NHL Stanley Cup Final Preview and Prediction
The NHL Playoffs are now down to two teams playing for the Stanley Cup.
On Wednesday night in Denver, the Colorado Avalanche will look to end the reign of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Coach Jon Cooper has his team on a mission to three-peat, which would be the first time since the early 80’s to happen. That was when the New York Islanders won four in a row from 1980-83.
This postseason I am 11 out of 14 on series winners. Here’s a quick preview with a prediction for the Stanley Cup Final.
NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Final Schedule
NHL Stanley Cup Final schedule:
Wednesday, June 15: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+, ABC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
Saturday, June 18: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+, ABC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
Monday, June 20: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+, ABC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
Wednesday, June 22: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+, ABC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
*Friday, June 24: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+, ABC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
*Sunday, June 26: Avalanche at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+, ABC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
*Tuesday, June 28: Lightning at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+, ABC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports
* if necessary
Now here’s a look back at how I did predicting Round 1 which included 7 out of 8 hits.
|RD 1 MATCHUP||PREDICTION||RESULT||HIT/MISS|
|Panthers vs Capitals||Panthers in 6||Panthers in 6||ON THE MONEY|
|Maple Leafs vs Lightning||Lightning in 7||Lightning in 7||ON THE MONEY|
|Hurricanes vs Bruins||Bruins in 6||Hurricanes in 7||MISS|
|Rangers vs Penguins||Rangers in 5||Rangers in 7||HIT|
|Avalanche vs Predators||Avalanche in 4||Avalanche in 4||ON THE MONEY|
|Wild vs Blues||Blues in 7||Blues in 6||HIT|
|Flames vs Stars||Flames in 5||Flames in 7||HIT|
|Oilers vs Kings||Oilers in 6||Oilers in 7||HIT|
Here are my Round 2 predictions which included 3 of 4 hits.
|RD 2 MATCHUP||PREDICTION||RESULT||HIT/MISS|
|Panthers vs Lightning||Lightning in 7||Lightning in 4||HIT|
|Rangers vs Hurricanes||Rangers in 7||Rangers in 7||ON THE MONEY|
|Avalanche vs Blues||Avalanche in 6||Avalanche in 6||ON THE MONEY|
|Flames vs Oilers||Flames in 5||Oilers in 5||MISS|
And finally my Round 3 predictions where I went 1 for 2.
|RD 3 MATCHUP||PREDICTION||RESULT||HIT/MISS|
|Avalanche vs Oilers||Avalanche in 6||Avalanche in 4||HIT|
|Rangers vs Lightning||Rangers in 7||Lightning in 6||MISS|
Stanley Cup Final Preview and Prediction
Colorado Avalanche (56-19-7) vs Lightning (51-23-8)
The Colorado Avalanche were my pick to make it to the Final once the Vegas Golden Knights were eliminated from playoff contention. I picked them to win over the Edmonton Oilers in 6 games. Instead, they thoroughly dominated them in a sweep.
Injury concerns surrounding Nazem Kadri is one thing, their inability to play defense at times is another. This team can put on an offensive show with the likes of Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, and Mikko Rantanen to just name a few. However, they will need to find a way shut it down defensively if they want to beat the champs.
I said in my Round 2 preview that I would find it hard to pick against the Tampa Bay Lightning until someone could actually beat them. By choosing the resilient New York Rangers to win in 7 games, I went against my own advice. It’s not happening again.
New York held a 2-0 series lead and looked like they may oust the two-time defending champs with ease. However, Tampa Bay cleaned up their defensive issues and put on a clinic by beating a very tired Rangers team in four straight.
The Lightning may also get Brayden Point back for this series but the real difference maker is in goal. Andrei Vasilevskiy is the greatest clutch goalie in the game today and the Avs don’t have an answer for that. Neither Darcy Kuemper or Pavel Francouz is a match.
In the end, the Tampa Bay Lightning will raise the Stanley Cup again.
Prediction: Lightning beat Avalanche in 6