Previewing 2018 Stanley Cup Final

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So here we are finally, the most improbable Stanley Cup Finals matchup possible. An expansion team in their inaugural season, Vegas Golden Knights, and a team that has always underperformed in the playoffs in it’s history, Washington Capitals, will be facing off against one another for their first championship in franchise history.

Outside of the fact of how unique this matchup is, this should be a great one. One of the key matchups will be the goalie situation as Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has had a historic performance in these playoffs while Capitals netminder Braden Holtby has been on fire with even shutting out a Tampa Bay offense that has a lot of fire power in both game’s Six and Seven of the Eastern Conference. Fleury does have history against the Capitals when he was with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but whomever’s goalie is the hottest will most likely determine who wins.

The Capitals have been the best team in the playoffs on the road, but the Golden Knights also have been the best at home so that could be a huge factor right there.

Both offenses are good, but the Capitals might have the best one as Alex Ovechkin as been playing exceptionally well and Evgeny Kuznetsov has been on fire scoring 24 points in the 19 games they have played.

Outside of everything else mentioned, this is a very evenly matchup Final as either team could win. Both can forecheck well and both have lot’s of speed. The defenses are both great and there is a ton of depth on both teams. And another thing to look for is penalty killing as both teams have been exceptional at it. Both teams also grind it out which could make this the most exciting Final since Vancouver-Boston in 2011. Vegas did win both of the matchups during the regular season.

Predictions

James Rowe: Every time I bet against Vegas, they win. They keep proving me wrong. While there is a strong case to make for picking them, I just think the Capitals have been playing better of late. Vegas might be the better team, but the Capitals have been exceptional this postseason and as a native of the city, it feels like destiny. The Capitals will win in seven games.

Tali Raphael: Capitals in six. Too much talent working very well together, hot defense right now that seems unlikely to best.

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