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4 Reasons Why Panthers Will Bring Stanley Cup to South Florida

Last year at this time, the Florida Panthers were defying the betting odds by becoming the last team from the Eastern Conference to make the playoffs, only to pull off upset after upset to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

The NHL odds have Florida priced at -140 to win Game 1 of the series on Saturday. The Panthers also have -140 odds to win the series.

4 Reasons Why Panthers Will Bring Stanley Cup to South Florida
Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Florida Panthers/Joel Auerbach/Getty Images/AFP

The best odds are for the Panthers at +425 to win the Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers in seven games. There are +450 odds for the Panthers to take care of business in six games, and +550 odds to take out the Oilers in five games. Those who believe that Florida will sweep Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and the Edmonton Oilers in four games will be rewarded with +1000 odds.

When looking at the NHL news, the Panthers look to be in good shape from an injury standpoint heading into the series. The last time a team lost in the Stanley Cup Final and made it back the following year was in 2009, when Pittsburgh won the Cup. Can Florida borrow a page for the Penguins’ script?

 

1. Motivation to Finish the Job This Time

The promising postseason run ended with a 9-3 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in the final game of the 2022-23 NHL season. It was the second time in franchise history that Florida reached the Stanley Cup Final and came up short.

That has served as motivation for the Panthers all season long.

In the salary-cap era, it can be hard to keep a team together. However, 10 of the top 11 playoff scorers for the Panthers are back for another run at the NHL championship.

The Panthers have proven playoff producers on multiple lines, strong two-way defensemen, and a goalie in Sergei Bobrovsky who has his lowest playoff goals-against average. The sportsbook has Bobrovsky third at +450 in the odds of being named the Conn Smythe winner as the MVP of the playoffs.

 

 

2. Panthers at Home on the Road

It hasn’t mattered to the Panthers whether they are playing at home or on the road.

At home, the Panthers are 6-2-1 while averaging 3.1 goals per game and giving up 2.3 goals per contest.

The Panthers are 6-1-1 on the road with the Panthers scoring 3.25 goals per game compared to 2.25 goals allowed while on the road.

The Panthers finished with six more points during the regular season, Florida will have the home-ice advantage in this series beginning with Game 1 on Saturday and Game 2 on Monday.

Florida won three series during the 2022-23 Stanley Cup Playoffs and two of the clinching games took place on the road.

 

3. Panthers Love to Hit and Get Nasty

Like it or not, stars get the benefit of the doubt from the officials at this time of the year.

In the previous series against the New York Rangers, there were complaints about the way the games were called with the Panthers able to take liberties after the whistle.

Part of the issue for the Rangers is that some of their top hitters were role players.

There are five Florida Panthers skaters averaging at least 20 minutes per game and they happen to be among the most physical players on the team.

Players like Aaron Ekblad, Sam Bennett, and Matthew Tkachuk might be able to get away with some actions that a third- or fourth-line winger or a third-pair defenseman can’t pull off.

Florida leads the NHL with 739 hits in this year’s postseason.

When the Panthers do go over the line and get sent to the penalty box, they have killed off 88% of the opposing power plays.

The Panthers might have to tread carefully in this series because no team that Florida has played in the postseason was able to throw Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the ice on the power play.

Sam Reinhart is one of the players to watch for Florida on special teams.

 

4. Oh Canada! Pressure is on Opponents

Normally, one would expect the team listed by the NHL betting odds as the favorite to have all the pressure. However, that is not the case.

No Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup since the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. There are those North of the border who will be living and dying on every shift and that will put a lot of weight on the shoulders of the Edmonton players.

It might be hard to remember a player with as much riding on this series than Edmonton’s Connor McDavid. It is uncertain how much longer this group can be kept together. Could this be McDavid’s best chance to win it all?

The Florida players won’t have an entire country keeping tabs on their progress and that could prove to be beneficial in this season.

 

 

Odds and information are accurate at the time of writing. Please check with official sources for the latest updates before placing any bets.

 

Questions Of The Day

How Many Florida Panthers Players Have Won the Stanley Cup?


While Florida has never won the Stanley Cup, forwards Carter Verhaeghe and Vladimir Tarasenko won Stanley Cups with Tampa Bay and St. Louis.

Who leads the Panthers in scoring in this year's playoffs?


Carter Verhaeghe leads Florida with nine goals in the playoffs. Matthew Tkachuk leads the Panthers with 14 assists and 19 points. Aleksander Barkov has six goals and 11 assists.

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