The puck will drop in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final, which will be between the Western Conference champions.The Eastern champs, the They are trying to win their third consecutive championship. This event will feature a stellar cast. , , , Others.
Daily Wager's and ESPN Chalk's crews are present to discuss the series in advance, as well as their top picks..
All the action can be seen on ABC and ESPN+. You will find all the games on ESPN+. Keep your reminders set to 8 ET for the first contest in the packed Ball Arena in Denver.
For the first time in nine years, the Stanley Cup Final will be hosted by the Stanley Cup betting favorites. Are you in agreement with the Avalanche being preferred (-175 series price), over the two-time defending champions?
Anita Marks is an ESPN Sports Betting Analyst Yes. Yes.However, the Avalanche are a better team. Tampa Bay struggles against high powered offenses. Colorado is different because its players can be so physically demanding. I doubt Vasilevskiy will be capable of stopping Nathan MacKinnon or Cale Makar who contribute to the Avalanche scoring an average of five goals per game.
Joe Fortenbaugh is an ESPN Sports Betting Analyst Tampa Bay's series value of +155 indicates a 39% chance to win. Really? Do you think that the Stanley Cup champions (who boast one of the most elite goaltenders in the sport) have only a 39% chance at lifting the Cup again? Tampa Bay was defeated by three teams that scored 110 or more points in the regular season: the Panthers, Maple Leafs and Rangers. Colorado's path was dominated by three opponents that scored 109 points or less during the regular season. There were also shaky goaltending options.(Nashville), (St. Louis) (Edmonton). The Avalanche could very well win this thing. However, I feel their price is a little too high. This makes Lightning more valuable. My pick: Lightning +155
Greg Wyshynski, Senior NHL Writer: The series' price was surprising to me when it was first released. It hasn't been lower since. This series is exciting because you can bet on either of these teams without having to appear fraudulent. My series pick is Avalanche.
Are you confident with that choice? Hell no. The Tampa Bay Lightning is that team. They excel in two areas: identifying and exploiting weaknesses of opponents, regardless if they are offensive or defense juggernauts; as well as winning Stanley Cups. However, I believe Colorado has an advantage in speed and offensive depth, especially Cale Makar who is the offensive X factor that makes it so difficult to plan against Colorado. On the road, the Avalanche are also a highly regarded defensive team. Makar stated that the Avalanche are a team looking to build a dynasty. We're a team looking to create a legacy.
I'll keep the legacy. Avalanche to win this series.
Before Wednesday night's Stanley Cup Final game 1 matchup, check out these highlights from the Lightning & Avalanche postseason.
Cale Makar (+160), who is the winner of Colorado's victory, will be awarded the Conn Smythe Award (awarded as the playoff MVP).
Marks: MacKinnon (+230), may win the title, but Makar deserves it more. Makar has scored five goals, 17 assists and reached 50 career playoff point in the shortest number of games for a defenseman. MacKinnon is worthy of consideration. It will ultimately come down which Cup series will be more prolific.
Wyshynski: Makar can still score, but that is only if he maintains his scoring rate. MacKinnon has an amazing postseason. Makar is making history. The Conn Smythe applies to the entire duration of the playoffs. Makar's 10 points against Nashville in Round 1 set an NHL record for most defensemen in the first four rounds of a playoff season. Round 3 Makar andWe were given the task of winning the 5-on-5 fight against . The Avalanche won over 57% of shot attempts and 56% expected goals while they were on the ice. Makar's 1.57 point per game will make it the third most offensive postseason defenseman in NHL history. This is a minimum of 14 games behind the Oilers. The Bruins' Bobby Orr was in 1972 (1.60), and 1985 (2.06). Next highest after Makar 1.48) Guess which trophy he won?
To that end, do the Lightning players who win the series against Tampa Bay have any betting value to win Conn Smythe?
Marks: The Lightning's offense has been led by Nikita Kucherov (+360). He is the leader of the team with 23 points from 17 games and was instrumental in Tampa Bay's reversal against the Rangers at the Eastern Conference Final. With 8 points, he led the way.
Wyshynski: Anita may be onto something with Kucherov. This is especially true considering he hasn't won the Conn Smythe in any of his previous championship seasons. The Lightning will win the Stanley Cup because Vasilevskiy (+400), the goalie, shut down the playoffs' top offensive team. Since a disappointing first round against Toronto, he has been great. Vasilevskiy finished his highly-anticipated goalie duel with the Rangers.Four straight wins, and a.955 Save percentage in those four games.
Vasilevskiy's status as a closer has been legendary. He has won 13 series-clinching series and stopped 219 of 221 shots during his eight series-clinching victories. If he plays a dominant game against the Avalanche in the final round, it will cement his reputation as one of the greatest postseason goalies in hockey's history. He may also be the first to win back-toback playoff MVP honors since Bernie Parent (Flyers, 1974).
Sachin Chandan, ESPN Betting editor: Vasilevskiy is the most likely Lightning to claim the trophy, just like he did last season. However, captain Steven Stamkos (+1600) and evenThere is a possibility (+7000) that you could win. Although being the top goal scorer does not necessarily mean that you are a Conn Smith favorite, it usually gets you into the conversation. With nine goals, Stamkos leads the Lightning, while Palat, the left winger, is second with eight goals. Palat also has two game winners. Clutch third-period goals could help you win votes.
In the playoffs, high-scoring Colorado has not faced a goalie so talented as Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy. What confidence do you have in Colorado to score at least 3.5 goals per match?
Wyshynski: It is not a great feeling. Tampa Bay will try to win this series, just like it did against Rangers. Five of the six games were under 5.5 goals. This is due in large part to Vasilevskiy. He was expected to score 3.05 goals per game against in all situations. In his last 11 games, he's only allowed more than three goals. This was Game 1 against Rangers in which he had just returned from a nine day layoff. Although I can see the Avalanche scoring four goals with an empty-netter in some games, I would fade them on the total, especially when they are on the road.
Chandan: Joe mentioned earlier that the Avalanche have never faced Vasilevskiy in playoffs, and I am leaning towards the Avalanche team below 3.5 for Game 1. Maybe Colorado can solve Vasilevskiy's and the Lightning's defense. I am going into Game 1 with the expectation of lower scoring than any typical Avalanche match. Colorado has scored an average of 4.6 goals in the playoffs, including 5.5 goals in the Western Conference finals.
End this sentence: I believe _________ will score the first goal in Game 1.
Wyshynski: Stamkos (+650). MacKinnon and MacKinnon are tied in scoring the game's first goal three times each in the playoffs. He also led the Lightning by scoring it five times during the regular season. Although I don't think the Lightning will win Game 1, I believe they will in the first period after the layoff for Avalanche.
Chandan: MacKinnon (+600). With 83 shots, he leads all forwards and has six goals in the first period. This is a safe pick, but MacKinnon's speed could cause problems for Vasilevskiy in front of the net.