Top-Five Potential Stanley Cup Matchups


May 17

With eight teams remaining in the NHL Playoffs, it’s time to start looking toward what some of the best matchups would be for this year’s Stanley Cup Finals.

You can find all of your NHL Playoffs needs on the FanDuel Sportsbook, with plenty to bet on ahead of Round 2.

1. Tampa Bay Lightning vs Colorado Avalanche

What matchup could be more appealing to the masses than the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning, taking on the powerhouse Colorado Avalanche? It’s hard to see a better matchup on paper than these two clubs colliding for Lord Stanley and there would be plenty of fireworks if this is ultimately what does transpire. The Lightning have the fifth-highest Stanley Cup odds (+750) on the FanDuel Sportsbook and there’s a reason they aren’t atop the list like they’ve been in years past, but they still provide immense entertainment and people would tune in to see if they could get it done for the third year in a row.

2. Florida Panthers vs Colorado Avalanche

It’s hard not to have the Avalanche (+210) in the top-two positions on this list because of how great they’ve been from start to finish this year. They’ve been at the top of the Stanley Cup odds list all season long and we’re going to find out if they can get past their second-round demons against St Louis over the next couple of weeks. Much like the Lightning, the Florida Panthers (+370) would offer a fun and exciting matchup for fans as they boasted the highest-scoring offense in the NHL this season and are poised to make noise as the stakes are raised. This matchup would have “last save wins” written all over it, which would make you not want to miss any of the action.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning vs Calgary Flames

This would be a rematch of the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals which saw the Lightning defeat the Calgary Flames in seven games. This would likely be another matchup that is similar in nature, with the Flames (+600) playing a much more defensive style of hockey, compared to the Lightning being a run-and-gun type squad. When you can get a stylistic matchup of two teams that play on opposite ends of the spectrum, it always makes for an interesting series and that would be exactly what we’d see between these two strong foes 18-years later.

4. Florida Panthers vs Edmonton Oilers 

The Panthers and Edmonton Oilers (+1400) boast some of the NHL’s best offensive talent in Connor McDavid and Jonathan Huberdeau. Seeing those two collide in a best-of-seven series is exactly what the hockey world needs. The Oilers have yet to win much of anything in the McDavid era and Edmonton hasn’t made a Stanley Cup Finals appearance since 2006 when they lost in seven games to the Carolina Hurricanes. With the way McDavid played in the first round against Los Angeles, he looks like a man on a mission to win this year and prove he’s the world’s best player.

5. New York Rangers vs Calgary Flames 

The Blue Shirts last made the Stanley Cup Finals back in 2014, when the Los Angeles Kings made quick work of the New York Rangers, defeating them in just five games. It’s going to be tough for the Rangers (+1400) to get out of the Eastern Conference, but goaltending wins in the playoffs and if Igor Shesterkin can figure things out in the New York crease, the three remaining Eastern teams could be in trouble. Matching the Rangers up with the Flames would be an interesting stylistic fight on paper and one that would certainly draw in a big audience from the Big Apple and all of Canada.

Honorable Mention

Florida Panthers vs Calgary Flames

Carolina Hurricanes vs Colorado Avalanche

Tampa Bay Lightning vs St Louis Blues

You can make a definite case that the three matchups listed above would all make for great series, but they just don’t have the same appeal that the top-five would bring to fans.

Current Stanley Cup Odds (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Team Current Odds
Colorado Avalanche 210
Florida Panthers 370
Carolina Hurricanes 500
Calgary Flames 600
Tampa Bay Lightning 750
Edmonton Oilers 1400
New York Rangers 1400
St Louis Blues 1700
Thumbnail photo via USA TODAY Sports Images

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