Toronto and Edmonton will be sharing the Stanley Cup Playoffs as multiple reports have indicated that the NHL has chosen the two cities as their "hub cities". While this is yet to be finalized and more details are to come, this could be a boon for both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers who will be playing within their own city. Yet the Stanley Cup Playoffs remain a wide-open race.
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Toronto and Edmonton are not the Favourites to win the NHL Title
Toronto and Edmonton will be sharing the Stanley Cup Playoffs as multiple reports have indicated that the NHL has chosen the two cities as their "hub cities". While this is yet to be finalized and more details are to come, this could be a boon for both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers who will be playing within their own city. Yet the Stanley Cup Playoffs remain a wide-open race. Who will lift the Stanley Cup?
|2020 NHL Stanley Cup Odds|
|Vegas Golden Knights||7.25||7.50||7.00|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||7.50||6.50||6.00|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||11.00||18.00||26.50|
2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs FAQ
- Training camps plan to reopen on July 10
- Toronto will use multiple arenas including the Marlies' Coca Cola Coliseum
- NHL players can bypass the mandatory 14-day isolation period
- Eight teams have already clinched playoff spots
- The other 16 teams will play a three-game series to decide the remaining eight spots
What this means for Toronto, Edmonton, and the NHL
At long last, the fog is finally beginning to clear. While the news has not to be finalized as of Sunday, July 5, the NHL is expected to make the announcement very soon. Both Toronto and Edmonton will split the Stanley Cup Playoffs. For now, the plan is to have the Eastern teams play in Toronto while the Western teams make Edmonton their temporary home.
Of course, conventional logic dictates that the Leafs and Oilers will have a "home-ice advantage" but this couldn't be further from the truth. There will be no live audiences in attendance and the long break may have benefited other teams like the Arizona Coyotes and the Washington Capitals get much-needed rest.
Stanley Cup odds are all over the place as betting sites indicate. Expect them to start lining up similarly when more details are confirmed. But more importantly, the return of the NHL will bode well for Toronto and Edmonton, especially.
COVID-19 has been harsh on millions of Canadians including those working in the sports industry. Alberta's unemployment rate hit 13.4% in April. The NHL being back in town would reinvigorate Edmonton's economy, if at least a little, and have Albertans something positive to talk about.
As for Toronto, the COVID-19 cases have steadily declined although the city still has suffered the most cases and deaths outside of Quebec. Ontario has the second-most COVID-19 cases next to Quebec among Canadian provinces, but the decline has led to Premier Doug Ford easing on several restrictions.
The NHL's return to Toronto will fire up the city and while it may not necessarily help open up the city, the economy will get a welcome shot of adrenaline with the return of several employment opportunities.
And for the NHL, returning to action means more than just being able to resume their season. They have, arguably, a more intriguing product now with the play-in system. And the long break has made the Stanley Cup race fresher. Every team has a shot.
Stanley Cup Race: which teams will be most affected
Having to play in Toronto and Edmonton with no home ice support from anyone will impact all teams. Although some teams will miss this advantage more like the Philadelphia Flyers, who lead the league with 25 home wins. St. Louis, Vancouver, and Pittsburgh also have been dominant at home and won't have this advantage.
On the flip side, Colorado and Washington have performed better on the road. The Avalanche have the best road record with 24 wins while the Capitals have 23. The Oilers also have a better road record than home record, interestingly enough.
The three-month hiatus has also impacted many teams. On the positive side, several teams will get a chance to get healthy. Older teams like Washington and Pittsburgh also got some rest. However, teams who were on a roll before the break lost some momentum. Philadelphia, Vegas, and Colorado were all on fire until the break.
The play-in format may also be more beneficial for some teams like the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks, who were dangling on to the playoffs by a thread. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh and Toronto may not be so ecstatic about being potentially knocked out of the playoffs. Both teams are set comfortably in the third spot of their divisions and now have to win two games out of three to make the playoffs.
Where can you bet the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
The return of the NHL and the Stanley Cup Playoffs also means online sportsbooks will be extra busy again. The money will be flowing like champagne at a wedding. Of course, Canadians have themselves some front row reservations with these books.
Most of these books not only welcome Canadians but offer deposit bonuses. Read into the terms and conditions and peruse each sportsbook. If you play it right, you might be able to avail of more than one deposit bonus. If you use cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, more bonuses may also be available.
Get excited! The NHL is coming back. Your TV will finally be playing something other than Netflix. And you can make it all sweeter by adding some extra on your favorite teams. Twenty-four teams! A new play-in format. The NHL is back with a vengeance.