Last year the Tampa Bay Lightning were the prohibitive favorite to win the Stanley Cup. Tampa Bay blew away the rest of the NHL as the President’s Trophy champion, emblematic of the top regular season team in the NHL. Tampa Bay jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the opening game of that season’s playoffs. However, when the Blue Jackets rallied for a 4-3 comeback win the roof literally caved in on the Bolts. Tampa Bay ended up being humiliated in a four-game sweep to the eight seeded Blue Jackets. For over a year they have vowed to redeem themselves. There is but one challenge left. Defeat the upstart Western Conference champion Dallas Stars in the 2020 Stanley Cup Final.
2020 Stanley Cup Final Series Price at BookMaker.eu
Dallas Stars +180
Tampa Bay Lightning -220
2020 Stanley Cup Final: Dallas Stars vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Schedule
Game 1: Saturday, September 19, 2020, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Game 2: Saturday, September 21, 2020, 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN
Game 3: Wednesday, September 23, 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN
Game 4: Friday, September 25, 8 p.m. ET, NBC
Game 5: Saturday, September 26, 2020, 8 p.m. ET, NBC *
Game 6: Monday, September 28, 8 p.m. ET *
Game 7: Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 8 p.m. ET *
* if necessary
2020 Stanley Cup Final Betting Odds Analysis
Since reaching the 2015 Stanley Cup Final the Lightning have been one of the best teams in the NHL as a top tier contender. Gamblers are much more familiar with the Lightning and trust their winning ways. In comparison the Stars have operated in relative anonymity and have not been as consistently successful. Thus, the strong Tampa Bay price.
Cooper Meets Former Assistant Bowness in Stellar Coaching Matchup
Dallas Stars coach Rick Bowness was formerly a highly valuable and respected assistant for the Lightning and coach Jon Cooper from 2013 through 2018. Bowness was, in essence, the team’s defensive coordinator. He joined the Dallas Stars as an assistant later in 2018 and became head coach last December when former head coach Jim Montgomery was fired due to unprofessional conduct. It has been whirlwind but dream season for Bowness, who is leading a team to the Final for the first time. For Cooper nothing less than a win will do. Tampa Bay has been trying to get back to the Final since their 2015 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Players to Watch
Dallas right wing Denis Gurianov has nine goals and eight assists in the playoffs to burst on to the scene as a new post season hero. Oft criticized left winger Jamie Been has eight goals and 10 assists for Dallas. Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen has been outstanding with five goals, 17 assists and a +3.
Tampa Bay center Brayden Point nine goals with 16 assists and +13. Defenseman Victor Hedman has nine goals, six assists, and a +15. Further assets are right wing Nikita Kucherov with six goals, 20 assists and a +15 while left wing Ondrej Palat has added eight goals, five assists and a +14.
Between the Pipes
Dallas netminder Anton Khudobin has also been an unexpected hero in taking over for the injured Ben Bishop. Khudobin is 12-6 with a 2.62 goals against average and .920 save percentage with one shutout.
For Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is 14-5 with a 1.82 goals against average and save percentage of .931.
2020 Stanley Cup Final Free Pick
Tampa Bay enters this series with the stronger balance and deeper scoring ability. The Stars have shown improved goal scoring in the playoffs but still not at Tampa Bay’s level. The Lightning were the best team last year and remain that today. And now they have the battle scars and experience to close. From scoring, to defense, to goaltending Tampa Bay has just a little bit more.
2020 Stanley Cup Final Prediction: Tampa Bay Lightning
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