P. J. Go |  Wed 07/07/2021 - 08:13 EDT

NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Lightning Close Or Canadiens Come Back?

NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Lightning Close Or Canadiens Come Back?

Following a gutsy Game 4 win, the Montreal Canadiens have either just bought themselves a stay of execution or put the building blocks to a miraculous comeback. They will be sizable underdogs again as the Tampa Bay Lightning look to close out the NHL Stanley Cup Finals and win their second straight Cup.

This is it for both the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning as they meet this Wednesday night for Game 5 of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals. A win from Tampa clinches their second straight Stanley Cup while Montreal can upset them and further extend the series. 

Tampa Bay is still strongly favoured to win the cup per the top online sportsbooks, like William Hill:

Odds to win the 2021 Stanley Cup sports-interaction william-hill betway

Tampa Bay Lightning

1.01 1.02 1.02

Montreal Canadiens

17.00 16.00 15.00

NHL Stanley Cup Futures: A Comeback For The Ages?

Never say never. The Montreal Canadiens are no strangers to engineering unlikely comebacks. They also lost three straight games to the Leafs and faced elimination but fought back hard and won. The Lightning may be savvier and tougher, but the Canadiens’ stalwart defence and goaltending give them a shot every night.

If Montreal is to complete this comeback, they have to be near-flawless and win three straight. On the flipside, Tampa needs just one more win to clinch their second straight Cup.

Series Update: How The Series Ends

Tampa fans had to keep the brooms in the closet as Montreal stuck it to the oddsmakers by edging the Lightning in overtime. That was already a feat in itself as more than 50% of teams that go down 3-0 in a series end up getting swept. Still, anything can happen in these playoffs and the series can end in one of four ways:

Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 — 1.44

The odds-on favourite as the Lightning can put things to a close with a home win like their Mayor asked. Vasilevskiy will play better and the Lightning can continue riding its unstoppable offence. Expect Nikita Kucherov and co. to actually register points. 

Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 — 4.17

If Montreal survives Game 5, the series shifts back to Montreal. However, 4.17 is not nearly good enough odds as only 6.5% of teams that win the first three games go to a game 6. In fact, Montreal already defied the odds by forcing a Game 5 as 62.3% of teams that lose the first three games end up getting swept. Expect Tampa to still be favoured in Game 6 if the series makes it this far.

Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 — 9.00

Now, this is where it gets exciting (or nerve-racking for Tampa fans). Historically, teams that win the first three games win 98% of the time. So Tampa should still be favoured to win if the series goes to Game 7 back in the Amalie Arena. If Tampa wins, they would be just the sixth NHL team to win in seven after going up 3-0 to start the series.

Montreal Canadiens 4-3 — 17.00

If Montreal shockingly comes back all the way, they will become just the second team in NHL history to overcome a 0-3 deficit in the Stanley Cup Final and win. However, four teams in total have come back from a 3-0 series deficit with two, the Flyers and Kings (who went on to win the Cup), doing it in the previous decade. It can happen, Habs fans! 

Montreal Canadiens @ Tampa Bay Lightning: Game 5 Preview

The Montreal Canadiens won’t be dreaming of any 3-0 comebacks just yet. They will take it “one game at a time” and they already have a monstrous challenge awaiting them in Tampa Bay where the Lightning has only lost ten times in 39 games. Both teams have paths to victory here. But the degree of difficulty is not the same.  

Montreal To Win — 2.81

It starts and ends with Price. The Canadiens’ best player has to be the best player in the game like he was in Game 4. Price had an 83.5 SV% in the first three games but pumped that up to 94.1% in Game 4 as he stopped 32 of 34 shots including all of Tampa’s nine shots on the power play. 

Helping Price will be the defence. True, Montreal allowed Tampa Bay to gain 14 high-danger chances and 34 shots. But they also kept the likes of Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point in check and blanked all five of Tampa Bay’s PP’s. Price will be the most critical member of the team, but the defence also has to help with the heavy lifting. 

Tampa Bay To Win — 1.46

Keep pushing. Tampa Bay did not get any points from Kucherov, Point, or Steven Stamkos and they faced the best version of Price. And yet they came this close to winning the Stanley Cup. That’s a testament to how deep this team is and how they can get goals from their third or fourth lines. 

Vasilevskiy will bounce back. He is 6-0 with a 95% save average and three shutouts after suffering a defeat in these playoffs. His save average had been at 94.8% before Game 4. Look for him to once again be a stonewall in the net as Kucherov and the skaters light up Price on the other end.

Tip: you can bet on the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs from SIA and the other top online sportsbooks. Find a variety of odds by signing up for multiple books. You can avail of free betting credits with your first deposit.


Category : Sports News

Tag : nhl stanley cup finals update

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