2022 NHL Playoffs Preview & Tips - Stanley Cup Finals - TheOddsBreakers (2023)

The Stanley Cup Finals begin Wednesday between the Colorado Avalanche and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Tampa Bay Lightning look to win their third straight Stanley Cup. If they could do that, they would become the first team to win three straight games since the New York Islanders won the Stanley Cup four straight seasons from 1980-1983. On the other hand, the Colorado Avalanche return to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time. time since 2001.

These teams went to the Stanley Cup in different ways. The Lightning swept in at least six games in two of their three series, while the Avalanche swept in two of their three series. Colorado defeated Edmonton in four games in the Western Conference Finals and will not play for nine days before Game 1. The Bolts defeated the Rangers in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals and are just three days away.

I'm going to split the two teams and offer my best bets on who I think will take home the Stanley Cup.

Tampa Bay Lightning in Colorado Avalanche


  • Game 1: TB Lightning @ COL Avalanche (June 15, 8 p.m. ET)
  • Game 2: TB Lightning @ COL Avalanche (June 18, 8 p.m. ET)
  • Game 3: COL Avalanche @ TB Lightning (June 20, 8 p.m. ET)
  • Game 4: COL Avalanche @ TB Lightning (June 22, 8 p.m. ET)
  • Game 5*: TB Lightning @ COL Avalanche (June 24, 8 p.m. ET)
  • Game 6*: COL Avalanche @ TB Lightning (June 26, 8 p.m. ET)
  • Game 7*: TB Lightning @ COL Avalanche (June 28, 8 p.m. ET)

* If required

Tampa Bay–Blitz

way to the end

  • Round 1: Tampa Bay Lightning defeated. Toronto Maple Leafs (7 games: 4-3)
  • Round 2: Tampa Bay Lightning defeated. Florida Panthers (4 games: 4-0)
  • Round 3: Tampa Bay Lightning defeated. New York Rangers (6 games: 4-2)

Unlike Colorado, Tampa Bay had to go through several tough teams to reach the finals. In the first round, they defeated Toronto by seven points after being down 3-2 in Game 6. The Maple Leafs threw everything they had at Tampa Bay, but ultimately Vasilevskiy's game was the difference in both final games of that round. series. In the second round, they easily defeated Florida in the Battle of Florida. Tampa Bay's playoff experience was key as they won every game in regulation. Most recently, the Lightning defeated the New York Rangers in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals. Igor Shesterkin fought hard and leads the GSAx postseason.

The statistics:

Categoryfinal games
goals per match3.06
SOG per game32,5
Goals conceded per game2.41
SOG vs per game31,9
shooting %9,4%
force play %22,6%
penalty shootout %82,5%

Team leader – points:

playerGoalsaidPointsshots per game
Nikita Kutscherow7sixteen233.53
Palat de Ondrej88sixteen2.12
Steven Stamko96153.18

Team Captain – Goalkeeper:

goaliegames playedRecordBUTVS%GSAx
Andrey Wassiljewski1712-52.270,928%+12,7

Combinations of projected lines:

Palat de OndrejSteven StamkoNikita Kutscherow
Brandon HagelAntonio CirelliAlex Killorn
rosscoltonnicholas paulcorey perry
bed grenadesPierre-Edouard BellemareRiley Nash
Victor HedmannJan Rutta
ryan macdonagherik cernak
Michail SergatschowZach Bogosian
Andrey Wassiljewski
brian elliot

Injuries: Brayden Point (lower body)


way to the end

  • Round 1: Colorado Avalanche defeated. Nashville Predators (4 games: 4-0)
  • Round 2: Colorado Avalanche defeated. Street. Louis Blues (6 games: 4-2)
  • 3rd round: Colorado Avalanche defeated. Edmonton Oilers (4 games: 4-0)

The Avalanche had a fairly benign run to reach the Stanley Cup Finals. In the first round they faced a team from Nashville without Juuse Saros, nominated by Vezina. Without Saros, the Predators simply couldn't keep up with the David Rittich/Connor Ingram combination. In the second round, the Blues challenged them, but after losing to Jordan Binnington, they only managed to win one more game. Most recently, in the Western Conference Finals, they faced Mike Smith, who had a negative GSAx in every game. Colorado has never faced a goaltender as talented as Vasilevksiy, which would make it their toughest challenge yet.

