Will Lightning strike twice? Tampa Bay has good odds to win second Stanley Cup in a row

How hard is it to repeat in the National Hockey League?

Well, since the end of the Edmonton Oilers dynasty in the mid-to-late 1980s (so basically the last three decades), only three teams have been able to win back-to-back Stanley Cups: the 1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins, the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings, and the 2016-17 Pittsburgh Penguins.

The first team on the list had Mario Lemieux and was coached by Scotty Bowman, who also coached the 97-98 Red Wings (and the 1976-1979 four-time champion Montreal Canadiens).

In fact, looking before the first Penguins run, the Philadelphia Flyers won in 1974 and 1975, then four straight for the Canadiens, then four straight for the New York Islanders, then five in seven years for the Oilers.

From 1993 on, there have been 13 different winners on the cup, with a few teams winning multiple over that time.

So can the Tampa Bay Lightning win it again, after they beat the Dallas Stars 4-2 in October?

They are getting a lot of love from the sports books, especially in the Eastern Conference. Tampa has the best odds in the East with most books, around +800, to win the Stanley Cup. The shake up of the divisions could prove to help or hinder the Lightning, depending on how the season. Right now, the Colorado Avalanche (+550) and Vegas Golden Knights (+675) are ahead of the Lightning.

But with the shortened season, and the momentum from October, can Lightning strike twice?

Tampa Bay will raise the banner on opening night against the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the teams with multiple titles in the last decade-plus (2010, 2013, 2015). Tampa is a heavy -255 money line favorite in that 8:10 p.m. EST contest, and +110 on the -1.5 puck line. Look for Tampa Bay to start the 2021 season off with a two-plus goal win, and start rolling towards a possible repeat.

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