2021 NHL playoffs: Picks for the Stanley Cup Final, Conn Smythe Trophy

The 2021 Stanley Cup Final is set to begin on Monday, as the Tampa Bay Lightning face off against the Montreal Canadiens. While these two teams would usually play each other frequently in the regular season as members of the Atlantic Division, Game 1 will be the first time they have played this season because the divisions were realigned because of COVID protocols.

Will the Lightning earn their second straight Cup, or will the underdog Canadiens continue their glorious run? Plus, which player will be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP? Our panelists make their picks below.

More: Cup Final schedule | Series preview

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens

Ben Arledge: Lightning in six
Pierre Becquey: Lightning in six
John Buccigross: Lightning in four
Sach Chandan: Canadiens in six
Linda Cohn: Canadiens in seven
Emily Kaplan: Lightning in seven
Nabil Karim: Canadiens in six
Tim Kavanagh: Lightning in six
Don La Greca: Lightning in five
Steve Levy: Canadiens in seven
Vince Masi: Lightning in seven
Victoria Matiash: Lightning in six
Barry Melrose: Lightning in six
Arda Ocal: Canadiens in seven
Greg Wyshynski: Lightning in seven

Consensus pick: Lightning (10/15)

Conn Smythe Trophy

Ben Arledge: Brayden Point
Pierre Becquey: Nikita Kucherov
John Buccigross: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Sach Chandan: Carey Price
Linda Cohn: Carey Price
Emily Kaplan: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Nabil Karim: Carey Price
Tim Kavanagh: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Don La Greca: Brayden Point
Steve Levy: Carey Price
Vince Masi: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Victoria Matiash: Brayden Point
Barry Melrose: Nikita Kucherov
Arda Ocal: Carey Price
Greg Wyshynski: Andrei Vasilevskiy

Leaders: Andrei Vasilevskiy, Carey Price (5)