The statistics:

Categoryfinal games
goals per match4.64
SOG per game40,7
Goals conceded per game2.86
SOG vs per game28.2
shooting %11,4%
force play %31,1%
penalty shootout %75,7%

Team leader – points:

playerGoalsaidPointsshots per game
kaal makar517223,64
Nathan Mackinnon117185.86
Gabriel Landeskog89173,00

Team Captain – Goalkeeper:

goaliegames playedRecordBUTVS%GSAx
Darcy Kumper106-22,650,897%-4,4
french paul66-02.860,906%+0,0

Combinations of projected lines:

Gabriel LandeskogNathan MackinnonWaleri Nichuschkin
Artturi LehkonenMikko RantanenAndré Burakowski
Alex NewhookJT CompherNicholas Aube-Kubel
Andreas Coglianodarren helmLogan O´Connor
Devon Toewskaal makar
Jack Johnsonjose manson
Bowen-Byramerik johnson
Darcy Kumper
french paul

Injuries: Samuel Girard (sternum), Nazem Kadri (torso)

Previous meetings:

  • October 23, 2021
    • Colorado Avalanche (4) @ Tampa Bay Lightning (3) – SO
      • COL -110, TBL -110, O/U: 6,0 (-110/-110)
      • COL xG: 2,91, TBL xG: 2,82
      • Vasilevskiy: -0.09 GSAx
      • Darcy Kuemper: -0,18 GSAx
  • December 18, 2021: Postponed
  • February 10, 2022
    • Tampa Bay Blitz (2) @ Colorado Avalanche (3)
      • TBL -105, COL -115, O/U: 6,0 (-125/ +105)
      • TBL xG: 3,17 COL xG: 2,91
      • Vasilevskiy: -0.09 GSAx
      • Darcy Kuemper: 1,17 GSAx

Serial Dating:

  • Tampa Bay Blitz (+155)
  • Colorado-Lawine (-180)

Series view and selection

The Avalanche enter the Stanley Cup as heavy favorites to defeat Tampa Bay, a feat no team has accomplished in the last three postseasons. All season Colorado has been the favorite to win the cup and the odds reflect that here.

Tampa Bay, on the other hand, has only been a loser once this postseason, and that was in their first series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last year they beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 in the Stanley Cup and last season they beat the Dallas Stars in 6 games.

For me, the only thing I like about Colorado in this series is their talent, but their goalies are a big problem. Kuemper had some injury problems in the postseason and Francouz played well, but nothing exceptional. Nazem Kadri's status is still uncertain if he will return, but Colorado said they are holding out hope. He had his most regular-season points tally with 14 points in 13 playoff games. Without Kadri, the Avalanche still has plenty of talent as they have four skaters in the top 10 this postseason. Cale Makar has been an exception in this playoff, leading the team with 22 points. He is one of the best defensemen the NHL has ever seen and his ability to generate offense is out of this world.

The Lightning have the best goalie in the net in three seasons in Andrei Vasilevskiy. When the playoffs start, he ramps up his game, making it almost impossible to win. He struggled early in the playoffs, but he's been terrific since Game 6 of the first round. Bryaden Point has missed most of the postseason, and according to Jon Cooper, it's "extremely likely" that he'll be in Game 1. With the addition of Point the Lightning, they're bringing back one of their best players.

This should be an amazing series that goes far. Lightning struggled a bit to get out the door, but she's been dominant ever since. I think they will be the toughest challenge Colorado has faced in the entire postseason. We've seen them beat the Avalanche in both games of the regular season, and based on that, this series will be 6 or 7 games. The key for Tampa Bay in this series will be their ability to limit Colorado offensively. They have the fewest goals conceded per game this postseason and will need Andrei Vasilevskiy to continue their good game. If Colorado wants to win, they need to have a better goaltender no matter who the starter is. With Francouz leading 6-0, he could count on the Avalanche's ability to score the puck. He has a 2.65 GAA with a save percentage under .900. These two teams play very different styles of hockey, so it's going to be a great series to watch. If I had to pick a winner, I think Colorado would eventually get it. They've been knocked out of the playoffs in the second round in recent seasons, but this seems to be a team on a mission that I'm not sure even back-to-back Stanley Cup winners can stop.

