The Pittsburgh Penguins are going back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. For the 16th consecutive season, the Pens earned an opportunity to fight for another title.
Their impressive streak is the longest active by far in terms of postseason appearances in a row. The next closest franchises are Washington and Nashville, which both appear in line to record their eighth straight playoff berth.
Pittsburgh is still way off the all-time mark, owned by the Boston Bruins. They qualified for the playoffs 29 consecutive times, covering a period from the late 1960s into the 1990s.
While the Pens wrapped up their spot, they can still move throughout the standings with just a handful of games left on the schedule.
At the moment, they’re sitting in the third and final playoff position in the Metro Division. However, the Penguins are tied with Washington with exactly 97 points through 77 contests.
Falling into one of the Wild Cards isn’t the worst outcome, but it could result in a matchup with the top-seeded Florida Panthers.
With about a week remaining in the regular season, let’s break down the NHL postseason odds listed at West Virginia sportsbooks.
Pittsburgh Penguins 2022 playoff outlook
If the season ended today, Pittsburgh would face off against the New York Rangers in the opening round. They’re currently tied with Carolina atop the division with 106 points, so there’s some shuffling still left to do.
Although they’re in, things haven’t been going great for Sidney Crosby and company. They’re winners in just four of their last 13, dropping them in the standings.
The positive news is three of the last five tilts are there for the taking. Besides the games against Boston and Edmonton, Pittsburgh goes up against the likes of Detroit, Philadelphia and Columbus. All three find themselves eliminated from playoff contention.
That could help secure the Pens’ spot right now and lighten their load in the first round. Regardless, they’re going to have to start playing better overall if they intend to advance.
Something that may help this veteran team is the fact that the playoffs aren’t decided by shootouts. After Pittsburgh’s latest post-overtime loss against the Islanders, its record fell to just 3-7 in the shooting exhibition.
Some additional positive news is that its leader Crosby is looking solid. In a recent three-game span, he posted eight points with three goals and five assists.
He’s taken a slight lead for tops on the team in points at 80 for the year. That’s two more than winger Jake Guentzel with 78, despite playing in seven fewer games.
There’s a bit of bad news as well. Goalie Tristan Jarry suffered a broken bone in his foot and is listed as week-to-week on the injury report.
That means Pittsburgh must rely on backup Casey DeSmith, who’s had mixed results during the campaign. Since March, he’s just 2-5 in starts, although not all of the losses can be put on the netminder.
Take Pittsburgh’s latest loss to Boston, where DeSmith stopped 27 of 29 shot attempts. He owns an overall mark of 8-5-5 in 2022, with a 2.89 goals-against average.
Stanley Cup odds at WV sportsbooks
The Penguins finish their season on Friday, April 29, with a home tilt against the Blue Jackets. Even though their seeding in the postseason can change and may alter the betting odds at WV sportsbooks, today’s odds will likely look very similar by the season’s end.
Currently, DraftKings WV shows Pittsburgh with the 10th-best odds to lift the cup. It’s available with odds of +1800, which is a sizable distance from the top tier.
The online sportsbook has Colorado (+350) and Florida (+550) in a league of their own before the next grouping.
That collection is led by Calgary and Toronto at +900, Tampa Bay at +1100 and Carolina with odds of +1200. The only others ahead of Pittsburgh are the Rangers, Boston and Minnesota, each at +1600.
Pittsburgh fans can take a different approach with their futures action, too. DraftKings also offers odds for the winner of each conference.
The Pens are posted at +850 to advance out of the East.
One of the most exciting aspects of the NHL is that its playoffs are typically unpredictable. There isn’t a lot of talent difference among postseason teams, so basically, any series is up for grabs at the start. That should provide the Penguins and their fans some hope.
Hopefully, the team can find their groove down the stretch and make some noise in these playoffs. Goaltending will end up being a major factor, so keep an eye on DeSmith’s play and any Jarry health updates.