The Tampa Bay Lightning will take a franchise-record 11-game winning streak into T-Mobile Arena on Thursday night as they face the Vegas Golden Knights. While the Lightning still trail the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division standings, they have overtaken them as the favorites on the 2020 Stanley Cup odds at +450 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Bruins are the second choice to win it all at +550.
Of course Tampa Bay won the Presidents’ Trophy last season with 128 points – the second-most of all-time – before shockingly getting swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the playoffs. But this year, the Lightning got off to a slow start before turning it on at the end of 2019, going a ridiculous 23-2-1 in their last 26 games dating back to December 23. Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy has been stellar between the pipes during that stretch with an outstanding 18-0-1 mark.
That said, there are still several other top contenders to win the Cup in 2020, including Boston. The Bruins have had the NHL’s best record for much of the season, led by one of the league’s top goal scorers in David Pastrnak and goalies in Tuukka Rask. They also have the experience of playing for the Cup just last year, falling to the St. Louis Blues in six games after Rask dominated the first three rounds of the postseason. Two more teams worth mentioning in the Eastern Conference are the Pittsburgh Penguins (+800) and Washington Capitals (+900) as winners of three of the previous four Cups.
The Blues remain in the mix as well as the defending champions at +1100 at online sports betting sites, although the Penguins are the lone team to repeat in the previous 20 seasons. Much like Boston in the East, St. Louis has been the best in the West for most of the year until lately when they went through a five-game losing streak and saw defenseman Jay Bouwmeester suffer a cardiac episode. The Colorado Avalanche (+900) and Dallas Stars (+900) hope to move past the Blues in the Central Division by the end of the season, and both have the talent to win the Cup along with the Golden Knights (+1600) from the Pacific.