How to Watch and What to Expect in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Four teams remain in the chase for the Stanley Cup, including three division champions and the league’s top player.

Matchups and Background: The Eastern Conference final pits the Florida Panthers against the New York Rangers. In the West, the Dallas Stars face Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and the Edmonton Oilers. Florida, last year’s runner-up, seeks redemption after falling to Vegas amid injuries. With the Golden Knights eliminated by Dallas, a new champion is guaranteed. Neither remaining franchise has won the Cup this century—Florida has never won, Edmonton last in 1990, New York in 1994, and Dallas in 1999.

Title Favorites and Player Highlights: BetMGM Sportsbook lists Florida and Dallas as co-favorites, but the competition is wide open. The Panthers are seen as the team to beat in the East, despite the Rangers’ home-ice advantage and strong performance against top goalies like Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy and Boston’s Jeremy Swayman. The Oilers, led by Draisaitl and McDavid, are back in the West final after a tough series against Vancouver. Dallas, with veteran Joe Pavelski and coach Peter DeBoer, aims to advance past this round after last year’s defeat to Vegas.

How to Watch: Games are nationally televised in the U.S. on ABC, ESPN, TNT, or TBS, and in Canada on CBC, Sportsnet (English), and TVA Sports (French). The NHL schedule and streaming options are available online.

ALSO READ:Biggest Surprises of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Key Players to Watch: Leon Draisaitl leads all players with 24 points, while Connor McDavid has 19 assists. Rangers’ Artemi Panarin leads with four game-winning goals, and teammate Vincent Trocheck excels in both offense and defense. Dallas’ veteran Joe Pavelski and Florida’s captain Aleksander Barkov, a Selke Trophy winner, are pivotal.

Betting Odds: BetMGM Sportsbook’s odds for the Cup are Florida and Dallas at 9-4, Edmonton at 14-5, and New York at 16-5.

Stanley Cup Final: The playoffs began April 20, with the conference finals starting Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. The Stanley Cup Final is set to start in early June, with a potential Game 7 scheduled for June 24.

In-Depth Insights: Scoring creativity is at its peak, with goals off goaltenders’ masks and controversies over interference calls. Early leads are no guarantee, as comebacks are frequent. The Rangers’ success is fueled by contributions from young talents like Alexis Lafrenière, while Florida relies on Barkov’s leadership.

Fan Engagement: A record attendance season saw arenas filled to 97% capacity. Despite fewer fights on the ice, the NHL maintains its 16-team playoff format, keeping traditions alive.

Prepare for an exciting conclusion to the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs as these top teams and star players vie for hockey’s ultimate prize.

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