It’s been an exciting and eventful run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Apart from their sweep of the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay had to come from behind to win against Toronto and New York. Colorado has been a juggernaut throughout, being the dominant team in each playoff series. But they did have easier teams to go up against.
The Lightning have won two Cups in a row, giving them the experience and confidence to pull it off again. It won’t be easy to bet against them to win it a third time.
This matchup should be a high-scoring series because of the offensive talent of both clubs. Most experts predict a long series because the teams are so evenly matched. Bookies should prepare for lots of prop bets as there will be many top NHL players on the ice for this last series of games.
Injuries Could Tip the Scales
There are two major injuries that can make a difference depending on when they return.
Colorado’s winger Nazem Kadri suffered a thumb injury in their exciting 6-5 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers. A hit from Evander Kane caused it. Kadri had surgery but is not due back into the lineup for at least the first game against the Lightning.
Tampa Bay’s Braydon Point has been out of the lineup since suffering a lower-body injury in Game 7 of the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He is slated to return for the first game against Colorado. If fully recovered, he’ll be a much-needed part of the lineup against the highest-scoring team in the 2022 playoffs. Point is considered one of the top 2-way players in the NHL and has been the leading scorer (30) for the last three NHL playoffs.
Goaltending Could Make the Different
Being on the ice for the entire game and being the last line of defense, the goaltender can be the difference in a close game. Playoffs have traditionally been where the best goalies shine. If goaltending isn’t strong, chances are, the team will not go far.
Although Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy let in six goals in the first game against New York, he has been stellar ever since, only letting in one goal in each of the final three games of that series. He ranks third amongst goalies in the playoffs, with 8.05 goals saved above average.
Colorado’s netminder, Darcy Kuemper, is not looking as good. His postseason record is -3.65 goals saved above average, ranking him 26th amongst all playoff goalies. Plus, he is coming back from an injury he suffered in their last round against Edmonton. That could make those stats even worse.
Along with Kadri’s injury, Kuemper is the only other weakness that can lose the series for the Avalanche. Without a solid goalie, they’ll constantly be on the defensive, trying to keep the Lightning from getting quality shots on net. The first game should give an indication of where this series is going to go.
How Bookies Can Prepare for the Finals
With only two teams left, it gets easier for a bookie to keep his book balanced. Offer up props betting to give you the opportunity to make more money during this last NHL series of the season. Add limits to the betting and set up your alerts to know whenever your guys make a wager. Each game can be a money maker for you as long as you manage it well. Let’s hope this series goes at least six games.
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