A first for the National Hockey League will happen on Wednesday night when the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche meet for the Stanley Cup Finals.
What Happened: For the first time in NHL history, and only second time in the history of the four major U.S. sports, two teams that don’t end with the letter “S” will meet for the championship.
If you quickly go through a list of sports teams in your head, it’s not hard to see that "S" is not a common ending letter for teams.
The only other time this has happened was the 2012 NBA Finals, which saw the Miami Heat defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder four games to one.
At the time of writing, the following are the teams that don’t end with “S” in the four major U.S. sports:
- Major League Baseball: Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox
- National Basketball Association: Utah Jazz, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder
- National Football League: None
- National Hockey League: Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, Tampa Bay Lightning, Seattle Kraken
The last NFL team to not end in "S" was the Washington Football Team, the name given to the D.C. team in between being the Washington Redskins and Washington Commanders.
What’s Next: The Stanley Cup Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche kicks off Wednesday night at 8 p.m. All games will be broadcast on ABC and the ESPN+ streaming platform, both owned by The Walt Disney Company DIS.
Here are the games in the series:
- Game 1: June 15 8 p.m. ET
- Game 2: June 18 8 p.m. ET
- Game 3: June 20 8 p.m. ET
- Game 4: June 22 8 p.m. ET
- Game 5: June 24 8 p.m. ET
- Game 6: June 26 8 p.m. ET
- Game 7: June 28 8 p.m. ET
Games five through seven will be played if necessary in the best of seven series.
The Avalanche are favorites to win the Stanley Cup at DraftKings Inc DKNG. The Avalanche pay out -175 to win the series, and the Lightning pay out +150.
For Game 1, DraftKing has the Avalanche as -155 favorites and the Lightning as underdogs at +135.
The Lightning won the previous two Stanley Cups and could be the first NHL team to win three Stanley Cup Finals in a row since the 1980 to 1983 New York Islanders.
Three-peats have happened several times in major sports, with the exception of the National Football League. The Los Angeles Lakers (1998 to 2000) were the last major U.S. sports team to win three championships in consecutive seasons.
Photo: Courtesy of Dinur on Flickr
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