  • Total series - 6 games (+210) - 0.5 units
  • Total series - 7 games (+210) - 0.5 units

BONUS - Review by Conn Smythe

The Conn Smythe Trophy is awarded to the most valuable player on his team during the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. Last season Andrei Vasilevskiy won the award with +26.6 GSAx during the playoffs. In the 2020 season, Victor Hedman brought home the best forward in the postseason with 22 points in 25 games. There has been another Conn Smythe winner at various positions over the past four seasons.

If you want to place a futures bet on Conn Smythe, you also need to decide which team will win. The last player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in a loss was Jean Sebastian Giguere in 2003 with Anaheim. Aside from J-S Giguere, only four other players have accomplished the same feat.

If you think Colorado is going to win, I suggest backing current favorite Cale Makar at +180. In the Western Conference Finals, he added 5 points in a single game, ranking second all-time for most points by a defenseman in a single playoff game. Makar currently has 22 points this postseason, which ranks 14th for most points by a defenseman in a single playoff year. If he could get just four more points in the Stanley Cup Finals, he'd always move up to third. Along with his offensive skills, Makar also displayed his defensive prowess, knocking out Connor McDavid on the last series. He's only been on the ice for 14 goals this postseason, which he tied. If he wins, he'll become the third quarterback in the last 10 years to beat Conn Smythe. If you're looking for a higher odds Colorado player, I think Mikko Rantanen has a +1500 odds.

If you think Tampa Bay is going to win, I'd start with Nikita Kucherov (+400) or Andrei Vasilevskiy (+400). As I mentioned, Vasilevskiy won that award last year and became the first goaltender to win that honor in back-to-back years since Bernie Parent in 1974-75 with the Philadelphia Flyers. The last player to win Conn Smythe in back-to-back seasons was Sidney Crosby in 2016-17. Kucherov finished second in the 2021 Conn Smythe poll. His linemate Bryden Point crashed in the first round, but that didn't stop his offensive performance. Without a point, he has 15 points in the playoffs and was a big part of Tampa Bay's Stanley Cup. If Tampa Bay wins a third straight season, we could see a scenario where voters give Kucherov the Conn Smythe, even if Vasilevskiy is MVP given last season's results. If you're looking for a higher odds Tampa Bay player, I think Captain Steven Stamkos has a +1500 odds.

Good luck, and as always, find me on Twitter @GatorBetting and Instagram @Gator_Sports_Betting.

2022 NHL Playoffs Preview & Tips - Stanley Cup Finals - TheOddsBreakers (3)


Who is most likely to win Stanley Cup 2022? ›

2022-23 Stanley Cup Odds
TeamCurrent OddsOpening Odds
Boston Bruins+250+2500
Colorado Avalanche+850+375
Carolina Hurricanes+950+1100
New York Rangers+1000+1800
4 more rows

Who is most likely to win the Stanley Cup 2023? ›

In Stanley Cup betting odds at DraftKings, the Boston Bruins +275 are favored to win the 2023 Stanley Cup. The Colorado Avalanche +700 and Edmonton Oilers +800 round out the top three betting choices. They're followed by the Carolina Hurricanes +1000 and the New York Rangers +750 in current Stanley Cup odds.

How many wins do you need in the Stanley Cup playoffs? ›

The Stanley Cup playoffs are an elimination tournament in the National Hockey League. To win the Stanley Cup, a team must win 16 playoff games, 4 in each of the 4 rounds.

What are the current odds to win the Stanley Cup? ›

Series winner odds
Hurricanes (-350)Islanders (+270)CAR up 1-0
Bruins (-700)Panthers (+500)BOS up 1-0
Wild (-130)Stars (+110)MIN up 1-0
Oilers (-140)Kings (+120)LAK up 1-0
Rangers (-190)Devils (+160)NYR up 1-0
3 more rows
3 days ago

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