The Tampa Bay Lightning are the team to beat this season. They have been in this familiar position for a few years now, but this year just feels different.
The Lightning are still the favorites to win the Stanley Cup with +500 odds, but there are two other top contenders with odds better than +1000. However, neither of them have had the recent success that Tampa Bay has had.
[table id=515 /]
Tampa Bay Lightning (85 points in 62 games; Stanley Cup Odds: +500)
The Lightning have hit a rut with back-to-back losses, but there is no reason to worry. They are still one of the hottest teams in the league and best team in the league over the past few months.
The Lightning’s incredible 11-game winning streak came to an end against the Vegas Golden Knights, and Tampa Bay has now lost back-to-back games in the desert. However, let’s focus on that run prior to the two losses.
The Lightning doubled up their opponents with a goal differential of 38-19 during their 11-game winning streak. They did that while going just 1-for-28 on the power play. If they get it going on the power play, they could be beyond lethal.
Tampa Bay is also 13-1-1 in their past 15 games, outscoring opponents 53-29. And we can’t forget about their run over the past two months, going an absolutely remarkable 23-2-1 since December 23rd. They have outscored their opponents 97-49 in those 26 games, allowing less than two goals per game. That is seriously impressive.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has been a big part of that. Vasilevskiy is 18-2-1 since December 23rd with a .929 save percentage. He now has a 32-11-3 record on the season with a .916 save percentage.
The Lightning have the firepower up front (Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn, and the newly-acquired Blake Coleman, just to name a few) and are solid on the blue line. They’ve put it together recently and you’re going to want to get on the bandwagon while the Stanley Cup odds are still +500.
Checking in on Last Week’s Stanley Cup Odds Longshots
I hope you got on board with last week’s longshots, well, last week, because their odds have gotten shorter.
The Vegas Golden Knights have seen their Stanley Cup Odds jump from +1300 last week to +1000 this week, while the Philadelphia Flyers have gone from +3200 last week to +2700 this week.
Have no fear, though, both Vegas and Philadelphia are still worth betting on at those marks.