The two teams that will contest this year’s Stanley Cup Final are now known and it will be the two-time defending Stanley Cup holders, the Tampa Bay Lightning that will take on the bookmakers favorite to win the trophy, the Colorado Avalanche.
Donated in 1892 by Lord Stanley of Preston, who was the Governor General of Canada at the time, the trophy has been awarded to the winners since 1914.
But the best-of-seven series to decide the winner of the trophy between the winners of the eastern and western conferences has been in place only since 1982.
Let’s now take a look at some of the long history of this famous season finale for the NHL, before we then preview the series between the Lightning and Avalanche in a bit more detail.
And all odds shown in this article come courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook and were correct at the time of writing.
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The Stanley Cup Factfile
- The game for the Stanley Cup has taken on many forms in its long history,
particularly in the early years of the tournament which saw games between the NHL and WCHL or WHL Champion or the American and Canadian Division playoff champions facing each other.
- The Best of Seven Series was introduced in 1939 and has been retained since, although how the teams qualify for the Stanley Cup series was changed frequently until 1982.
- The 2004/05 season was cancelled entirely due to the lockout.
- Covid 19 forced the 2021 season to be played in realigned divisions based on the geographic locations of teams to limit the amount of travel, this also included a change in how the playoffs and Stanley Cup Finalists were decided. However, from the current season, the playoff champions from the Eastern Conference and Western Conference will once again contest the series.
- The most successful team in Stanley Cup history are the Montreal Canadiens, who have won the trophy 24 times in the team’s history. That includes a record breaking run of ten consecutive appearances in finals from 1951 to 1960 winning six of those finals.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs are next on the list with six wins, followed by the Detroit Red Wings with 11.
- Current finalists the Tampa Bay Lightning have reached five finals in total and in their previous four have won three (2004, 2020, 2021) and lost one (2015).
- The Colorado Avalanche have now reached three finals and have won both the other two they competed in (1996, 2001).
- The Avalanche are also the only team to reach a Stanley Cup Final to have never lost a series.
- Five teams in the NHL currently have not yet made a Stanley Cup Finals appearance, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, Seattle Kraken, Winnipeg Jets and Arizona Coyotes.
- Only one of the last ten Stanley Cup Finals series has been taken to a seventh and deciding game, that was in 2019 when the St. Louis Blues defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3.
- The Eastern Conference team has won the Stanley Cup Finals on five of the last six occasions.
Who Will Be The Key Players?
Both teams boast some of the most exciting talent in the NHL, but some of the key
players for each team are listed below:
Tampa Bay Lightning
- Steven Stamkos
- Victor Hedman
- Nikita Kucherov
- Ondrej Palat
- Alex Killorn
- Corey Perry
- Andrei Vasilevski (Goaltender)
- Mikko Rantanen
- Nathan MacKinnon
- Nazem Kadri (if fit)
- Gabriel Landeskog
- Cole Makar
- Andre Burakovsky
- Devon Toews
- Darcy Kuemper/Pavel Francouz (Goaltenders)
2022 Stanley Cup Finals – Betting Odds And Game 1 Tips
A quick look at the odds available with DraftKings Sportsbook reveals that the Avalanche will have the backing of the bookies to win the opening game as they are -160 on the moneyline to land the win, with the Lightning +140.
It’s hard to back against the Lightning, especially seeing as they seem to have found their form in their comeback win over the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final, but the Avalanche have been the dominant team in the NHL this year and I expect them to land the first game win here.
However, the Lightning cannot be ruled out and I have a feeling this series may be one of the most keenly contested in recent years.
The first game will be played Wednesday evening, so remember to get your bets on before then!