The Stanley Cup Finals are finally set. We have one team that everybody thought would be here and are looking to win back-to-back Finals. Nobody thought the other team would be here. If it were a regular season with normal Conferences and Divisions, they wouldn’t even be in the playoffs, but none of that matters. They are looking to finish this magical run by lifting the Stanley Cup trophy and finishing as one of the biggest underdogs in history.
I couldn’t have been more wrong in Game One. I bought into the magic of Montreal and thought that this would be a defensive and goalie battle. Vasilevskiy showed up since he only allowed one goal, but Price allowed five goals, bringing the total over 5.5 goals. Let’s hope that tonight I can figure some things out, or if I’m an idiot, I hope that everybody fades me.
Canadiens (+180) vs. Lightning (-215) 8:15 p.m. ET
Game One was a wire-to-wire victory by Tampa Bay. After Erik Cernak scored in the first period, Montreal never really got back in the game. Ben Chiarot was the only Canadien to score a goal in Game One. Tampa Bay kept on stacking goals and finished the game 5-1. Kucherov was amazing, like always. In Game One, he finished with 3 points, 2 goals, and 1 assist.
The goalie battle didn’t happen on Monday. Price allowed 5 goals, had 22 saves with a .815 save percentage. Vasilevskiy allowed one goal, had 18 saves with a .947 save percentage. Statistically, this shouldn’t happen again. During these playoffs, Price has allowed 2.18 goals a game with a .928 save percentage. Vasilevskiy has allowed 1.94 goals a game with a .936 save percentage. The public believes that Price won’t stop this Lightning’s dynamic offense, as 81% of the public believes that Tampa Bay will win this game.
Montreal has been resilient this year, and after a loss, they are 3-2 in these playoffs. Both of those losses came in the Toronto series when Montreal lost Games Three and Four; the Canadiens then went and won the rest of that series and sent Toronto home. In Game One against Vegas, the Knights won 4-1. The Canadiens then went and won Game Two. In Game Four, they lost 2-1, but then went ahead and won Game Five. The puck line for this game is Canadiens +1.5 -162 and the Lightning -1.5 +134. The public believes that Tampa Bay will blow out Montreal, since 66% of bets are on Tampa’s puck line.
Tampa Bay has had great home ice this season, going 49-19 in their last 68 games. These two teams couldn’t be more different in their playing style. The Canadiens are getting the Islanders’ grit and grind comparison, which sums up the team perfectly. In the playoffs, they are only scoring 2.44 goals a game, allowing 2.33 goals a game, scored on 20% of their power plays, and successfully stopped 91.8% of their power-killing opportunities. The Lightning has a great offense. In these playoffs, they average 3.32 goals a game, allowing 2 goals a game, converted on 37.5% of their power plays and killed 83.6% of their power-killing opportunities.
I’m drinking the Montreal magic again that is flavored with cheese curds and gravy. Why do I keep drinking the magic? Because it’s fun. I’m just having a sip and not chugging the magic, though, since I’m not picking the Canadiens’ Moneyline. Instead, I’ll be picking their puck line and hoping that they keep it a close game if they do lose. I’m rooting for a great Game Two and not a blowout.
The pick: Canadiens +1.5 -162