- BetOnline has updated 2021 Stanley Cup odds heading into the Final between Montreal and Tampa Bay
- This marks the fourth time the Canadiens and Lightning will meet in the playoffs and the first since 2015
- The Habs are Canada’s first Stanley Cup finalist in a decade
The Lightning opened as -275 favourites to defeat the Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Final, marking the fourth-consecutive series that Montreal has been listed as an underdog this postseason. The number implies that Tampa Bay has almost a 74% chance of winning the best-of-seven series, with Game 1 scheduled for Monday night in Florida.
The Habs entered the postseason with the fourth-worst Cup odds (+2900) of the 16 teams that qualified for the postseason and started their Cinderella run as a +240 underdog against Toronto. They were then +105 to knock off Winnipeg and a massive +315 underdog in the semifinals versus Vegas.
Are the Canadiens a team of destiny that can knock off the defending champions? Let’s look at the latest series prices and props and be sure to check out our NHL betting tips page for advice on how to wager on hockey.
Lightning vs Canadiens Series Odds
|Canadiens To Win Series||+230|
|Lightning To Win Series||-275|
A David vs Goliath Cup matchup
After hoisting the Cup in an Edmonton bubble last September, the salary-cap-cheating Lightning now has a chance to win another in front of their home fans. If they can win four more games, Tampa Bay will become the first repeat winner since the 2016 and 2017 Penguins.
Meanwhile, the Canadiens are a 16th-ranked playoff team that turned around a five-game losing streak at the end of the regular season and a 3-1 first-round series deficit to get to this point. When the series shifts to la belle province for Game 3, it will be the first time in 28 years since the Habs have hosted a Stanley Cup Final game – the longest drought between finals appearances in the history of the NHL’s all-time winningest franchise.
"He never let anything rattle him, cool as a cucumber even at that age."
Canadiens goalie Carey Price was a standout even at 14 https://t.co/i38thnqoDF
— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) June 26, 2021
There is some history between the two clubs. In their most recent playoff meeting in 2015, the Lightning beat the Canadiens in six games in the second round. A year before that, the Canadiens swept the Lightning in the first round. And in 2004, the Lightning swept the Canadiens in the second round en route to winning the Stanley Cup.
Price vs. Vasilevskiy
Carey Price has a .934 save percentage and 2.02 GAA in the playoffs but oddly enough, the 33-year-old netminder has worse numbers than the guy in the other crease. After a Vezina-worthy campaign, Andrei Vasilevskiy has upped his game in the post-season with a .936 SV%, 1.99 GAA and four shutouts. The Russian also has a shutout in four straight series-clinching games, an NHL record.
Vasilevskiy is also 11-1-2 in his career against Montreal with a .939 save percentage, while Price is 14-19-6 all-time against Tampa Bay with a .912 save percentage.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 26, 2021
If Price and Vasilevskiy cancel each other out, it will be up to the Habs to play the same stifling team defence that shutdown Toronto and Vegas’ top-six forwards. The only problem is the Bolts have superior depth throughout their lineup.
Another key to the series will be special teams. Montreal hasn’t allowed a power-play goal since Game 4 against Toronto, killing 30 straight penalties, while Tampa Bay is converting on 37.7% of its PP opportunities this post-season.
We recommended taking the Montreal Canadiens to win the Stanley Cup at +1000 just over a week ago, and while the club has given off serious 1993 vibes throughout their underdog run, it’s hard to recommend them at +230.
Instead, we’ll hedge our bets and take the Lightning to win the series in 6 games at +375 at BetOnline.
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