Stanley Cup Semifinals Preview

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Eastern Conference

1. Florida Panthers vs. 3. Tampa Bay Lightning

Players to Watch: F Carter Verhaeghe and G Andrei Vasilevskiy

Who Wins: Lightning in 7 games

1. Carolina Hurricanes vs. 2. New York Rangers

Players to Watch: D Jaccob Slavin and G Igor Shesterkin

Who Wins: Hurricanes in 6 games

Western Conference

1. Colorado Avalanche vs. 3. St. Louis Blues

Players to Watch: D Cale Makar and G Jordan Binnington

Who Wins: Avalanche in 6 games

1. Calgary Flames vs. 2. Edmonton Oilers

Players to Watch: F Johnny Gaudreau and F Connor McDavid

Who Wins: Flames in 6 games

2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview

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Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

1. Florida Panthers vs. 4. Washington Capitals

Players to Watch: F Jonathan Huberdeau and Goalies Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov

Who Wins: Panthers in 5 games

2. Toronto Maple Leafs vs. 3. Tampa Bay Lightning

Players to Watch: F Auston Matthews and D Victor Hedman

Who Wins: Lightning in 6 games

Metropolitan Division

1. Carolina Hurricanes vs. 4. Boston Bruins

Players to Watch: D Jaccob Slavin and F Brad Marchand

Who Wins: Hurricanes in 6 games

2. New York Rangers vs. 3. Pittsburgh Penguins

Players to Watch: G Igor Shesterkin and F Sidney Crosby

Who Wins: Rangers in 6 games

Western Conference

Central Division

1. Colorado Avalanche vs. 4. Nashville Predators

Players to Watch: F Nathan McKinnon and D Roman Josi

Who Wins: Avalanche in 6 games

2. Minnesota Wild vs. 3. St. Louis Blues

Players to Watch: F Kirill Kaprizov and F Vladimir Tarasenko

Who Wins: Wild in 7 games

Pacific Division

1. Calgary Flames vs. 4. Dallas Stars

Players to Watch: F Johnny Gaudreau and F Jason Robertson

Who Wins: Flames in 5 games

2. Edmonton Oilers vs. 3. Los Angeles Kings

Players to Watch: F Connor McDavid and G Jonathan Quick

Who Wins: Oilers in 6 games

2021 Stanley Cup Finals Preview

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4. Montreal Canadiens vs. 3. Tampa Bay Lightning

They got past the Toronto Maple Leafs being down 3-1 in the series. They easily swept the Winnipeg Jets. Then when it seemed they were outmatched, they took care of the Vegas Golden Knights in 6 games. The Montreal Canadiens won’t go away. Goaltender Carey Price is following some large footsteps in Habs history. Jacques Plante, Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy. All were dominant goalies in their time in Montreal. Price will look to add the Stanley Cup to his resume. Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi are part of a young core of forwards that have played huge roles in this playoff run. Tyler Toffoli, Corey Perry and Eric Staal have played their part as veterans who contribute nightly and have previously won a Stanley Cup. Captain Shea Weber and Jeff Petry have anchored this defense for many years now, but Joel Edmundson who won the Cup with St. Louis in 2019, has led their defensemen with 6 points (all by way of an assist). If they want to win their first title since 1993 (also the last time any Canadian team has won), they need to play damn near perfect for every single game against the defending champions in Tampa Bay.

The defending champions Tampa Bay Lightning are proving why they are the team to beat in the playoffs. They easily took care of business in the first two rounds against Florida and Carolina. The New York Islanders took them to the brink in 7 games, but Tampa Bay beat the Islanders at their own game in the finale with a 1-0 victory. If they didn’t have a healthy Nikita Kucherov I’d be willing to bet they would still be here, but it would have been tougher I admit. With him this team is down right scary good. Their captain Steven Stamkos is healthy as well and just as productive as Kucherov. Brayden Point looks to be the favorite to win the Conn Smythe going into the Finals. Victor Hedman will probably win another Norris trophy as the best defensemen in the game. Andrei Vasilevskiy will probably win the Vezina as the best goalie and could be a Conn Smythe contender depending on how this Final plays out. There is just so much talent here that it is pretty much unfair. However, we’ve seen many times before that the best team falls flat at this point in the playoffs.

Players to Watch:  G Carey Price and G Andrei Vasilevskiy

Who Wins: Lightning in 6 games

Stanley Cup Conference Finals Preview

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West Division vs. North Division

2. Vegas Golden Knights vs. 4. Montreal Canadiens

Players to Watch: F Jonathan Marchessault and F Tyler Toffoli

Who Wins: Golden Knights in 6 games

Central Division vs. East Division

3. Tampa Bay Lightning vs. 4. New York Islanders

Players to Watch: F Brayden Point and F Jean-Gabriel Pageau

Who Wins: Lightning in 7 games

Stanley Cup Semifinals Preview

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East Divsion

3. Boston Bruins vs. 4. New York Islanders

Players to Watch: D Charlie McAvoy and G Ilya Sorokin

Who Wins: Islanders in 7 games

Central Division

1. Carolina Hurricanes vs. 3. Tampa Bay Lightning

Players to Watch: F Martin Necas and F Nikita Kucherov

Who Wins: Lightning in 7 games

North Division

3. Winnipeg Jets vs. 4. Montreal Canadiens

Players to Watch: F Mark Scheifele and G Carey Price

Who Wins: Canadiens in 6 games

West Division

1. Colorado Avalanche vs. 2. Vegas Golden Knights

Players to Watch: F Nathan MacKinnon and G Marc-Andre Fleury

Who Wins: Avalanche in 6 games