2023 Stanley Cup Odds: Should the Lightning Be Favored Over the Avalanche and Panthers?

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Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning leaves the ice following a defeat by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP.

The Tampa Bay Lightning might have missed out on their hat-trick of Stanley Cups last season, losing to the Colorado Avalanche in the finals. Despite that, they still managed to make it to their third Stanley Cup finals in a row, an impressive feat.

So we are wondering, do they deserve to be the outright favorites this year instead of their 4th overall favored at NHL futures odds of +1000?

Their closest rivals the Florida Panthers are priced slightly lower at +900 whilst the current Stanley Cup holders Colorado Avalanche are the favorites at odds of +425.

Colorado Avalanche Analysis

Are the Avalanche Ready to Go Back-To-Back?

It’s crazy how the sport works. First, we get a brand new NHL dynasty in the Tampa Bay Lightning, and then another possibly one comes right along in the form of the Colorado Avalanche. Admittedly, we are jumping the gun in even calling the Lightning a dynasty, maybe they need another few solid season and another Stanley Cup addition.

That means the Avalanche have a lot to do to become a dynasty, but with that being said, they do have a young roster and are incredibly talented and confident on the ice.

Is Colorado priced fairly at +425 to win another Stanley Cup? Probably, but it’s just a tad too low for us to be betting them. Their stamina will be tested next season and they did lose their goaltender during the off-season.

Florida Panthers Analysis

Have the Panthers Got the Bottle?

Florida is a really strong team, but they sometimes seem naive on the ice. They are the sort of team who will go 2-0 down and win the game 5-4. Yes, it’s entertaining hockey but it’s not exactly the easiest route to winning a Stanley Cup.

Despite scoring 340 goals in the regular season and winning the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, they were bumped out of last season’s playoffs in the second round when they lost 4-0 to their Florida rivals Tampa Bay Lightning.

The most disappointing aspect of the series was that the regular season top scorers only managed 3 goals across all four Tampa Bay wins.

Unfortunately, the Panthers showed their true colors last season, and yes, Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy did outstanding in the crease, but they would have been undone by the Avalanche in the finals and that’s before they even tackled a strong NY Rangers team.

Tampa Bay Lightning Analysis

Why Tampa Bay Lightning Can Win The Stanley This Season

As well as having a world-class goaltender in Andrei Vasilevskiy, who allowed just 2.49 goals in the regular season in 2021-22 (which was only the 9th best for goaltenders), this goaltender has won two Stanley Cups and picked up a Vezina trophy and a Conn Smythe trophy all within the space of four years, and although he probably won’t count it, he also has a Stanley Cup runners up medal.

The goaltender alone is scary without discussing the fact that the majority of the back-to-back winning team is still on the roster and the 3rd line changes that had to be made last season due to the salary cap almost worked, getting them to a third Stanley Cup final.

Admittedly, the losses to Ondrej Palat (who signed with NJ Devils as an unrestricted free agent) and Ryan McDonagh (traded to the Nashville Predators) will be a tough one, they still have what it takes to go far.

We can see that third line getting stronger and more competent this season, giving the Lightning another great chance to make the Stanley Cup finals in 2022. This team is deadly, like the New England Patriots, Chicago Red Bulls of the ’90s, and Man Utd of the early 2000s.

How Long Will the Lightning Last?

They have one of the best general manager and coach combinations in the league right now, and they know how to produce good teams. They have the winning combination. Just like all the above, the question is how long will it last?

There were serious doubters in 2022 and they proved them wrong just by making it to the finals despite the fact they might not have won it. All Tampa Bay need is to stay injury-free heading into the playoffs (and hopefully throughout) to stand a really good chance of winning.

Looking beyond this year, they need a little cap space to work with but right now it’s another chance to make a Stanley Cup finals run with a very talented roster.


We wouldn’t write the Avalanche off but we can’t see them going back-to-back this season. There are so many strong teams right now who can beat anybody on any given day. Yes, the Avalanche deserve to be favored over the Lightning but not by as big as a 6.75 dollar gap.

As for the Panthers, they are a great side to watch and came up with some high-scoring and exciting games last season, but the Lightning have the best of this team over 7 games, so despite there being just a $1 gap at the top-rated sportsbooks, we believe the Lightning should be around +700 and the Panthers +900, whilst we are happy for the Avalanche to stay at +425.