On paper, the Vegas Golden Knights should beat the Florida Panthers to win the Stanley Cup. Vegas had 9 more wins in the regular season and 19 more points! Of course, the Bruins and Hurricanes also had significantly more points than the Panthers, and the Panthers did away with both of them in the playoffs. Vegas has better goals against per game, better save percentage, significantly less penalty minutes, and more shorthanded goals. In short, the Panthers will have to play cleaner and more efficiently to win.
For the Panthers, it all has to start with Sergei Bobrovsky. The Panthers goalie has been nothing short of fantastic in the playoffs. He’s a two time Vezina trophy winner, so we know he has elite goalie play in him. The Panthers will need him to be on top of his game, because Jack Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault have a combined 35 points so far in the playoffs. These two have led the Vegas attack all year, so the Panthers will need to be on their game to not let them wreck the Stanley Cup. On offense, the Panthers will need winger Matthew Tkachuk to step up in a major way. He had 109 points in the regular season. The next highest point total for the Panthers had just 78 points! He’s been fantastic in the playoffs as well, having scored the most goals and having the most assists on the team.
At the end of the day, you can’t count the Panthers out. They’ve been doubted the entire postseason, and have already proven they can beat anyone. This would be one of the most remarkable Stanley Cup Finals wins in Stanley Cup history.
Both teams are seeking their first Stanley Cup title in franchise history, which will only add to the excitement that this series brings. Puck drop can’t come soon enough!