The 2022-2023 NHL season is here, and the Eastern Conference should be the more exciting of the two conferences this season. There is not a clear favorite and there are probably eight teams that could all challenge for that Stanley Cup spot.
Eastern Conference Championship Odds
The Two Favorites For The Eastern Conference
The public sees two teams are tight favorites to win the Eastern Conference. The current favorites are the Toronto Maple Leafs and, though they are talented, I have to believe that this is due to Toronto being a popular team and the books not wanting too much liability. The Maple Leafs have showed no signs of being able to win a big game, or series, and I could not back them to win three playoff series to advance to the Stanley Cup.
Joining Toronto is the Florida Panthers, and this team is loaded. Like Toronto, though, Florida has had some playoff yips and they also need to get over the hump. The addition of Matthew Tkachuk will only help, and their talented goaltending duo will keep them in most games.
Of these two teams I would go with Florida, but I am not sure I would pick either of these two with the current odds.
The Chasing Pack
There are three other teams under 10/1 odds and another four teams sitting in the 10/1-20-1 range. I would look at this pack for my Eastern Conference winner.
Tampa Bay is currently the third favorite, but I am going to do the unthinkable and write them off this season. It has been a long three seasons in Tampa, and they are due for an off year. Carolina is right there with Tampa and the Hurricanes are a team I am interested in. This team has an elite defense that will keep them in every game, so if they can figure out how to get more goals, this could be the Eastern Conference winner. The last team under 10/1 is the Pittsburgh Penguins. You can never count out a healthy Pittsburgh team, but at this point I cannot count on the aging Penguins starts to stay healthy when needed.
The team I am looking at in the Eastern Conference is the New York Rangers. This team went on a run last season and were probably a year early on getting that experience. An elite offense coupled with, probably, the best goalie in the game is a good recipe for success. Take a look at the Rangers to win the Eastern Conference with some valuable odds.
The Eastern Conference is going to be exciting and it would not shock me to see a team not discussed to go on a run in the playoffs.