NHL Games Today
Understanding NHL Matchups & Odds
These are just some things to consider when studying the NHL’s odds and matchups page, and the playoffs can be even less predictable. We’ve seen many longshots who’ve overachieved in the past. Despite poor regular-season results, the Montreal Canadiens made the Stanley Cup Finals, while the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning were swept in the opening round of their series.
Thus, it’s best to read NHL playoff matchups cautiously. Rules aren’t necessarily the same (for example, what’s a penalty and what’s not whistled) in the postseason, allowing less-skilled players the chance to take an extra shot at an opposing star. Conversely, some of the games may be officiated even tighter. Goaltenders aren’t above going on hot streaks to steal a few games.
This chaotic nature of the NHL is what separates it from other leagues.