Updated Stanley Cup Playoff Odds: A Clear-Cut Conference Final?

With teams like Nashville and Pittsburgh eliminated, who's the favorite to win the Stanley Cup now?

The NHL's playoff format takes a lot of criticism because, due to the lack of reseeding, the best teams in a particular conference can square off against one another as early as the second round. And, according to our numbers, that's precisely what happened this year: Winnipeg knocked off Nashville, and Tampa Bay beat Boston. Both the Predators and Bruins are power ranked higher than the other squads -- Vegas and Washington -- who are playing for their conference's title.

Nevertheless, the playoffs continue tonight with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Here's how our algorithm sees the rest of the playoffs going down:

TeamConference FinalsStanley Cup
Tampa Bay Lightning59.30%30.80%
Winnipeg Jets54.90%29.60%
Vegas Golden Knights45.10%22.40%
Washington Capitals40.70%17.20%

After simulating the rest of the playoffs thousands of times, the projected winner flip-flopped a good bit between the Lightning and Jets. It's clear that those are the two teams that are projected to move on and fight for the Cup.