The Dallas Stars have advanced to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final after defeating the Vegas Golden Knights. Photo from @DallasStars (Twitter).
- The Dallas Stars have defeated the Vegas Golden Knights to advance to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final
- Dallas has seen its Stanley Cup Odds improve from +223 to +150 as a result
- Read below to find out if the Stars are a good bet to win the Cup
The No. 3 Dallas Stars will be playing for the Stanley Cup after knocking off the No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights in five games in the Western Conference Final. After earning a 3-2 overtime victory in Game 5 to clinch the series, Dallas has seen its 2020 Stanley Cup odds improve from +223 to +150.
Do the Stars have what it takes to beat the team that comes out of the Eastern Conference? They could be in tough if the remaining series plays out as expected.
2020 Stanley Cup Odds
|Team||Stanley Cup Odds|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-162|
|New York Islanders||+3200|
Odds as of Sep. 14, 2020.
Stars Dethrone Knights
The Stars advanced to the Stanley Cup Final by knocking off the powerhouse Vegas Golden Knights in five games in the Western Conference Final. Vegas was the Conference favorite heading into the NHL’s return-to-play and led the NHL playoffs in a variety of possession categories, including Corsi and Fenwick.
The Stars were outshot in four of the fives games and were badly outplayed by Vegas in large stretches of action. They managed to beat Vegas thanks to some clutch goal-scoring and incredible goaltending.
Captain Jamie Benn really stepped up in this series, playing with his heart on his sleeve and racking up three goals in the final three games.
Khudobin Is Incredible Story
Dallas goaltender Anton Khudobin is becoming one of the best stories of the entire playoffs. The veteran goaltender stopped 153 of the 161 shots he faced in the Western Conference Final for a .950 save percentage against the Golden Knights.
We’ve seen it time-and-time again: a red-hot goaltender leads an underdog team to a Stanley Cup championship. Who’s to say Khudobin isn’t the next guy to do it? With the level he is operating at, the Stars are going to have a chance to win it all no matter who they end up facing.
Not only is Khudobin putting on a clinic in goal, but the Stars’ defense is proving incredible. Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg are two of the team’s top scorers, while defensively the Stars kept one of the league’s best offenses primarily to the outside throughout the series.
Bolts Are NHL’s Best
Betting on Dallas means betting against an Eastern Conference powerhouse. The Tampa Bay Lightning have a 3-1 series lead over the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference final and appear well on their way to another Stanley Cup Final appearance. They have been playing like a team possessed after getting upset by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round last season.
Two goals in 12 seconds ⚡️
— NHL (@NHL) September 14, 2020
If the Islanders rally from this deficit, jumping on the Stars at something around even money would be a decent play. I’m just not ready to bet against the Lightning considering they lead the playoffs in goals-per-game, goals-against-per-game, and PK percentage. This is all without captain Steven Stamkos in the lineup.
The Stars took both meetings between these two teams in overtime this season, but you have to go all the way back to 2016 for the last time Dallas beat Tampa in regulation.
While Khudobin is a great story, the Lightning counter with Andrei Vasilevskiy. He has a .930 save percentage this postseason and is up for the Vezina Trophy again after winning it last year.
Verdict on Stars’ Cup Chances
The Stars are a true underdog story in many facets. They were doubted from the beginning after they finished the regular season with one of the lowest-scoring offenses in the league. They defeated a dangerous Calgary squad in round one before knocking off the two Western Conference favorites, Colorado and Vegas, back-to-back in the ensuing rounds.
Huge kudos to the Dallas Stars. Beating the Avalanche and the Golden Knights took some serious skill and toughness. What a performance.
— James Neveau (@JamesNeveau) September 15, 2020
The Stars have been getting outstanding goaltending from Khudobin and production from unsung heroes, including undrafted free agent Joel Kiviranta, who scored the series-winner against Colorado and netted the game-tying goal in Game 5 against Vegas.
Unfortunately, this miracle run for Dallas likely comes to an end against Tampa. Even if they rely on their shutdown defense to frustrate the Bolts’ young stars, Tampa has the goaltending and defense to play the same style. That’s where the Bolts’ overall star power would give them the edge.
If the Isles make a comeback, this is a completely different story. But with the way things are headed right now, there isn’t much value laying +150 on the Stars to take down a determined and immensely talented Lightning squad.
Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years experience specializing in digital media, plus a degree in Broadcast Journalism. His work has been published by outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports.