NHL Conference Finals Odds and Predictions: Why We Believe in the Rangers and Oilers

We think the Rangers and Oilers will move onto the NHL finals, but ultimately the Rangers will win it all. We've got a few key insights that leads us to believe that.
Will the Rangers Take it All NHL Conference Finals Odds and Predictions

As the NHL Conference Finals heat up, fans and analysts alike are taking a close and hard look at the remaining teams and their chances of making it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Sportsbooks are right there with us with their analysis and that’s why we’ve got the updated odds for the teams to win it all.

In the Western Conference, the Edmonton Oilers are leading the Dallas Stars 1-0, while the Florida Panthers have the same edge over the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference. The current betting odds have the Panthers at +170, the Oilers at +200, the Stars at +400, and the Rangers at +700.

Despite the Rangers having the lowest odds by the bookmakers, we think that they and the Oilers will ultimately face off in the Finals, with the Rangers hoisting Lord Stanley’s cup when it’s all said and done.

Don’t believe us? Here’s why.

NHL Conference Finals Playoff Bracket

Edmonton Oilers: Momentum and McDavid's Magic

The Edmonton Oilers have been on a roll, with a strong performance throughout the playoffs. They were a good team throughout the season, but they’re a great team so far in the playoffs.

Captain Connor McDavid has been a standout player, recently scoring a crucial overtime goal in Game 1 against the Dallas Stars. Despite a nerve-wracking double-minor penalty at the start of the first overtime, McDavid bounced back and came through in 2OT, proving why he's one of the best in the league and why we think the Oilers will blow past the Stars.

Leon Draisaitl has also been a massive contributor to the team stats, extending his playoff-opening points streak to 13 games.

With the likes of Zach Hyman and a solid defense led by goalie Stuart Skinner (an absolute wall thus far), the Oilers have a well-rounded team that can handle high-pressure situations. They’ll need this if they’re going to dominate over the Stars. Their ability to bounce back from mistakes and capitalize on opportunities makes them one of our picks to make it to the Finals.

Key Players to Watch

  • Connor McDavid. A no-brainer. Known for his speed and scoring ability, McDavid is the heart of the Oilers' offense.

  • Leon Draisaitl. With his scoring streak, Draisaitl is a constant threat on the ice. We don’t think he will cool down anytime soon.

  • Stuart Skinner. The goalie has been crucial in tight games, making key saves to keep his team in contention. He needs to stay hot going forward, especially since he only has a .888 save percentage so far in the playoffs.

Recent Performance

The Oilers' recent 3-2 win in double overtime against the Stars really highlights their ability to push through tight games. Teams need that this time of the year.

McDavid's game-winning goal, coming after a challenging and devastating high-sticking penalty, highlighted the team's resilience. It looked like they were cooked after the penalty, but the rest of the team bailed McDavid out. Edmonton’s performance in this series, combined with their success in earlier rounds, positions them as a strong contender for the Finals.

New York Rangers: Underdogs with Potential

The New York Rangers might have the longest odds, but they shouldn't be underestimated. After all, they did receive the Presidents’ Trophy for their regular-season heroics. 

Despite losing Game 1 to the Florida Panthers, the Rangers have shown they can compete with the best. Goalie Igor Shesterkin has been a standout player, even in losses, and the team's overall offensive and defensive depth can be a game-changer as the series progresses.

Key Players to Watch

  • Igor Shesterkin. His goaltending skills have kept the Rangers in more games than we can count, making him a crucial part of not just their defense but the entire team.

  • Artemi Panarin. An offensive powerhouse, Panarin's ability to create scoring opportunities is vital for the Rangers.

  • Mika Zibanejad. Known for his clutch performances, Zibanejad's leadership on the ice is indispensable. This is an attribute that is totally underrated when it comes to playoff hockey.

Recent Performance

In their Game 1 loss to the Panthers, the Rangers struggled to find their rhythm. Of course, that happens from time to time with most teams. 

However, this team has shown resilience throughout the playoffs. Coach Peter Laviolette's acknowledgment that they didn't play their best suggests that improvements are on the way, and he most likely sees what he needs to do to get the Rangers past the Panthers.

