Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning: 2023 Stanley Cup Odds for Last Two Finalists

Valeri Nichushkin Colorado Avalanche NHL player
Valeri Nichushkin #13 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrates a goal by Cale Makar during the third period in Game 5 of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Justin Edmonds/Getty Images/AFP

The RX Handicapping Takeaways

• The Colorado Avalanche have been named as favorites ahead of this year’s Stanley Cup, but it’s no surprise given the fact they won their Conference and the Stanley Cup last season. 

• The Tampa Bay Lighting did extremely well to make their third Stanley Cup finals in a row but has their time in the spotlight come to an end.

• The biggest preseason trade has been the Florida Panthers’ acquisition of Matthew Tkachuk from the Calgary Flames, they sent Johnny Huberdeau in the opposite direction.  

These are the bettings odds for each NHL team to win the 2023 Stanley Cup. All odds are courtesy of Bet365, as of August 31st, 2022.

Colorado Avalanche +425New York Rangers +1800Dallas Stars +3500Columbus Blue Jackets +6600
Toronto Maple Leafs +800Minnesota Wild +2000Vancouver Canukcs +4000Philadelphia Flyers +8000
Florida Panthers +900St Louis Blues +2200Buffalo Sabres +5000Anaheim Ducks +8000
Tampa Bay Lighting +1000Pittsburgh Penguins +2200Nashville Predators +5000San Jose Sharks +12500
Carolina Hurricanes +1100Boston Bruins +2500Winnipeg Jets +5000Montreal Canadians +12500
Calgary Flames +1500Los Angeles Kings +2800Ottawa Senators +5000Seattle Kraken +12500
Edmonton Oilers +1600Washington Capitals +3000New Jersey Devils +5000Chicago Blackhawks +12500
Vegas Golden Knights +1700New York Islanders +3300Detroit Red Wings +5000Arizona Coyotes +30000

Colorado Heavily Favored in Futures Market Over 2022 Stanley Cup Finalist Competitors   

Colorado Avalanche +425  

Colorado won their 2022 Western Conference by 6 points over the Minnesota Wild, although six might not sound like much, that’s three wins plus the fact they let their foot off the gas for the final 10 games when they pretty much knew they had the Conference wrapped up and went 5-4-1 compared to the Wilds 8-1-1.  

The Avalanche beat the Wild in 7 of their previous 10 meetings, proving their dominance over last season’s Western Conference second best.  

They then went on to cruise to the Stanley Cup finals winning each series:

  1. 4-0
  2. 4-2
  3. 4-0

Finally, they beat the back-to-back 2020 and 2021 Stanley Cup winners Tampa Bay Lighting 4-2 in the finals.  

Prior to last season both teams were first and second favored in the market but this season the Lighting have been bumped out to +1000 to lift the Stanley Cup, the overall fourth squad favored in 2023. A big odds comparison between last year’s finalists. 

Tampa Bay Lighting +1000 

The Lightning haven’t done necessarily anything wrong to deserve to be thrown out to fourth-place favorite after reaching three Stanley Cup finals in a row, but the reality is they lost their entire third line ahead of last season, and although the replacements did the job, they didn’t win them their third cup in a row.  

The next problem the Lighting face is the fact that they are getting older, teams have figured them out and they lost some top players and the replacements haven’t quite been up to their very high standards. Their goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy had another brilliant season, but again it wasn’t his best.  

The Two Biggest Problems

Finally, the two biggest problems the Lighting face is that they probably won’t be strong enough to fend off the Avalanche over 7 games next season, especially with any of their main guys out injured, which has happened a lot over recent years with this team.  

They would struggle to do so against all the teams around them such as the:

  • • Maple Leafs
  • • Panthers
  • • Hurricanes

They’ll most likely make the playoffs but the Lighting should be, at least, +1500 if not a little more this preseason. For your NHL picks, there are teams out there in the market who are just as good as the Lightning and have double the odds.  

Big Trade: Tkachuk and Huberdeau Swap Places  

Thus far this preseason the biggest trade to go down in the NHL has been Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers and Jonathan Huberdeau to the Calgary Flames.  

Although it does seem the Panthers got a slightly better deal as Tkachuk is five years Huberdeau’s junior. To top it off he cost the Panthers 8 million less. To put it into some context the players’ overall rating in NHL 2023 is Matthew Tkachuk 80 out of 100 and Jonathan Huberdeau 90 out of 100.

Although this is not everybody’s opinion, it is some context for those unaware of their “overall” ability.  

A difference of 2 points overall is as wide of a gap as 8 million and 5 years. All said and done Huberdeau will be a good acquisition in Calgary.  

It’s not like there is much in the difference right now as Calgary are +1500 to lift the Stanley Cup and Florida +900. It would be crazy if both faced off in this year’s Stanley Cup finals.