The NHL’s regular season is upon us. The puck drops on October 12 with the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning facing the Pittsburgh Penguins and the NHL’s newest franchise, the Seattle Kraken meeting the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Lightning have hoisted the Cup at the conclusion of the past two NHL seasons and look to become the first team since the New York Islanders in 1980-83 to win three (or more) consecutive NHL titles. In an ideal situation, Seattle will top Vegas’ performance in their debut season. The Golden Knights joined the NHL in 2017-18. The club finished the season in first place in the Pacific Division and went to the Cup Finals, where they fell to the Washington Capitals in five games.
Let’s look at the odds for all 32 NHL teams to win the 2022 Stanley Cup.
2022 Stanley Cup Odds
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+650||+500||+650|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+850||+750||+850|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+1100||+1200||+1100|
|New York Islanders||+1600||+1800||+1600|
|New York Rangers||+1800||+2200||+1800|
|St. Louis Blues||+3300||+5000||+3300|
|New Jersey Devils||+5500||+8000||+5500|
|Los Angeles Kings||+7000||+6000||+7000|
|San Jose Sharks||+8000||+8000||+8000|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+15000||+10000||+15000|
|Detroit Red Wings||+20000||+20000||+20000|
A Lightning Three-Peat?
In 2021. the Tampa Bay Lightning became the first team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups since the Pittsburgh Penguins accomplished that feat in 2016 and 2017. One has to go back to the early 80s to find a team that won three Cups in a row. The most recent squad to do so was the New York Islanders. That club won four straight NHL titles between 1980 and 1983. The Lightning have a chance to become a dynasty team in 2022 and the odds are good that they will. The Lightning are my pick to take the Eastern Conference crown and move on to the Stanley Cup final.
The core of the Cup-winning Lightning club remains together, but to avoid stagnation, the team went out and added a veteran presence in the off-season. That player is former Hart Trophy and Stanley Cup champion, Corey Perry, who Tampa Bay signed to a two-year deal. Perry has dropped off from his prime years, but the 36-year-old will add some veteran depth to a lineup that didn’t really need any help.
Lightning to win the 2022 Stanley Cup +600 via BetUS.
End of a more than 20-year drought?
In 2021, the Colorado Avalanche won the President’s Trophy for the best record in the NHL for the first time in 20 years with a record of 39-13-4. The Vegas Golden Knights had the same record, but the Avalanche took home the award for best overall record thanks to the tiebreaker of most regulation wins (COL: 35, VGK: 30).
The Avalanche swept St. Louis in the opening round of the playoffs, but they fell to the Golden Knights in six games in the second round.
The Avalanche made some big changes in the off-season. The team moved on from seven players who played in all 10 of its playoff games last year, including goaltender, Vezina Trophy finalist Philip Grubauer. Darcy Kuemper joined the team as the starting goalie. As for the other changes, the top seven scorers on the team remain, as do five of the six defensemen who helped the Avalanche to the lowest shots allowed per game last season (25.4)
Colorado has been to the Stanley Cup finals twice. They won the Cup in both seasons, which were in 1996 and 2001. I think 2022 is the year their drought ends and they get back to the Stanley Cup finals.
Avalanche to win the 2022 Stanley Cup +500 Sportsbetting.
The Avalanche are overdue for a breakthrough, but I don’t think this will be their year. Yes, I think they’ll make it to the final series against the Lightning, but I think their lack of big-game experience will hurt them in 2022.
I see the Lightning as a team of destiny. With the core remaining in pursuit of a third straight Stanley Cup win, they know what it takes to play deep into the season and find another gear when the tank seems empty.
I think the Lightning will join the small cadre of teams who have won the Cup three times in a row (or more), but I also think the Avalanche will be a better and stronger team in the seasons to come and a loss in the Cup final will be a valuable learning experience.
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