Best bets for the Stanley Cup Final



Mar 6, 2018

Best bets for the Stanley Cup Final​


We are down to the final two teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Can the Tampa Bay Lightning go back-to-back? Will the Montreal Canadiens snap their near 30-year drought of claiming the Stanley Cup?

NHL writers Greg Wyshynski and Emily Kaplan are here to give us their best bets for the Stanley Cup Final.



Tampa Bay Lightning (-270) vs. Montreal Canadiens (+220)​

Monday's Game 1: Canadiens at Lightning (-1.5)

Money line: Canadiens +175, Lightning -200; Over/under 5 goals


Andrei Vasilevskiy to win Conn Smythe​

Kaplan: If the Canadiens win, Carey Price is a clear favorite to win Conn Smythe. If the Lightning win, don't overlook Vasilevskiy. Sure, the Lightning have some of the most skilled skaters in the league -- like Brayden Point, who just put up a nine-game goal streak, and Nikita Kucherov, the 2019 NHL MVP. But Vasilevskiy, the best goalie in the world, is just as much, if not a bigger part of their success. He's gone 12-6 with a 1.99 GAA and .936 save percentage (best of any goalie in this postseason), along with a playoff leading four shutouts. You've probably heard about how, over the last two postseasons, the Lightning are 14-0 after losses. Vasilevskiy is a huge part of that trend, posting four shutouts and nearly a .950 save percentage in those bounce-back games.

Carey Price to win Conn Smythe (+195)​

Wyshynski: I like this bet for two reasons. First, if the Canadiens pull the upset and win the Stanley Cup, then Price is waltzing away with playoff MVP, no questions asked. Second, there's a legitimate chance he becomes the sixth player in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe in a losing effort. It's all about the narrative; if this series goes seven games and Price is the reason that it does, you've going to have four rounds of dominant goaltending that has carried the 18th-best regular-season team to within a victory of the Cup. That might be enough for the voters to single out Price rather than rewarding Vasilevskiy, Nikita Kucherov or Brayden Point from a repeat-champion Lightning team that obviously has its share of candidates.


Alex Killorn to score more points than Corey Perry (-139 at DraftKings)​

Wyshynski: Perry has nine points in 17 playoff games, including three points against the Vegas Golden Knights. Killorn has 17 points in 18 playoff games, which includes a four-point game against Florida and a three-point game against the Islanders. The bet here is that Killorn is good for one of those multi-point games in this series and that Perry's line finds it more difficult to produce offense against Vasilevskiy and a tough Lightning defense.