There is a reason why there are no mid-season prizes or awards given in professional sports. The reality is that a great first half of the season is no guarantee of future success, as history has shown that teams who got off to a great start aren’t always able to go the distance. That is just one of the reasons why making predictions about the finals is never really a great idea when you still have half a season to play. Good idea or not, that is what we are going to do with the NHL as they get ready to head into the All-Star break. We are going to pull out the old crystal ball and see if we can look ahead to the Stanley Cup Final to see who might be taking part there. We are going to come up with 3 different scenarios, with hopes that one of them is correct so you can bet against the Stanley Cup odds.
As of Now, the Top 3 Potential Stanley Cup Final Matchups
Tampa Bay Lightning Vs Colorado Avalanche
This, to me at least, seems like the most plausible Stanley Cup Final matchup based on the current standings, as well as a couple of other factors. The Tampa Bay Lightning came into this season as the defending Stanley Cup champion, so this is a team that knows how to get the job done once the postseason rolls around. The Lightning are currently 2nd in their division, but they also have one of the best records in the league right now. The Avalanche are the current favorites to win it all in 2022 and for very good reason. This is a team that has not been at its best in the playoffs, but this season feels different. The Avs are winners of 10 In a row right now and are far and away the best team in the Western Conference. This would be a fantastic matchup.
Florida Panthers Vs Vegas Golden Knights
While you have to give love to the Lightning for what they have done to this point in the season, it is worth mentioning that they are still 5 points off the pace being set by the Florida Panthers. If you have yet to see Florida play this season, you really need to make a point to do so, as they are one of the more exciting teams in the league. They are already closing in on the 200-goal mark and are an offensive juggernaut. Outside of the Colorado Avalanche, there does not seem to be a powerhouse in the Western Conference, although that may change in the second half of the season. Since coming into the league a few years back and going to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season, the Golden Knights have been a consistent playoff performer. Why not again this season?
New York Rangers Vs Calgary Flames
I’m sure this pick will be met with some eye rolls, but this is part of the fun of making predictions at this stage of the season. I tried to think of 2 teams, one from each conference, that might get on a run in the second half of the season, and these are the two that I came up with. The Rangers are pushing for top spot in the Metropolitan Division and have been streaky at times this season. That is a very similar story to the Calgary Flames, and while they are 4th in the Pacific Division, they are just 7 points out of the top with 5 games in hand. February is going to be a busy month for them as they make up postponed games, but that might allow them to get on a hot run.