1. Edmonton Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers find themselves in the thick of the tightest divisional race in the NHL going into this weekend’s NHL all-star break. Riding a two-game win streak, the Oilers find themselves in a four-way tie for second place in the Pacific Division, just one point back of the first-place Vancouver Canucks.
While Edmonton hockey fans are delighted to see their team still squarely in the hunt for a playoff spot at the break for the first time in three years, the Oilers continue to lag as a lengthy +2200 wager on the Stanley Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Winners of just 35 games last season, the Oilers opened the current campaign on a tear, posting wins in seven of their first eight outings to establish a firm hold on first place in the Pacific Division. However, with the team struggling to find sources of secondary scoring to take the pressure off Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, a lack of consistency emerged as a major concern.
With losses in 11 of their subsequent 21 games, the Oilers were eventually toppled from their perch atop the division standings, and briefly out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference.
The team returned to their familiar disappointing ways during that stretch, posting wins in just two of nine contests while pegged as favorites at sports betting sites. And with things going from bad to worse in December, with just five wins in 15 contests, the Oilers continued a steady slide at the sportsbooks that would see them tumble to as far as +5000 on the Stanley Cup odds, and to a +1100 bet to win the Pacific Division, well back from an early-season peak of +310 on those NHL odds.
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As the calendar turned to 2020, the Oilers’ fortunes also turned, for the better. Edmonton has benefited from the recent decision to split up McDavid and Draisaitl, racking up a 6-1-1 record over their past eight games, and have regained momentum as a +400 wager on the Pacific Division odds.
However, the Oilers still have plenty of ground to make up on the Stanley Cup odds. Going into the break, the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning continue to lead the way, knotted as +800 co-favorites. The St. Louis Blues closely follow, joining the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins at +900, while the Vegas Golden Knights continue to lead all Pacific Division clubs at +1800.