For the first time since 1993, the Montreal Canadiens are in the Stanley Cup Final, and a nostalgic feeling has come over hockey fans across Canada. However, while the current team has been following a script similar to previous Canadians squads, they’re not the main characters. This is not an underdog story, as much as it’s a story about how pundits, fans -- and bettors -- are underestimating the Tampa Bay Lightning for the second year in a row.
Much like the Dallas Stars in 2020, the Canadiens defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in under seven games, despite being big underdogs. Now, just like the Stars, the Canadiens find themselves with more favorable odds versus the Lightning, the best team in hockey, and that doesn’t add up. Therefore, instead of trying to find links between current events and those that took place almost 30 years ago, bettors should look no further than the finale of the 2020 playoffs for insight. The Canadiens play a style that is comparable to the Stars as they too have a strong defensive posture that makes it tough on opposing teams to generate chances off the rush.