Panthers vs Golden Knights odds and predictions: who is the favorite to win the 2023 Stanley Cup?
With the 2023 Stanley Cup Final set to begin on Saturday night, it’s time to take a look at the picks and odds for what promises to be an exciting series.
On one side, we’ve got the Panthers who haven’t been to the Stanley Cup Final in almost two decades. On the other, we’ve got a team that made this far as recently as 2018. Yet, with neither having ever won a title, we’re assured one way or another to have a new champion. Let’s get into it.
Panthers vs Golden Knights: The lay of the land
On Saturday night, the puck will be dropped in Las Vegas for the beginning of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final with the home team, the Golden Knights hosting the Florida Panthers for Game 1. Regarding their path to the final, this is only the second time in franchise history that Vegas has made it this far, after they defeated the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Final across 6 games. As for Florida, this is also their second appearance in the Cup after they swept Carolina in the Eastern Conference Final. The last time they were here was back in 1996 when they themselves were swept by the Colorado Avalanche. Where the head-to-head this season is concerned, there really isn’t much to go on as it stands at 1-1. Yet, it’s worth noting that Florida is 9-1 on the road, while Vegas is 6-3 at home. Opening faceoff is set for 8:00 p.m. ET at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Golden Knights are an attacking force
To be honest, Vegas’ offense has been firing on all cylinders this postseason. Indeed, their league high 62 goals are testament to that fact. A major contributor to that tally has been William Karlsson, who has set the franchise record for most goals in one postseason with 10, while Jonathan Marchessault has scored nine times along with Chandler Stephenson has posted 7 goals of his own.
Mention should also be made of Jack Eichel who is tied for fourth in scoring with 18 points in his very first postseason, while Marchessault has put 17 on the board heading into the Final on the back of a five-game run in which he has scored four goals an made three assists. At 32-years-old Marchessault and Karlsson are among the six remaining members of the Golden Knights squad that reached the Final in 2018 - their inaugural season in the league. That’s not to say, there is limited pedigree in this team. Quite the opposite in fact, as Vegas has six other players that have won a Cup with other clubs - including Alec Martinez, Phil Kessel and Jonathan Quick, who have won two championships each.
It’s about the grind for the Panthers
Though the Panthers may lack some of the attacking flair of their opponents, they definitely make up for it by being as solid as you can get. While it’s true that they don’t win by big margins - victory by a single goal in their last 8 games - they appear to be very hard to beat. Consider for a moment that they are 9-1 overall in one goal games during the playoffs and 6-0 when they’ve gone to overtime. This while solidifying their defense which is clearly demonstrated by the fact that they’ve conceded less than three goals in 8-of-9 of their last games.
As for protagonists, we’ve got talk about Matthew Tkachuk who currently ranks second in the league with a franchise playoff-record 21 points and is tied for first with four game-winning goals - three of those were scored in overtime. The 25-year-old had four goals across the four-game sweep of the Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Finals and they were the game winners we spoke about before. Then, there is two-time Vezina Trophy winner, Sergei Bobrovsky, who has gone 11-2 with a 2.21 goals-against average, .935 save percentage and his first career postseason shutout. Like we said, this team is solid.
Panthers vs Golden Knights: The Odds
|Categories||Florida Panthers||Las Vegas Golden Knights|
|Total points over/under||u5.5(-105)||o5.5(-105)|
Panthers vs Golden Knights: The Prediction
If we’re honest, we’re looking at two very evenly matched teams. Yet, it’s got to be said that the Panthers have a slight edge: Their ability to adapt to whoever is in front of them. Consider for a moment, that this team was able to put down the Bruins, Maple Leafs, and Hurricanes, all of whom were teams that at one time or another this season, had the best odds in the league to win the Stanley Cup. Add to that the exceptional play of Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett and you’ve got yourself a party. That’s before we mention - once again - the unbelievable performance Sergei Bobrovsky. Assuming he continues in the same way, the Golden Knights are going to have a tough time getting on the board. Ultimately, we’re going with a Panthers win in 6.