegas Golden Knights, winning a 2-1 Game 7 Sunday evening. It was a huge comeback by the Stars, who lost the first two games of the series at home.

Colorado was an offensive juggernaut in its five-game elimination of the Winnipeg Jets, scoring 28 goals against one of the stingiest teams in the league. Valeri Nichuskin scored seven times.

In the Pacific, it’s a pair of very good Canadian teams, the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks, trying to bring the Cup north of the border while ending a three-decade drought. Edmonton disposed of the Los Angeles Kings in five games to advance, winning the final three.

Vancouver, meanwhile, took down the Nashville Predators in six, winning each of the three games in Tennessee. It was the Canucks sweeping the four-game regular-season series with Edmonton as these teams prepare to meet in the postseason after a 32-year (1992) hiatus.

If you’re unfamiliar with Arturs Silovs, learn about him. Silvos was the third of three Canuck goaltender used against the Preds, and he starred. Whether injury No.1 goalie Thatcher Demko returns is unclear, but Silovs (and Oiler counterpart Stuart Skinner) have proven tough to beat.

Edmonton is the 9-5 (+180) ffavorite to win the West, as per NHL conference odds.

Colorado and Dallas are both priced at 11-5 (+220), while Vancouver is at 6-1 (+600).

Bowness to Retire

In the NHL dictionary, the term ‘lifer’ is accompanied by a picture of well-respected Rick Bowness. The 69-year-old Bowness has spent nearly four decades in the league, and Monday said he was retiring as coach of the Winnipeg Jets. The New Brunswick native led the Jets to a 52-win, 110-point season in 2023-24, but suffered a five-game, first-round defeat at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche. “I knew in my heart it was time,” he said.

If you’re playing ‘six degrees of separation,’ just about everyone in the league links to Bowness.


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