When it is all said and done, what will be the best possible Stanley Cup matchup?
Glendon: Just as the season began for each of these teams, the season will end. The Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators began the 2017-18 facing off against one another—a Bruins victory. Now, 78 games later, the two teams occupy the top spot in their respective conferences. Each run four lines deep and can adapt to just about any style of play. Assuming each team enters relatively healthy, it should be a classic finals matchup.
D’Abate: My prediction sees the Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators locking horns in what could be a Cup series for the ages. Nashville should be the favorite in the West. Conversely, Boston will face a formidable challenge in Tampa Bay in the East. However, instead of that taking its toll, it will only serve to sharpen the skills and resolve of the Bruins. While Nashville might have been the most consistent team this season, the Bruins depth and determination will carry them to winning the Cup, in my opinion.
Kading: Pittsburgh-Vegas. Imagine the storylines with this one. Penguins going for a threepeat. Expansion team looking to win the title in their first year of existence. Penguins legend Marc-Andre Fleury trying to stop the Penguins from winning the Cup. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but that would be the most fun matchup to watch.
Gesterling: Based off of last years finals I would not have much of a complaint if Pittsburgh and Nashville played again. That was a fantastic series. The thing that I would want to see differently is Nashville winning the Cup. That would be a wild story. And honestly, I think Nashville has the skill to do it.
Alternatively, something about a Boston versus Winnipeg series would be fun to watch for me also as both teams are really physical teams and I can see that being an intense and entertaining series.
Welcher: While a Nashville-Pittsburgh series would be fun, I don’t see the Pens making it this year. I think Boston and Tampa both have good things going. I feel like Tampa is a more complete team than Boston, especially with a Vezina candidate starting for them every night. A championship team starts in net, and they have the right keeper for the job. Sticking with strong keepers, the Predators have their own Vezina candidate and are hungry after last season’s disappointing loss to Pittsburgh. I think Rinne continues with what he’s done all year and leads the Preds to the second Final in a row to play Tampa.