2023 Stanley Cup Final Preview & Odds
There are only two teams left standing in this year’s NHL Playoffs, as the Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights face off in the 2023 Stanley Cup Final. Arguably the most famous trophy in all of sports, hockey players work their whole lives for a chance to win the Stanley Cup. To have your name engraved on the great Lord Stanley’s mug is to etch your name the annals of NHL history.
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This year’s Stanley Cup Final between Vegas and Florida comes with plenty of sunshine, but you better believe it’ll be all business whenever they step on the ice. Games 1 and 2 will be played at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, before the series heads to Florida’s FLA Live Arena for Games 3 and 4. The Golden Knights have home-ice advantage in this series and would be the ones to host a Game 7, if needed.
With so much on the line for both of these teams, this year’s Stanley Cup Final is shaping up to be an epic series filled with big time plays and tons of hard-hitting action. You’ll find the complete 2023 Stanley Cup odds at Bovada Sportsbook, giving you the chance to win real-money payouts for your accurate NHL predictions. The odds get updated after every game, so you can even place a bet after the series has begun!
In this article, we’ll preview the 2023 Stanley Cup final by taking a closer look at both the Florida Panthers and the Vegas Golden Knights. We’ll look at the key players on each side and tell you how each team made to this year’s Stanley Cup Final. We’ll also review the history of both NHL franchises, putting into context what a Stanley Cup victory would mean to both teams. Hopefully this article will keep you informed and get you ready to have some fun and excitement betting on the NHL’s 2023 Stanley Cup Final!
Vegas Knights: -600
It’s no fluke the Golden Knights have made it all the way to this year’s Stanley Cup Final, as the Las Vegas franchise has been one of the NHL’s best teams the entire season. The Golden Knights finished the regular season with 111 points, which was tied with Toronto for fourth-best in the league. It was also enough to win the Pacific Division and finish with the No. 1 overall seed in the Western Conference.
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Despite losing their playoff opener versus Winnipeg, the Golden Knights had no trouble with the Jets, eliminating their first round opponent in just five games. Hockey fans got a real treat in the second round, as the Golden Knights faced off against the Edmonton Oilers in a thrilling offensive matchup. Edmonton did manage a pair of blowout wins but in the end, Vegas was able to shut down their big stars and closed them out in six games.
The NHL’s Western Conference Final pitted the top two seeds against one another, as top-seed Vegas took on the second-seeded Dallas Stars. The Golden Knights were all over Dallas early and often in this one, quickly jumping out to a 3-0 stranglehold on the series. The Stars did their best to make it a series by winning games 4 and 5, but Vegas eventually shut the door with a dominant 6-0 victory in Game 6 to punch their ticket to the 2023 Stanley Cup Final.
Vegas may not have had any players vying for this year’s scoring race – they’re top scorer, Jack Eichel, finished tied for 70th in NHL scoring with 66 points – but what they did have is depth. The team had 6 players score 50+ points this season, including Eichel, Chandler Stephenson, Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, William Karlsson, and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. The depth was perhaps even more impressive between the pipes, as the Golden Knights used a total of five different starting goalies this season and each of them has a winning record.
While Vegas has yet to ever win the Stanley Cup, it’s worth noting that the team was introduced in 2017 and have played just six seasons in the NHL. In that time, the Golden Knights have surprisingly been one of the league best teams, making it to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural campaign and reaching the conference finals on two other occasions. Vegas hasn’t been around for long but they’ve been knocking on the door for a few years now and this could be the season they break the door down to win the Stanley Cup.
Florida Panthers: +425
It’s been a wild ride for the Florida Panthers, who despite almost missing out on the postseason, are now just four wins away from hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup. Just a year after winning the President’s Trophy, the NHL Award given to the team that finishes the regular season with the best overall record, the Panthers were on the outside of the playoff picture and unsure whether their season would continue. Thanks to a late-season upset win by the Chicago Blackhawks over the Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida was able to sneak in to the playoffs with just 92 points and they haven’t looked back since.
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Opening the playoffs against the Boston Bruins, odds makers didn’t have much faith in this Panthers team surviving the first round, let alone making it all the way to the finals. Boston had just set the NHL record with 135 points this season and had no trouble jumping out to a 3-1 series lead over the Panthers. Florida somehow came back to win the series in seven games, including a pair of overtime thrillers in Games 5 and 7.
The Panthers faced an equally daunting opponent in the second round as they took on the Toronto Maple Leafs. Although they were the underdog, Florida dismantled the Leafs quite easily, ending their season in just five games. The Panthers took on the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final and things started off with a wild four-overtime game in the series opener. Florida scored the winner with just seconds left in the fourth extra frame, and from there the Panthers rolled over the Hurricanes in a four-game sweep to earn their spot in the 2023 Stanley Cup Final.
Florida has a number of key players, but it’s become clear who the top dog is in this locker room after the season put forth by forward Matthew Tkatchuk. Acquired by trade with the Calgary Flames this summer, Tkachuk has been the Panther’s offensive catalyst with 109 points in 79 games played this season. In addition to filling the net, Tkatchuk has also provided this team with some much needed grit and toughness, which has proven extremely valuable during this year’s playoff run.
You can’t talk about Florida without mentioning their captain, Aleksander Barkov. The former Selke Award winner as the league’s best defensive forward is a talented two-way player that can make an impact in a number of ways. In addition to being sound defensively, he also averaged more than a point per game this season, putting up 78 points in just 68 games played.
Finally, one of the biggest reasons for the Panthers run this postseason is goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. The Russian netminder struggled at times over the past few years but has been red hot during these NHL Playoffs and made a number of key saves that have kept his team alive and in contention to win this year’s Stanley Cup.
Just like the Vegas, Florida has yet to win a Stanley Cup championship in franchise history. The Panthers were introduced in 1993 and have had little to get excited about after 30 years in the NHL. In fact, this is only their second time reaching the Stanley Cup Final, with the first time coming all the way back in 1996 when they were swept by the Colorado Avalanche. With the Lightning recently winning back-to-back Stanley Cups, if the Panthers can get the job done versus the Golden Knights, the sport of hockey may soon be taking over the Sunshine State!
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With the better record during the NHL regular season, the Vegas Golden Knights are the betting favorite to win the 2023 Stanley Cup Final. With that being said, momentum can be a fickle thing and these Florida Panthers have a way of getting to their opponents. Regardless of who you plan on betting to win this year’s Stanley Cup Final, Bovada Sportsbook has got you covered with a variety of betting odds. Lock in your bets today and hang on for a wild ride as we watch to find out who will finish as this year’s Stanley Cup champions!