Ice hockey fans, the 2018 National Hockey League season is coming to its inevitable end. We are now down to two teams; the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals – one of these will lift the prestigious Stanley Cup crown.
But who is going to emerge victorious in ice hockey’s biggest event? We took a look at both teams ahead of the 2018 Stanley Cup finals...
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Cast your minds back to January 28th – I actually tipped the Golden Knights at 14/1 to go on and win the Stanley Cup this year. Vegas have been on another level for most of 2018, they have exceeded every expectation in their inaugural campaign as a fully formed organisation.
But it is now do or die time. Can the Golden Knights cope under this kind of pressure? Only time will tell. Gerard Gallant’s side have managed to deal with adversity throughout the regular season but performing on the biggest stage of all is another question.
Jonathan Marchessault has been Vegas’ standout player during the playoffs, notching 18 points in 15 appearances. He could be the difference maker for the Golden Knights in Game One and he is well priced at 17/10 to get his name on the scoreboard.
The Golden Knights are a 5/4 shot to win the opener inside regulation and Vegas fans will be hoping for a comfortable night. Defeat in Game One may damage their confidence; it could turn out to be a very topsy-turvy kind of series.
Washington have been the NHL’s standout regular season franchise in the last two or three years and the Capitals will be quietly confident of success here. Led by the iconic Alexander Ovechkin, a first Stanley Cup triumph could be on the cards.
Ovechkin is as short as 13/10 to score during Game One and he will need to inspire his side to victory. The Capitals are stacked with talent but the Russian is their main man – Ovechkin will take some stopping if he finds his best form.
Tampa Bay Lightning were well fancied to advance to the Stanley Cup series but Washington stepped up to shock the world. Expect the Capitals to push Vegas close; a quick start could be decisive in the outcome of this series.
11/10 is a decent price for those who fancy Washington to end their Stanley Cup hoodoo. If everything goes to plan, the Capitals will be lifting ice hockey’s ultimate accolade at the end of the series – and if anyone deserves a win, it is Ovechkin.
A fast start for the Golden Knights will settle any lingering nerves – and this one could turn ugly for Washington. Vegas are riding high on adrenaline right now and Gerard Gallant’s men could be about to rewrite the history books.
The 5/1 available for the Golden Knights to win the series 4-2 is well worth considering. This has been a year to remember for the newly formed franchise and it might be about to get even better…
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*