By: Nick Erickson
Las Vegas has been defying all odds.
500 to 1, in fact. Those are the odds that the sportsbooks posted in the preseason for the Golden Knights’ winning the cup.
Now they’re so insanely close to hoisting it that it’s actually possible for Vegas locals to cash in on their preseason throw away bets made on the expansion’s long shot.
The funny thing is that they will continue to face even more difficult showdowns as they go—a delightful reminder of why hockey is the greatest sport on earth.
They tortured the Kings in four games in round one.
They drowned the Sharks in six games in round two.
They gunned down the Jets in five games in the conference finals.
Now, all that remains is to shock the Lightning in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Yes, I’m willing to bet the Bolts strike down the Caps in game 7 Wednesday night.
The Capitals have been struggling to get more than two goals in their last four games against the young Andrei Vasilevskiy, who only has three years of experience and a .920 save percentage this season. How do you think they’ll fare against the Knights with Marc Andre Fleury? Fleury is putting out a .927 save percentage in the regular season (.945 in the playoffs), and his four shutouts in the playoffs have already matched his regular season number.
Fleury is defying the laws of aging and playing his best hockey right now. Tampa Bay, however, has plenty of practice scoring on notoriously good goalies. Braden Holtby has clearly been no match for the Lightning. Tuukka Rask wasn’t really much to slow down their potent offense. Cory Schneider was even peppered and beaten up by Tampa Bay. All three of these goalies have more than nine years of experience and aren’t able to stop the likes of Tampa Bay’s tenacious forwards.
The series of a lifetime is about to happen between the Golden Knights and the Lightning.
We’re about to either witness history made, or the streak of the ages in a glorious comeback.
Regardless, I’m willing to bet the series goes a full seven games. I believe it will be a toss-up, but that Tampa Bay will end up winning it at home in game seven.
It will be a series where Vegas jumps out to an early couple of wins over the Lightning, but I believe by game four that the Lightning will have tied it up. The Lightning will go on to win game five, then drop game six. I’m predicting all will be fairly close.
I’m still secretly hoping the Capitals can finally pull out a game seven victory.
The odds are definitely not in their favor. But who knows? Lately, crazy things have been happening when the odds have been stacked against teams.