The Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning have never met in the NHL playoffs, but Caesars Sportsbook oddsmakers favor the Avalanche over the Lightning at +225 on the 2022 Stanley Cup exacta result. In addition, Colorado forward Nathan MacKinnon is the new +350 leader to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
The Avalanche have home-ice advantage in the Western Conference Finals vs. Edmonton starting tonight and Colorado would also have it against either Tampa Bay or the New York Rangers from the East. Colorado is the +120 favorite to win its third overall Cup and first since 2001.
Because Colorado is favored to win the title, it makes logical sense that MacKinnon is the Conn Smythe leader as the former first overall pick is tied for the team lead with 13 points in these playoffs. Teammate Cale Makar also has 13 points and is a +450 second favorite to win playoff MVP. Makar was favored after Round 1 when he had 10 points against the Predators, but he was limited to three in Round 2 vs. St. Louis. On the series line against the Oilers, the Avalanche are -250 and Edmonton +205. The favored result is Colorado in five at +300. I personally think the series goes at least six.
Tampa Bay is +220 to win its third straight Stanley Cup and -175 for its Eastern Conference Final series against the Rangers (+155) that starts Wednesday in New York. The Rangers were 3-0 vs. the Lightning in the regular season. The favored result there is Lightning in six at +350.
Lightning over Avalanche is the +350 second favorite for the Stanley Cup result, followed by Colorado over New York at +450. The long shot is Rangers over Oilers at +1800. New York and Tampa Bay would have home-ice advantage in the Finals vs. Edmonton.
Tampa Bay netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy is a +550 third favorite to repeat at Conn Smythe Trophy winner. Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby was the last to repeat as playoff MVP in 2017. Since 2020, Vasilevskiy is an amazing 10-0 in elimination games with six of the wins by shutout.
Edmonton's Connor McDavid, who is tied for the NHL postseason points lead with 26, is +600 for the Conn Smythe with Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin at +650. Somewhat strangely, even though the Oilers' Leon Draisaitl also is tied for the league lead with 26 playoff points, he's a +2000 longer shot.
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