We do know that we’ll have a new Stanley Cup champion this year. The Florida Panthers have played in the Stanley Cup Finals once in their history, but they lost in 1996 to the Colorado Avalanche. The Vegas Golden Knights have also been in the Stanley Cup Finals once before, but they lost to the Washington Capitals.
We will have a new champion, and another champion from a non-traditional hockey city.
Game 1 Odds
Florida Panthers (+115)
Vegas Golden Knights (-135)
The Golden Knights open up the series at home on Saturday night, after closing out the Stars in Dallas on Monday. And they are the favorites on home ice as the higher-seeded of the two teams. The Panthers were the lowest seed in the Eastern Conference, which is why they were matched up against the Bruins in the first round,
Obviously seeding didn’t matter in that series, or any of the games in Florida’s run to the Finals.
As a road team playing a higher seed, they are battle tested. They are also rested, having been off for 10 full days before Game 1.
Golden Knights (-130)
The Golden Knights are the favorites in Game 1, and they are the favorites to win the series. Heading into the playoffs there were some questions about the Vegas goaltending. Not anymore, as Adin Hill has proven to be up to the task between the pipes, recording two shutouts against Dallas.
Exact Finals Score
Golden Knights 4-0 (+1000)
Golden Knights 4-1 (+500)
Golden Knights 4-2 (+500)
Golden Knights 4-3 (+400)
Panthers 4-0 (+1200)
Panthers 4-1 (+700
Panthers 4-2 (+450)
Panthers 4-3 (+550)
Oddsmakers believe that it is going to be a good series. The Golden Knights in seven games is paying the shortest odds. The longest shot is a Stanley Cup Panthers sweep. A sweep from either team is considered to be highly unlikely, even though the Panthers did just sweep the Hurricanes to get here.
Conn Smythe Trophy Winner
Sergei Bobrovsky (+200)
Matthew Tkachuk (+300)
Jack Eichel (+400)
Jonathan Marchessault (+650)
William Karlsson (+650)
Adin Hill (+1000)
Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is the favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, given annually to the best player in the playoffs, not just the Stanley Cup Finals. He has 10 wins in the playoffs and a goals against average of 2.21.
Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk has nine goals and 12 assists in 16 playoff games, and he has the most points of anyone left in the playoffs. Jack Eichel has the most points for anyone on the Golden Knights, with six goals and 12 assists in 17 playoff games.
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