The dry spell is over for the NHL’s Eastern Conference when it comes to championships. Stanley, you used to presume, was going west most springs. With Western Conference powerhouses like the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings dominating postseason play in recent years, the East has been least when it comes to Stanley Cup titles. That is until the Pens dominated the 2015-16 playoffs and triumphed over the Sharks in six games. The East hasn’t won successive Stanley Cups in a while. Could this be the year the streak is snapped?
The New Jersey Devils (2002-03), Tampa Bay Lightning (2003-04) and Carolina Hurricanes (2005-06) were part of the last Eastern Conference Cup parade. The missing 2004-05 season was wiped out by the lockout.
The last Eastern Conference team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups was the Penguins in 1990-91 and 1991-92. Yes, the Detroit Red Wings did win consecutive titles in 1996-97 and 1997-98, and four Cups in total between 1997-2008, but all of those were earned while the Wings were still a Western Conference club.
Eastern Conference Betting Lines Today
There’s always been this theory held in some hockey circles that in the NHL, the Western Conference is where the high-end skill resides and the Eastern Conference is all about down and dirty, gritty grind it out hockey.
Reality doesn’t bear out this hypothesis. The last 10 Vezina Trophies for the NHL’s top goalie have all gone to Eastern Conference netminders, as have the last five and 10 of the last 11 Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophies to the league’s leading goal scorer.
The Eastern Conference has supplied seven Hart Trophy MVP winners since 2007 and six Norris Trophy winners as the top defenseman since 2009. The At Ross Trophy, which goes to the NHL scoring champion, has been won in three of the last five seasons and six of the past 10 campaigns by an Eastern Conference player.
Eastern Conference Standings Right Now
Here is where you will find located the NHL Eastern Conference standings. Study them frequently so you can make wise betting decisions down the line.
How To Win At Eastern Conference Betting
The Eastern Conference may not win the majority of the Stanley Cups, but they house within the ranks the most compelling, most talked-about rivalry in the National Hockey League today – Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. And if you’re betting on this showdown, always play Sid The Kid’s side.
The individual recognition each has received over the course of their hockey careers is remarkable and remarkably similar Ovechkin was the top player chosen in the 2004 NHL entry draft. He’s won three Hart Trophies, three Ted Lindsay Awards and six Rocket Richard Trophies. The first player chosen in the 2005 entry draft, Crosby owns two Harts, three Lindsays and a pair of Art Ross Trophies.
In head-to-head competition, it’s been all Crosby. His Penguins have won both Stanley Cup series from Ovechkin’s Capitals, but Sid’s success over Ovi stems beyond the NHL. Crosby and Canada have toppled Ovechkin and Russia in head-to-head meetings at the 2005 world juniors, 2010 Winter Olympics and 2015 worlds. So if it ends up that Canada plays Russia in this fall’s World Cup of Hockey, the smart money will be on the Canadians.
One area where the Eastern Conference seems to be deep in talent is between the posts, perhaps the most important position on the ice. Henrik Lundqvist has long been considered an elite NHL netminder, winning the Vezina Trophy in 2011-12. Lundqvist owns an Olympic gold medal and so does Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, winner of the Hart and Vezina Trophies in 2014-15.
Sergei Bobrovsky (2012-13) of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Tuukka Rask (2013-14) of the Boston Bruins also are Vezina winners. Rask owns a Stanley Cup title and so does Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins.