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The Stanley Cup Final is on the verge of its finale and the Tampa Bay Lightning are only one win away from being back-back champions. The Lightning’s odds have shrunk to a nearly unbeatable number at (-5000 Bodog). The Montreal Canadiens have been underdogs at every point of these playoffs and have overcome every obstacle they have faced. However, even with Carey Price steering the ship, I do not see Montreal overcoming this enormous deficit. My original Cup Champions are still intact, but they have smashed any and all expectations. I hope you placed a bet on previous NHL odds, because right now you should just sit back and enjoy the conclusion to these exciting 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
*Odds provided by Sports interaction & Bodog Sportsbooks
My original Stanley Cup winner prediction is only one game away from winning their second Stanley Cup in as many years. The Lightning have pushed all the right buttons to beat Montreal. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been the better goaltender and the Lightning’s offense has continuously capitalized on match-ups against Montreal’s depth players. This team was built to be dominant and their Stanley Cup Final appearance has been just that.
In Game 1 the Lightning ran the Canadiens over. It became clear very quickly that Tampa Bay was going to be the aggressors for most of the series and smothered the Canadiens and Carey Price, who allowed 5 goals. In Game 2, it was Vasilevskiy’s show to steal as the Lightning were badly outplayed for the opening 40 minutes. The Russian netminder kept them in the game and a late second-period goal by Blake Coleman put Tampa Bay ahead for good as they prevailed 3-1. In Game 3 the Lightning’s depth was all too much as Tyler Johnson, who played less than 10 minutes contributed two goals and helped lead the Lightning to a 6-3 win and a 3-0 series stranglehold.
Tampa Bay vs Montreal Series Schedule
Game 4: Tampa Bay at Montreal (Monday July 5th @8pm EST)
Game 5 (If necessary): Tampa Bay vs Montreal (Wednesday July 7th @8pm EST)
Game 6 (If necessary): Tampa Bay at Montreal (Friday July 9th @8pm EST)
Game 7 (If necessary): Tampa Bay vs Montreal (Sunday July 11th @7pm EST)
It is so clear how much better the Lightning’s depth is as 16 of the Lightning’s 19 skaters who have appeared in the Cup Final have recorded points during this series. In contrast the Habs have only seen 9 of their 19 skaters record a point, the Lightning’s depth players are a class above. Additionally Andrei Vasilevskiy is cementing himself as one of the best playoff goaltenders of all-time, Vasilevskiy is up to a .938 save percentage for the playoffs and is frustrating Montreal shooters up and down the lineup.
The aforementioned Tyler Johnson is a shining example of Tampa Bay’s depth. Johnson, a former 50 point player has been relegated to the checking lines over the past few seasons for the Lightning, but he has not let it affect his play. He has chipped in any way he could and he got his moment in Game 3 providing a pair of tallies for the Lightning. Do not be surprised to see an energized Johnson make life difficult for Carey Price and Montreal in Game 4.
The Lightning to Win the Stanley Cup (-5000 Bodog)
Times are tough for the once upset happy Habs, but if you want to play a lottery ticket you could always bet on Montreal at +2000. There are only four teams who have overcome 3-0 series deficits in NHL history. Only one of those comebacks came in the Stanley Cup Final and it was in 1942. The odds are stacked against the Canadiens, but that is how they have played all post-season, maybe just maybe there is a little magic left in the Habs.
The Habs opened their series against the Lightning much like their opener against the Vegas Golden Knights, only recording a single goal and really being blown out. Game 2 saw them open with a furious effort, at one point they were outshooting the Lightning 29-8, but Andrei Vasilevskiy stood strong and the Lightning got timely offense to secure the victory. In Game 3 the Lightning came out strong with an offensive outburst that Carey Price could not contain and the Habs could not keep up with, it ended in a 6-3 loss for the Canadiens.
Montreal vs Tampa Bay Series Schedule
Game 4: Montreal vs Tampa Bay (Monday July 5th @8pm EST)
Game 5 (If necessary): Montreal at Tampa Bay (Wednesday July 7th @8pm EST)
Game 6 (If necessary): Montreal vs Tampa Bay (Friday July 9th @8pm EST)
Game 7 (If necessary): Montreal at Tampa Bay (Sunday July 11th @7pm EST)
The Canadiens will need some more heroics from Carey Price to prolong this series or somehow overcome this 3-0 deficit. The Canadiens are 2-5 during these playoffs when Price allows three goals or more, and the Lightning have scored three goals or more in all three games so far this series. Even then, the Habs need some production out of players like Jesperi Kontaniemi, Paul Byron and Tyler Toffoli, all three of these forwards have been held pointless this series and Montreal cannot win without their offensive contributions.
If there is any way the Canadiens can overcome this mammoth deficit, it is Carey Price. Price’s Stanley Cup Final’s save percentage is .835%, not even close to what he was sporting through the first three rounds when he was hovering around .940%. Montreal’s defense has to be better, but they need some inspiration from their goalkeeper. If Price stands on his head the Habs may just have a puncher’s chance, in any case hopefully Price rebounds and makes the Lightning sweat to make the conclusion of these playoffs interesting.
Bet on Montreal to Win the Stanley Cup (+2000 Sports Interaction)
Half of my original BettingTop10 prediction remains intact as the Lightning meet the Canadiens. My original prediction saw the Tampa Bay Lightning fending off the Vegas Golden Knights. Vegas obviously did not make the Final, but my opinion remains unchanged. From the beginning of the playoffs I have believed that the Lightning were the best team in the NHL. Hungry to repeat, and arguably better than last year, I just do not see how anyone can beat the Lightning this year. Now ahead 3-0 in their series I believe it is all but a foregone conclusion for the Lightning to clinch. My best bet is to bet on the Lightning (-5000 Bodog) to win the Stanley Cup.
Bet on Tampa Bay to win the Stanley Cup (-5000 Bodog)
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I am a diehard sports fan who loves just about any sport that comes to mind. I have been a sports bettor over the past 4 years, beginning with college basketball betting. Slowly I have diversified my betting portfolio as I have come to understand betting markets better. I currently write pieces for BettingTop10, but have been writing for different publications for 5+ years
All Reviews by Josh Saslove