The Rangers' ability to adapt and learn from their mistakes will be critical as the series continues. They’ve done it before, and we think they’ll do it again. If they can get past the dominant Panthers in the ECF, we think they’ll make quick work of the Oilers in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Florida Panthers: Strong Start but Tough Road Ahead

The Florida Panthers have started strong with a shutout win over the Rangers in Game 1.Even we were surprised by how dominant this team is against the NHL team with the best regular season record.

Sergei Bobrovsky's goal performance was nothing short of spectacular, making 23 saves for his first shutout of the postseason. That’s a nice feat any time but against the Rangers? That’s beyond impressive.

The Panthers' offense, led by Matthew Tkachuk, Carter Verhaeghe, and Sam Bennett, has been effective, but maintaining this momentum will be crucial. You can’t rely on the netminder to do the heavy lifting for the rest of the playoffs.

Key Players to Watch

  • Sergei Bobrovsky. His goaltending is a cornerstone of the Panthers' defense. An absolute brick wall in the first game of the series. Keep that up, the Panthers could find themselves hoisting the Cup.

  • Matthew Tkachuk. A versatile forward, Tkachuk's ability to contribute both goals and assists makes him a key player that plays all over the ice and seems impossible to cover.

  • Carter Verhaeghe. Consistent scoring from Verhaeghe provides the Panthers with an offensive edge. If he keeps scoring and Bobrovsky stays hot in the net, the Panthers could be unstoppable.

Recent Performance

The Panthers' 3-0 victory in Game 1 was impressive, showcasing their defensive and offensive strengths. However, their ability to maintain this level of play under increasing pressure will be tested as the series progresses. We don’t think it’s sustainable, but every Panthers fan would argue with us.

Bobrovsky's consistency in goal will be particularly crucial in the upcoming games.

Dallas Stars: Battling Back from Behind

The Dallas Stars have shown they can be competitive, but their Game 1 loss to the Oilers added to a troubling trend of losing the first game in recent playoff series. However, keep in mind they obviously bounced back each time as they’ve made it to the WCF.

Tyler Seguin’s performance, scoring both goals in the 3-2 loss, was a bright spot the Stars fans love to see, but the Stars will need more from their roster to turn the series around.

Key Players to Watch

  • Tyler Seguin. He’s undoubtedly hot. His offensive contributions are essential for the Stars' success. We think he’ll have at least 1-2 points each game going forward.

  • Jake Oettinger. The goalie needs to be at his best to give the Stars a chance. Oettinger has a .919 save percentage so far in the playoffs, so there’s a chance he’ll bounce back from this.

  • Miro Heiskanen. The defenseman's ability to support both offense and defense is critical. He just needs to step up a bit more to spread the puck out more. The Oilers will be all over him going forward.

Recent Performance

The Stars' inability to win Game 1s has been a recurring issue, and we’d like to see them clean up. Their latest loss to the Oilers highlighted this weakness. This trend consistently puts them behind the power curve in each series.

Despite this, there were positive signs, such as Seguin’s performance and the team’s ability to push the game into double overtime. It shows they fight to the bitter end. The Stars will need to build on these positives and address their early-game issues to stay competitive.

Final Verdict? Rangers Over the Oilers in 6 Games

While the odds favor the Panthers and Oilers, we believe the Rangers and Oilers will ultimately make it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Rangers have shown they can adapt and overcome challenges, and their depth and goaltending give them a fighting chance. With one game under their belt against the Panthers, we think they’re going to be dialed in and take the Panthers out in 6 or 7 games, but they’ll do it.

The Oilers, led by McDavid and Draisaitl, have the momentum and the talent to continue their playoff success. We think the Stars will bounce back to capture a few games in the series, but ultimately the Oilers will move onto the Finals.

In the end, it’s about going the distance, adaptability, and seizing opportunities. The Rangers have the potential to defy the odds, and the Oilers have the skill to go all the way.

As the series progresses, these teams will need to stay focused and continue to play at their best to reach the Finals.

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