The Stanley Cup Finals begin tonight at 7:30 PM EST on NBC. The Dallas Stars emerged as this year’s playoff surprise beating the Western Conference Final favorite Vegas Golden Knights in five games. The Tampa Bay Lightning fended off a pesky New York Islanders teams in six games. Now the stage has been set for the battle of Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Both clubs have won the Stanley Cup before (Dallas in 1999 and Tampa Bay in 2004). The Dallas Stars last appearance in the Cup Finals came in 2000. For Tampa Bay, it was five years ago in 2015.
As I have through this whole Stanley Cup playoffs season, I have teamed up once again with former San Jose Shark/Kansas City Blade J.F. Quintin to handicap the Finals. Here is our predictions:
Stanley Cup Finals
Dallas Stars vs Tampa Bay
One thing is for certain, both teams played some really great hockey to reach the Finals and especially on the defensive end. Both teams received solid goaltending play and have mobile defenseman who join the rush to add offense. The Dallas Stars have the better power play this post-season and that might create some problems for the Lightning. Both teams have depth. But overall, I feel that the Lightning have the better goaltender in Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Stars also lack a forward as skilled as Nikita Kucherov. I think Vasilevskiy will be the difference maker and the Finals MVP. J.F. and I are in complete agreement on who wins this series, only differing on how many games it will take.
- My prediction: Tampa Bay in 6 games
- J.F’s prediction: Tampa Bay in 5 games