by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The Winnipeg Jets are far down on the Stanley Cup betting futures since it is unclear whether they would be part of any National Hockey League postseason.
With the season on hiatus indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jets are a +5000 longshot on the Stanley Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Boston Bruins (+600) are the favorite at online sports betting sites, with the Tampa Bay Lightning (+700), Vegas Golden Knights (also +700), Colorado Avalanche (+800), Philadelphia Flyers (+900) and defending champion St. Louis Blues (+900) also among the teams with short odds.
With no timeline for resuming play, it’s unclear whether the NHL will proceed with its standard 16-team, four best-of-seven rounds format or adopt one that involves more teams, or series of a shorter duration.
The Jets were 37-28-6, good for 80 points and a .563 points percentage, when play halted on March 12. They were in the first Western Conference wild-card position, but had the ninth-highest points percentage in the conference.
Winnipeg was 17th in goals scored (3.00) and 10th in goals against (2.83). Up front, center Mark Scheifele and left wing Kyle Connor were tied for 15th in league scoring with 73 points apiece. Connor was also tied for sixth in goals with 38. But the Jets’ arguably most valuable player has been goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who has a 31-21-5 record with a 2.57 goals-against average and .922 save percentage even though he is the league’s busiest netminder with 1,796 shots faced. Hellebuyck also leads the NHL in shutouts with six.
The Jets’ Stanley Cup odds owe to their overreliance on Hellebuyck as well as the possibility they could be left out of a points-percentage-based 16-team postseason. However, a scenario that has been floated in the media is that the NHL may expand to 24 playoff teams to compensate for the loss of the final month of regular-season play. Having a goalie who is largely responsible for why the Jets are ninth in the 31-team NHL in five-on-five save percentage (.924) will make them a tough out in any playoff series.
If the league were to use a 24-team format, the Jets could start the playoffs against the Calgary Flames, whose points percentage is eighth-best in the Western Conference.