Ever since Lord Stanley of Preston attended Montreal’s 1889 Winter Carnival the development of ice hockey in North America didn’t stop even for a moment. In 1893, Governor-General Lord Preston wrote five preliminary regulations and presented a decorative cup intended for the best annual amateur hockey Canadian team.
The National Hockey League was established in 1917 as the first North American professional ice hockey league, with 25 teams from the US and 7 from Canada. As the oldest professional sports annual trophy in this part of the world, Stanley Cup immediately became one of the most important end of the season playoff championships. On the list of the dominant sports in the US, ice hockey comes 4th, right behind basketball, baseball, and by far the most followed American football.
This year, after using the old one for the past 13 seasons, the NHL announced a new logo for the Stanley Cup Finals. According to the officials, this logo will be promoted during the 2022 Playoffs throughout broadcasts, on merchandise, and in arenas.
Overture for this year’s Stanley Cup
Months of speculations and high expectations culminated on March 21 when the NHL trade deadline ended. In total, 33 trades were made and 54 players should sign new contracts. The prospect of winning the Stanley Cup was the main reason for the two most frequently mentioned players, forward Claude Giroux and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, to give their consent and get traded.
Throughout this month the temperature on ice will gradually rise till April 29, which is the last day of the 2021-2022 season. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are scheduled to begin on May 2 and the last day should be June 30. Out of 32 league teams, the eight most successful from each of the two conferences will make it to the playoffs. In the end, two wildcard teams will join the top three in both divisions to play for the cup.
Hockey betting trends for the season finale
As expected, predictions for the Stanley Cup Playoffs are already out. Judging by the experts, and Betway’s NHL odds and other betting services, Colorado Avalanche is at the top of this year’s list of contenders with Stanley Cup winning odds between +375 and +400. Although the team had a shaky start, after winning in 10 consecutive games the prospects are now looking much better. Their next game is scheduled for April 5, at PPG Paints Arena with the Pittsburgh Penguins, for the last time this season. The latest betting odds gave Avalanche spread -1 (+110) and money line -145, while the home team got spread +1.5 (-179) and +128 money line odds. The visitors have a 7-1-1 for 9 games record and overall more chances to win the game.
The Florida Panthers are next in line with +800 odds to win this year. Quality-wise, so far they’ve had a very balanced and steady season with 45 wins out of 66 games, and seven out of the last 10. Toronto Maple Leafs are their next opponent, both on April 5 and April 23. For the first game Panthers’ spread is -1.5 (+130), and the money line -180. However, with a spread of +1.5 (-165) and a money line close to +145 Toronto Leafs have an equal chance to win this game.
Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning are presently third in line with +900 odds to win Stanley Cup 2022. Flames have lost a third of the total number of games this season and are experiencing a slight drop in form.
Although Tampa Bay had a rough start the team had more than a few amazing performances. It seems as if they are warming up and, according to some hockey experts, deserve +750 odds to be the Stanley Cup 2022 winner.