Winning a Stanley Cup championship is one of the most difficult feats in sports. Winning two-straight is nearly unthinkable, but that is what the Tampa Bay Lightning have been able to accomplish. A Lightning three-peat may be the sweetest yet, but the only thing harder than winning a championship is doing it again.
Tampa Bay is still one of the favorites to win a third straight, but they are going to be in for a much tougher challenge this time around. Tampa Bay still has nearly the same championship roster, but some other NHL teams have gotten better as well.
Here are the current odds to win the Stanley Cup:
- Colorado Avalanche +650
- Florida Panthers +750
- Vegas Golden Knights +850
- Tampa Bay Lightning +900
- Carolina Hurricanes +900
- Edmonton Oilers +900
Trouble in Atlantic Division
Entering November 14, the Lightning are in just fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 17 points. While that would put Tampa Bay in the playoff field, they would also have an extremely tough path to another title, let alone to a Lightning three-peat.
The teams in the Atlantic Division have continued to get better, and we aren’t even talking about the Boston Bruins here. The Florida Panthers look like one of the best teams in the NHL and they have proven that they can beat the Lightning.
Tampa Bay is not going to be able to coast through the regular season if they want to win another championship. The Lightning are going to have to play well against Atlantic Division opponents to work on their playoff seeding.
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Teams in West Can Score
The Western Conference appears to be much more competitive than the East, and there are some great offensive teams in that conference. Tampa Bay hasn’t had trouble dealing with the West in the Stanley Cup Finals, but that could change this season.
The Colorado Avalanche are currently the Stanley Cup favorites and that team is able to light up the scoreboard each time out. Edmonton has two of the best players in the NHL in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and they are never fun to deal with either.
There is going to be a much tougher challenge awaiting the Lightning if they reach the Stanley Cup Finals this season.
Lightning Three-peat Unlikely, Take the Field
You aren’t going to find any “Lightning against the field” betting options at the sportsbook, but that’s basically what you are trying to decide here. Tampa Bay has been the best way to go in each of the last two seasons, but a Lightning three-peat shouldn’t be your thinking this season.
The Colorado Avalanche have been on the cusp of winning a Stanley Cup title in recent seasons, and it just feels like this is their time. If you are going to make a bet on just one team to win the title then it would be wise to bet on Colorado.
It’s been a great run for the Lightning, but their reign is ending this season.