July 12, 2024
Annapolis, US 76 F

NHL Finals Update: Bobrovsky Favorite for Conn Smythe 

Connor McDavid entered the Stanley Cup Finals as the favorite to take home the Conn Smythe Trophy, despite his team being slight underdogs to win the series. Only five times has the award been handed out to a losing team’s player, with the last time dating all the way back to Jean-Sebastien Giguere of the Anaheim Ducks in 2003. 

Things have changed considerably since then with the Panthers taking a 2-0 series lead, dominating in each of their first two games on home ice. After allowing just one goal and making 50 saves in his team’s first two games, Sergei Bobrovsky has emerged as a heavy favorite (-200) over McDavid (+500) on DraftKings Sportsbook. Alexander Barkov remains in the mix (+550) but is questionable for game three after taking a questionable hit from Leon Draisaitl. 

Bobrovsky has had a historic start to the cup final, becoming just the seventh goaltender since 1944 to allow one goal or fewer in the first two games – the first since Chris Osgood of the Detroit Red Wings in 2008. He has a 2.02 GAA and a .916 SV% in the playoffs and leads all goaltenders with 14 wins. 

Florida’s netminder is the only goalie in NHL history to record 50 saves while allowing one goal or fewer in the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final. He has now allowed fewer than two goals against in 12 of his past 13 playoff games, becoming just the fourth goaltender to achieve the feat. 

The Oilers still have the top four-point scorers in the postseason in McDavid, Draisaitl, Evan Bouchard, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, with McDavid leading the way at 32 points on five goals and 27 assists. Zach Hyman leads the playoffs with 14 goals, followed by Draisaitl, and Carter Verhaeghe of Panthers who are tied at 10. McDavid and Bouchard have been held to just one point each through the first two games, assisting Edmonton’s only goal scored by Mattias Ekholm. 

Evan Rodrigues has doubled his playoff goal total in the cup final leading all skaters with three, moving him to eighth in Conn Smythe odds as a long shot at +6000. He still trails Barkov (+550), Tkachuk (+2000), and Verhaeghe (+3000) on the Panthers, who are the team’s top three-point scorers. 

The Panthers will travel to Edmonton for the next two games, looking to close the series out with a clean sweep and avoid another game at home. If the Oilers can come away with at least one win, the series would return to Florida and home games will alternate the rest of the way. 

Edmonton will be favored to win game three on home ice, but the odds are strongly against them becoming the first Canadian team in 31 years to hoist the Stanley Cup. Only five teams in league history have gone on to lose after winning the first two games at home, and teams with a 2-0 series lead have won 49 out of 54 times. 

If you are looking to bet on the Stanley Cup Finals the rest of the way, make sure to check out the top Canadian betting sites and signup for one of the country’s top sportsbooks. You can place specific bets on each individual game, place futures on either Florida or Edmonton to win the series, or bet on who will take home the Conn Smythe. All the top sportsbooks offer live betting with odds updating by the second, so you can get in on the action while watching the game. 

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