2021 Stanley Cup Finals Picks
The Tampa Bay Lightning are favored in the Stanley Cup final picks to become the third NHL team since 2000 to successfully defend the Stanley Cup when they face the Montreal Canadiens in the 2021 Stanley Cup final. The Canadiens have won more Stanley Cups than any NHL franchise with 24, but this is their first appearance in the Cup final series in 28 years. Montreal won the Stanley Cup most recently in the 1992-93 season.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning are -200 favorites to repeat as Stanley Cup champions
- The Montreal Canadiens are seeking to add to their record 24 Stanley Cup triumphs
- Montreal most recently won the Stanley Cup in 1993
The -200 betting choice in the Stanley Cup final picks, the Tampa Bay Lightning will look to join the 2001 New Jersey Devils and the 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins as the only NHL teams since 2000 to successfully defend the Stanley Cup championship. To do so, they will have to overcome the winningest franchise in Stanley Cup history.
The Montreal Canadiens are the kings of the Stanley Cup. No team comes anywhere near Montreal's record 24 Stanley Cup titles. However, much of the Canadiens' tradition of success is ancient history. It's not only been 28 years since the Habs won the Cup, this is their first appearance in the Cup final series in 28 years.
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-200||-265||-275|
Montreal will also be seeking to end Canada's Stanley Cup drought. That 1993 triumph by the Canadiens was also the last time that a Canadian NHL franchise captured the Cup.
Montreal is a most unlikely Stanley Cup finalist. As recently as June 1, they were +5000 to win in the Stanley Cup final odds. The Canadiens were 18th overall in the NHL standings this season. They qualified for the fourth and final North Division playoff spot.
Canadiens Rely On Defense
Forwards Tyler Toffoli (ninth - 14 points) and Nick Suzuki (11th - 13 points) are the only Montreal players who rank among the top 28 in NHL playoff scoring. Keeping the score down and coming out ahead in close decisions is proving to be the formula for success that the Canadiens are deploying.
Montreal is 5-1 in playoff overtime games and 9-2 in one-goal decisions. The Habs are 3-0 when facing elimination.
They've done it! Montreal is going to the Stanley Cup Final! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/VK0b06JXiu— TSN (@TSN_Sports) June 25, 2021
Goaltender Carey Price has posted a 2.02 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage in reaching the Stanley Cup final for the first time during his 14-season career. Forward Cole Caufield leads all rookies in goals (four), assists (five), and points (nine).
Lightning Get It Done At Both Ends
Forward Nikita Kucherov, the 2018-19 Art Ross and Hart Trophy winner, missed all of the 2021 NHL regular season following offseason hip surgery. He returned for the postseason and leads all scorers, just as he did last season. The last time the same player finished atop Stanley Cup playoffs scoring in successive seasons was Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux in 1991-92. The Penguins won the Cup in both of those years.
Forward Brayden Point, Kucherov's linemate, scored a goal in nine straight playoff games. That's the second-longest goal-scoring stretch ever by an NHLer in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Point leads the playoff goal-scoring race, just as he did last year. The last NHLer to top playoff goal-scoring in successive years was Edmonton's Jari Kurri in 1987-88. The Oilers won the Cup in both of those years.
The reason why Tampa Bay is favored in the Stanley Cup final Vegas odds is because Lightning are also no slouches on the defensive side of the puck. Tampa Bay held the opposition to two or fewer goals in 11 playoff games through the first three rounds, including four shutouts. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has posted shutouts in the club's last four series-clinching wins. That's a Stanley Cup record.
Montreal has rallied from a 3-1 deficit against Toronto and a 1-0 disadvantage when facing Vegas. However, the Habs won't want to be chasing the Lightning. Tampa Bay hasn't lost successive playoff games since 2019.
How Long Will It Go?
Among a number of possible props plays in the Stanley Cup final odds, the exact series outcome is an attractive option. Since 2000, nine final series have ended in six games, while seven have gone the full seven-game distance. Another four went five games. They haven't been a four-game sweep in the Stanley Cup final since 1998.
Just over a decade later, Canada will once again be represented in the Stanley Cup Final. 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/i6b9SRUyuf— TSN (@TSN_Sports) June 25, 2021
Where To Bet On The Stanley Cup Final?
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