On paper, this could be one of the best Stanley Cup Finals we’ll ever witness.
Both the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning have been Stanley Cup favourites since the preseason. They both did their part in the playoffs, setting up a dream matchup in the Stanley Cup Finals.
It’s crazy to see that the Avalanche are the favourites on most betting platforms, considering that the Lightning are the back-to-back defending champs. That’s a testament to Colorado’s skill. And in fairness, the Avs have only lost two games so far this postseason.
Will Colorado’s superior skill shine through, or will Tampa Bay defeat their toughest opponent in three seasons en route to their third straight Stanley Cup?
Before our writers give their predictions, here’s where the standings are at.
Round Three Results
1. Jimmi: 2-0 (2 exact)
2. Westy: 2-0 (1 exact)
3. Beggsy: 2-0 (1 exact)
4. Kent: 0-2
2022 Playoff Prediction Results
1. Westy: 12-2 (4 exact)
2. Jimmi: 10-4 (6 exact)
3. Beggsy: 10-4 (3 exact)
4. Kent: 8-6 (3 exact)
heartfelt bitter congrats to Westy, who’s already the champ of our bracket, no matter who emerges victorious in the Finals.
Colorado Avalanche (1st in Western Conf.) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (5th in Eastern Conf.)
Westy — Well, this is what I had down in my playoff pool as the final. Colorado should be here as they are the best team in the west. Tampa is not the best team in the east, but they have found ways each of the past three years to awaken themselves in time for the playoffs. Tampa has the better goalie and maybe the better 4th line, but the rest might just be a tie. The Avs losing Kadri might be huge in this series. Even if he comes back, with that thumb, he won’t be the same scoring threat. I have said this should be Colorado year, but there is just something that feels like Tampa will find a way. Tampa in 7
Beggsy — No matter who emerges victorious, I’m just hoping this is truly one of the best Stanley Cup Finals of our lifetime. Despite Tampa having a huge advantage in net, my gut tells me that this is Colorado’s time. My gut also tells me that my dad bod is growing...so the point is, my gut isn’t wrong. I’m picking the Avs big guns to have just a slightly bigger impact than Tampa’s stars. Avs in 7.
Jimmi — This just in! The playful part of the playoffs is over. It’s all heavy hitting cliches that will leave a scar on our minds. Since Dynasty is such an 80s cliche throwback, it doesn’t bode well for the Avs despite their edge in skill. Could go either way on the ice and here, so Bolts in 7 - because Drama. Oh well... just a few more sleeps until it's our turn. At the draft table.
Kent — I guess we get the Stanley Cup Final we deserve, not the one we want. Oh, well... For those of us hate-watching this (and let’s face it, any reason to like either of these teams are canceled out by the numerous reasons to loathe them), it’s hard to get excited for this one, unless you look hard for the bright sides. One bright side? Gary Bettman can stop crowing about the laughable notion of parity in the NHL if Tampa wins their third straight. I mean, he’ll still try and say it, but apart from a handful of water carriers, there isn’t a hockey fan who buys that garbage. Another possible plus would be a Colorado win, meaning Corey Perry would have been on the losing team in the Finals for three straight years. If I had to choose which team winning I would hate less, I suppose it would be the Avalanche, because I think after the way Tampa rubbed everyone’s noses in their win last year, an end to their reign would look good on them. Avalanche in 7 (though I really don’t care).