With this preview, besides looking at the teams, we will also cover each clubs Over/Under wager for season points in the standings and their odds to win their division and conference. The latter two odds are present by Intertops.
Pittsburgh – +190 to win Metropolitan and +600 to win the Eastern Conference
Pittsburgh did not win a third straight Stanley Cup, but that does not mean they will not be vying for one again. While the analytics crowd wants to throw 30-year old forwards out with the garbage, 31-year old Sidney Crosby and ancient 32-year old Evgeni Malkin are doing well as elder statesmen. GM Jim Rutherford made moves for more offensive balance, which he hopes spreads the scoring around. The defense was leaky, especially the first half the season when played Penguins played like a tired club that had won a pair of Lord Stanley trophies. Expect the defense to improve, goalie Matt Murray to be more consistent and the Pens in the hunt for more hardware.
Projected Points Total: O/U 106.5
Washington – +210 to win Metropolitan and +650 to win the Eastern Conference
Finally, Washington went from a great regular season team that petered out in the playoffs to Stanley Cup champions. The Capitals will return 11 of their top 12 forwards, their best four defensemen and Braden Holtby, who started their postseason run with the Caps down 0-2 to Columbus in the first round. But not everything is the same, as Barry Trotz walked and his top assistant and first-year head coach Todd Reirden takes over. Now that Washington knows how to win in the postseason, will their focus change in the regular season after winning three straight division crowns? And what will motivate the Capitals after ending years of frustration?
Projected Points Total: O/U 103.5