The Stanley Cup Playoffs have officially entered the third round as only four teams remain alive. After some wild series and surprising upsets, we’re one step closer to crowning this year’s champions.
Some hockey fans prefer making the hunt for the Stanley Cup a little more exciting by incorporating sports betting into the mix. It’s a way to add some extra stakes to an already intense experience. Whether it’s betting on individual matchups or choosing the winner, it’s an experience worth trying.
Speaking of the latter market, BetOnline has officially updated their Stanley Cup odds to reflect the remaining teams. At +110, they’re now favoring the Vegas Golden Knights to win it all. Nobody thought that they’d make it this far, at least when you realize they’ve been in the league for just four seasons. However, the Golden Knights have been proving doubters wrong all season, with the most recent instance coming by eliminating the Colorado Avalanche in just six games.
One player who’s been a key part of Vegas’ performance has been goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. At 36 years old, Fleury is playing some of the best hockey of his career this postseason. He’s 8-4-0 through the first two rounds, sporting a 1.91 goals against average and .923 save percentage. Another aspect of the Golden Knights’ winning ways is their teamwork. They don’t have a single player who’s playing at a point-per-game pace aside from Max Pacioretty (8 points in seven games). They’re getting it done by committee, so, when one player gets shut down, another steps up. It’s been working so far, so look for more of the same in Round 3.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Lightning have the second-best odds (+150) to win the Stanley Cup. Ever since getting Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov back in the lineup, the Lightning have been a different team (although, it has come with some controversy). They are two of five Tampa Bay players who are averaging over a point per game in the playoffs, which goes to show you how deep they really are. Tampa Bay isn’t like other teams where you can shut down one or two players and not have to worry about anyone else. The Lightning can beat teams in numerous amounts of ways and they’ll look to do that against the New York Islanders in the third round.
NHL Odds: 2020-21 Stanley Cup Winner
Odds via BetOnline as of Friday, June 11
- Vegas Golden Knights (+110)
- Tampa Bay Lightning (+150)
- New York Islanders (+600)
- Montreal Canadiens (+1000)
Note: This page will have updated odds at the start of each round of the 2020-21 NHL Playoffs.
Islanders Making It Work Again
When John Tavares left the New York Islanders (+600) a few seasons ago, people thought that the team would flounder without him. Instead, after hiring Barry Trotz as the head coach, the Islanders have blossomed into one of the best teams in the league. This is the second season in a row that the Islanders are one of the final four teams. Ironically, they’ll be facing the Lightning once again for a chance to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau has been one of the Islanders’ best players through the first two rounds. He had a history of coming up clutch in the playoffs when he was an Ottawa Senator and he’s currently proving that again by having 13 points in 12 games. Another reason why New York has been successful is that they’re getting goals from different players. Through the first two rounds, 14 different Islanders have scored at least a goal. Teamwork is an important part of winning in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Islanders are showcasing that right now.
Canadiens the Biggest Underdog
Nobody is a bigger underdog entering the third round than the Montreal Canadiens (+1000). People thought that they’d lose to the Toronto Maple Leafs due to their sub-.500 regular season record, but those critics were wrong. Then, some thought that Montreal’s series against the Winnipeg Jets would be a close one, but the Canadiens ended up sweeping the series. So, even if they have the worst odds to win the Stanley Cup, don’t count out Canada’s last team just yet.
Like the Golden Knights, the Canadiens can attribute a lot of their postseason success to their goalie, Carey Price. The 33-year-old has been an absolute brick wall in the crease, recording a 1.97 GAA and .935 SV% through his first 11 games of the postseason. When a team is getting goaltending like that, it’s a lot easier to be confident in front of them. Even if the Canadiens don’t have that superstar player, Price is the kind of person who elevates his teammates. It may seem like a longshot for Montreal to beat Vegas to get to the Stanley Cup Finals, but never say never.