Lightning vs. Avalanche Stanley Cup Final Betting Preview
A Stanley Cup Champion will emerge from the 32-team league for the first time in NHL history. The history doesn’t stop there, though. The Tampa Bay Lightning could become the first team since the New York Islanders to win three straight Cups, who won four straight between 1980-1983. Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche are mowing down their competition with rarely seen proficiency. With a sweep of the Bolts, they could tie the 1988 Edmonton Oilers for the best record in the modern-day format, going 16-2. However, the champs won’t be willing to relinquish their crown without a fight.
Lightning vs. Avalanche Odds, Total
Series Price: Lightning +155 | Avalanche -189
Series Spread: Lightning +1.5 (-125) | Avalanche -1.5 (+105)
Total Games: 4 Games (+550), 5 Games (+250), 6 Games (+225), 7 Games (+200)
Lightning vs. Avalanche Analysis
The Lightning are coming off an assertive effort against the New York Rangers. Tampa dismantled their opponents at five-on-five, posting a cumulative 62.3% expected goals-for rating at five-on-five. Still, the two-time reigning champs needed six games to skate past their Eastern Conference foes, thanks mainly to the play from Igor Shesterkin. The Bolts won’t face the same resistance from the Avs in the final.
Colorado ranks 11th among playoff teams with a five-on-five save percentage of 91.1%, dropping to 89.9% across all strengths. Those metrics have taken a hit over the latter half of the playoffs, with Avs’ goalies stopping 85.7% of shots or worse in four of their past seven and posting a cumulative 88.2% rating over that stretch.
Of course, the Avalanche don’t need to beat you with goaltending, but they must climb a much bigger hill trying to solve Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Conn Smythe Trophy winner allowed just five goals in knocking off the Rangers in four straight games, posting a 95.5% save percentage. We saw similar efforts against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers, teams that are as offensively gifted as the Avs.
Lastly, Lightning captain, Steven Stamkos, deserves some credit for the performances he’s put together this postseason. The oft-maligned center has posted the third-best Corsi rating among Lightning skaters with at least 200 minutes, with a 68.2% goals-for rating. Stammer continues to elevate his play as the biggest moments call for it, recording the series-clinching game-winner in the Eastern Conference Final and delivering Conn Smythe-worthy efforts when Tampa had their backs up against the wall in Round 1 versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. Stamkos deserves recognition for his play, and all eyes will be focused on him in the final.
The edge in goaltending is baked into the series price, but it doesn’t accurately reflect the Lightning’s chances. We’re taking a stance on the Bolts, with their captain leading them to a third straight championship.
Lightning vs. Avalanche Predictions
The Pick: Lightning +155, Conn Smythe Winner – Steven Stamkos +1400
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