Other than maybe the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, there is nothing better in sports than the initial round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with all the compelling action.
Here 16 hockey teams are ready to go, with the most pressure on the higher seeds to advance and unlike the NBA postseason, several underdogs with push their opponents to the brink or engineer the upset.
When looking at the NHL odds in the first round be it for individual game betting or series wagering, come to the party prepared.
In the last six years, only a single No. 1 seed has fallen in the first round and that was Vancouver in 2012, losing to No.8 Los Angeles, who because of injuries, was an 8-seed, but realistically more like a #3.
This does not mean the top seeds are not pushed. Last season, both Washington and Dallas had nerve-wracking one goal wins on the road in Game 6 and the same was true of Anaheim in 2014. And in 2012, the New York Rangers needed seven games to oust Ottawa before advancing. That was a lot of underdog money made in those series.
In far worse shape have been the No.2 seeds. Though we no longer have the traditional 2 vs. 7 matchup with the seeding change, here is the list of fallen 2-seeds in recent years.