The 2022 Stanley Cup Final is here and the red-hot Colorado Avalanche look to take down the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Avs downed the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Finals, while the Lightning took down the New York Rangers in the east. The Rangers held a 2-0 lead in the series before Tampa Bay reeled off four straight to claim the Prince of Wales Trophy.
It should be an incredibly competitive series, pitting the Avalanche, one of the NHL’s best scoring units, against one of the league’s best defensive teams in the Lightning.
The Iowa betting lines certainly reflect it, with many experts predicting a drawn-out series. FanDuel Sportsbook in Iowa has an offer for new customers in the state — even if they are on the wrong side of their first NHL bet.
As of this afternoon, FanDuel tells PlayIA about 8 in 10 bettors back the Avalanche. Colorado is the choice behind 82% of the money wagered. About 6 in 10 bettors think Game 1 will finish with more than six goals.
Both teams have been (mostly) convincing in their series wins up to this point. Here’s a look at Game 1 and 2022 Stanley Cup Final odds:
A look at the Avs in the Stanley Cup Final
Colorado comes into the best-of-seven series as the favorite. The Avs have lost just two games in the playoffs — both to the St. Louis Blues — and swept past Edmonton in the Western Conference last week. Scoring machines, the Avalanche hold a +25 goal differential (65-40) through the first three rounds.
Nathan MacKinnon has 11 goals to lead the Avs in the playoffs, while Gabriel Ladenskog has eight. Cale Makar is Colorado’s points leader with 22 — including 17 assists.
In net, goaltender Darcy Kuemper has notched a .897 save percent and has played in 10 of the 14 playoff games. Pavel Francouz has also seen plenty of time on the ice and has a slightly better save percentage, allowing 15 goals on 160 shots.
Can Tampa Bay keep the dynasty alive?
Tampa Bay enters the series chasing history. The Lightning have won the last two titles and would be the first team since the New York Islanders to three-peat, who actually won four straight between 1979 and 1983. Only two other franchises, Montreal and Toronto, have accomplished a three-peat feat, each doing it twice.
To put it in perspective, the last time the NHL had anything more than a back-to-back champion, the Avs were in Quebec as the Nordiques and Tampa Bay didn’t have a franchise yet.
In any case, there is plenty of history in this year’s Stanley Cup Finals. Colorado has not won a title since 2001 and are looking for their third since relocation.
On the ice, Nikita Kucherov leads Tampa Bay with 23 points — seven goals and 17 assists. Five players have scored five or more goals during the postseason and are led by Steven Stamkos’s nine. Five different Tampa Bay players have also noticed six or more assists.
The Lightning have scored 52 goals during the playoffs and allowed 41. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has been phenomenal in 17 playoff games and has 502 saves and a .928 save percentage.
2022 Stanley Cup Final schedule
The series begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday night. In fact, 7 p.m. is the starting time for each game in the series.
ABC and the subscription streaming service ESPN+ will carry the games.
- Wednesday — Lightning at Avalanche
- Saturday – Lightning at Avalanche
- Monday — Avalanche at Lightning
- Wednesday, June 22 — Avalanche at Lightning
- *Friday, June 24 — Lightning at Avalanche
- *Sunday, June 26 — Avalanche at Lightning
- *Tuesday, June 28 — Lightning at Avalanche